wanting to buy the property next door to my current residence on this charming little block of Stuyvesant Avenue. It is (at the very least, or is it very most) questionable as to whether I'd be eligible to prove being able to afford it at its current price, which, though seemingly high for the current buyer's market, I've been told by a realtor friend that the price is a steal for THIS particular goldmine block. The historic Stuyvesant Heights is what I've come to call home over the past five years. The only place I've lived by myself and the type of home I'd like to remain at for an indefinite amount of time. (i.e. the next 30 years!) I've always intimated that I would like to stay in my current apartment until it was time to move into a house of my own, that I OWN. Lord knows I hate moving.. Every year, when the semester came to an end at Howard, I dreaded moving out of the Towers into summer housing or storage at my cousin's house in Maryland. When I moved to Harlem from Los Angeles, I just knew I would stay on 144th and Hamilton Terrace forever and ever and always... But that last one year. Which led to the whimsical Stuyvesant Ave. (I like to tell the story about how my birthday is one digit more than my Stuyvesant Avenue address and one digit less than my Harlem address. Godwink? I think so!!)
I know there are most likely other magical places in New York City to live, and perhaps it is actually my own existence filtered through my own special rose-colored glasses that allow my living environments to seem so fanciful and full of whimsy; that is the reality in which I daily operate. But still, Stuyvesant Avenue. I love it here. I love the locale; it's just close enough yet far away from "The City" to where I can get their quickly if/when necessary, yet I can feel like I'm in a quaint neighborhood away from the hubbub if I never leave the block. And speaking of going to the City, I live directly across the street from the subway entrance... an EXPRESS subway entrance, Utica Avenue, which there is nothing I can say to express how significant that is. Inside the station are the most cheerful images of lively community in mosiac form. (The first time I entered the Utica Avenue station to come up and view my current apartment, I knew that I was going to live here simply based on those murals. They literally were a sign. I could see myself in those murals.) When you exit the subway you are directly inside of a park, Fulton Park; now it's not the largest park in Brooklyn by any stretch of the imagination, but things HAPPEN in this park that I love being around for...! Every summer into early fall there are shows, live music and djs, and a film festival that screens independent positive films on the Black experience, and then The Wiz every last Friday of August!! There are guys who play chess at the far end of the park during the warm months, and children ride their bikes up and down the path and cross the street to go to the playground on the Stuyvesant side. I like to watch the dog owners run up and down the park as well, and you really can just sit and read a book on the bench and feel totally at home if you please.
And speaking of home, this little block here has really become home away from home. The other households on the block have totally become my little five home community. Getting to know them over the years has yielded very warm familial relationships that I am not quite ready to walk away from. I enjoy Sunday dinners, birthdays, special occassions and holidays with them. We borrow from one another, ask for and receive help, babysit, bar-b-cue, watch movies, shovel each others snow, plant flowers and sit out on our stoops for hours in the summer sipping wine and greeting the other residents of Stuyvesant Heights with a smile as they come up from the subway after work! They are always reminding me that if I need ANYTHING to let them know, and if there is an emergency to please call. They called to check on me in California when word got out that my grandmothers had passed away and were concerned that I was not coming back when I'd been gone for a month. I love my neighborhood and I wouldn't want to leave it to go and rent another apartment elsewhere with the chance that MY quality of living may suffer. Of course you never really know. I had no idea when I moved here this was what I was coming to. I just knew THIS was *IT*. Like I said, I didn't want to leave Hamilton Terrace, especially with the care and concern I had in my super, Phillip Joseph. But it was time to leave, and then he actually died shortly after I moved away, so it was all in God's timing ending up here.
So, the same can be said about where I end up next. I can confidently reiterate that I don't desire to leave this block between Chauncey and Fulton Avenue at all. But you never know what is waiting for you if you don't move forward. That's not to say I'm considering moving off the block just yet, but I do realize both sides of the equation. If by chance the man I love asked me to leave Stuyvesant Avenue, I'd just as soon start packing.... Anyway, the residence for sale next door is a beaut, from what I can tell. I've been inside only once and audaciously thought, "This place is for me!" When it was for sale at $800k, the listing mentioned:
"...tastefully renovated to retain original details that include pocket doors, skylights, pier mirrors, magnificent floors and 10 foot ceilings, the upper floor houses a 3 bedroom apartment and the lower duplex is a 2 bedroom apartment with a finished basement. In move-in condition, this home is architecturally and historically amazing, hence its landmark status..."
So, again... I have no idea how I WOULD be able to get in this place.... but Lord knows I want it. And I've been daydreaming about who I could move in there with me to help pay the mortgage! I'm thinking about five or six other people! Or a family on one level and a couple of borders on the next, and me and Marcus in the basement... Who knows! This is the vision; I'm writing it and making it plain.
So, I'll talk to God about it and see what we can come up with.... because I really believe THIS could work!
(the next afternoon)
I do believe reality is setting in and I'm more apt to understanding that it takes more than a potential downpayment to buy, maintain and KEEP a house. A half a million dollars is lot of a struggling, single 30 year old, any way you look at it. Perhaps my next post will encompass the things I'd like to accomplish that I now may be able to instead of dreaming about buying a house I can't currently afford.
I still hold on to my dreams though, because more often than not I wake up and find that they are reality.