Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I almost moved to Florida this week. Like most New Yorkers, I have a love-hate relationship with The City. I have a nice enough apartment, large by New York standards. It has a real kitchen, not a fridge/stove/sink slapped along one wall of the living room, and a nice balcony, big enough for a couple of chairs and a grill. I even have a parking space in the basement. But I’m not in Manhattan. Anything remotely resembling my apartment would rent for at least four thousand a month in Manhattan  and that’s just not in my price range.

And now it’s winter. Cold, grey, lonely, depressing winter. It’s still summer in Fort Lauderdale. That’s where I am right now, sitting by the pool at the guest house. The rents are cheap down here. I found a really nice 2-story townhouse with two bedrooms and two full baths that rents for $200 less than my one bedroom apartment in Queens. The kitchen is beautiful – all granite and stainless steel and recessed lighting. The best part about this townhouse is the large multi-level private deck which fronts on a canal. It’s a five minute walk to all the action on Wilton Drive. I could really see myself living in this townhouse. I could really see my cats spending a lazy afternoon fishing in the canal.

But picking up and moving from New York to Florida involves a lot more than real estate decisions. As I stood on the marble floor of my prospective new living room trying to decide if I should take the plunge or not, I realized that this was one of those moments when you have to confront who you are. Am I a New Yorker? What does that mean? Would I be any happier here than I am currently? What about my friends? What about the summer? It’s unbearably hot and humid in Florida in the summer. On the other hand, I’ve found myself in a rut lately. Sure New York has a lot to offer, but I rarely take advantage of it anymore. Couldn’t I just as easily sit around doing nothing in Florida? For far less money? And have a really nice home in which I enjoyed doing nothing?

The agent waited patiently for me to say something. I had to get off the fence. I had to make a decision. To my astonishment, I heard myself say that I’d take it. I felt good that I was about to start a new chapter in my life. The next few weeks would be hell of course. So many details to take care of. And moving. Who enjoys packing and moving? But I made the choice and now it was time to set things in motion.

Or so I thought. The next day the agent called to inform me that despite having signed a contract and making a substantial deposit, the owner had decided to rent to someone else. I was annoyed. I was relieved. I had come so close to saying goodbye to New York. How could I have contemplated such a silly thing?

It’s a beautiful day in Lauderdale today. Sunny with a few puffy clouds. Warm, but a delicious breeze singing through the palm trees. I fly home tomorrow. Back to the Big Apple. It will be cold. It will be grey. It might be depressing but at least I won’t have to pack.


  1. Haha wow... It's overwhelmingly probable that the Lord doesn't exist, but if He did, I'd say something about Him working in mysterious ways. I often fantasize about moving to a more peaceful place. I also get in ruts and spend a lot of time by myself. And I enjoy that time, mostly. It can be productive. But it's nice to have the OPTION of walking down the block to hang with a friend. There really is a lot about urban life I do tend to take for granted. It only takes a bit of reflection to remember just how terribly annoying it was to own a car.

  2. The Universe just told you what you really wanted. :) I love it when that happens. The Universe also told you that you are NOT taking Osito away from Jan. ;)

    Soooooo happy you're staying!!!

  3. You saved yourself thousands on sunscreen.

  4. Give yourself some more time to think it over.
    The last time I was in Manhattan was in March, when I dropped off my keys. I'll be there for Christmas because I'm meeting my mother and sister. Otherwise, I have no interest in coming back. I'd rather have friends come and visit me. This is the city where I was born and raised. My family has been there since the beginning of the twentieth century. But it is
    not my city anymore. It's been invaded by the super-rich and the super-competitive and they're
    not going to leave anytime soon. So, when you
    have had enough, I'm sure you'll move on. You've made big changes in your life. That's who you are! Love, Mort.

    P.S. I'm "Anonymous" because I have absolutely no idea what any of the choices are!!! M.S.