I am looking for a new apartment. My own place, for the first time ever. It's both terrifying and exhilarating. For the past three years, I've lived in a cozy three-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side with two terrific roomies. Before that, I lived with one of my current roomies in a one-bedroom (we made it work) on the East Side, and before THAT there was my parents' place and college. So me -- alone, with no one to kill bugs or help me with the can opener or chat with me when I walk in the door ( and also with no one to jump in the shower before me, no one to blast the TV when I want to sleep, no one to weigh in on my decorating choices...) -- is going to feel VERY new.
In New York City, looking for an apartment is like a full-time job. Prices are insane. There's always a catch. You want it all -- good light, safety, space, maybe a park within reach -- but the universe, or perhaps the real estate gods, merely laugh. It's a constant uphill battle to find the right place. And for a writer, I think, it's even more difficult.
Even though I've developed a taste for writing in Starbucks and libraries over the years, I still like to write at home when I can. So whenever I see an apartment for the first time, I invariably think "Can I write here?" Is there room for my desk, is the light good enough, will the traffic below inspire me or annoy me? Of course there is no way to tell until you have really moved in. But I'm rather obsessive about these qualities in an apartment. What I would truly love is a space that would allow me my own bedroom, living room, and separate writing office. I dream about this the way some people dream about winning the Lottery (and in New York,unfortunately, the two are pretty much linked).
Do other writers feel this way? Do you think where you live affects the way you write? Am I just being overly neurotic?
I will keep you posted if--and when--I find the (nearly) perfect place!
Until then, happy summer...