When I first walked into my current apartment, almost a year ago, I instantly felt connected to it. It was the second place I looked at and had this eery, magical aura (sounds ridiculous, but true). When I discovered that T.S. Eliot previously lived and wrote here, it kind of gave me chills.
"The Castle on the Hill" (that's what the locals call it, haha) is probably the oldest building I've lived in (proven a little chilly in the winter with the vintage windows). My favourite parts are the real, wood-burning fireplace, the natural sunlight and the long, white writing desk. The sneaky back-door (apparently used to be a servant's entrance) through the kitchen to the laundry room is pretty cool too. Most of it came furnished and some of the décor comes from my artistic landlord, Linda, but she (reluctantly) let me add my own touches. The place definitely has those quintessential cottage-in-the-woods kind of writer vibes I'd say.
I gave a sneak peek of the exterior and my initial thoughts here.
I've become accustomed to packing up my belongings and moving into a new apartment at least once a year. Three different NYU Summer Housing dorms, a studio apartment in Geneva, a SoHo walk-up with my friend Laura (dubbed "The Dollhouse") and an East Village bachelorette pad with exposed brick, high ceilings and rooftop access with wild NYC views (my cousins lived in the same building too which was really fun).
All of the places I've set up camp have been very different but I still can't pick a favourite. I've loved them all for various reasons. Even just thinking about the commutes to-and-from work at each apartment brings a flash of happy nostalgia to mind. Politely waving to my creepy neighbour & his hairless Dr. Evil cat as I skipped down the stairs of my Geneva digs before stopping for my café au lait and croissant every morning on Rue Cornavin. (Boréal Coffee Shop was my favourite stop when I had more time to linger on weekends).
In New York, dashing down the five flights of stairs at our Broome Street apartment (no elevator) and emerging into the quiet, morning streets of SoHo (this description is getting a little too sex and the city but it really is how it was), strolling through Washington Square Park before it came alive for the day, and grabbing a coffee at either Ground Support (depending on if I took the Thompson or West Broadway route) or Grey Dogs (Alec Baldwin was usually infront or behind me in line with his two pups parked outside). Morning walks (or really walks in general) are just the best.
In the moment, the square footage where you lay your head at night doesn't seem to possess that much power, but memories are only unearthed in hindsight. Even the smallest of spaces are tangible reminders of life phases.
Creating a cozy "home-away-from-home" has become an integral part of moving for me - especially in Cambridge, where I spend most of my time at home doing schoolwork or writing. Without close friends and family nearby, I like having a snug sense of security and a place to just be. (spoiler alert: I'm the biggest hermit and am actually convinced that I'm 84 inside).
The months and days are flying by freakishly fast (scary!) so I wanted to make sure that I documented this sacred space where I've been living and working and dreaming. It already seems like a lifetime ago that I went to school in Hong Kong or even lived in Switzerland for that matter, so I'm extra conscious about writing down and photographing things to spark my memory.
For me, it's always been the little details...