I have a new zip code. The search for my peace and serenity led me to Astoria. For those of you not familiar with Astoria, it’s located in the borough of Queens. It’s just a train ride away from Manhattan. Four stops out of Manhattan, seven stops from work to be exact. Take the R or V train and exit into another world.
The pre-war house that holds my new apartment is a six unit, private family home with only eight tenants. It’s located on a quiet street full of homes. There are no children, pets, or smokers in the building. There are a couple of 80 year olds who live above me. The owners themselves. They aren’t terribly heavy walkers, but they do speak loud to each other and the television isn’t the quietest. BUT, their apartment is the only one I share wall space with. Or in this case, ceiling space. I know that in time I will hear them less and less and that they will fade into the noises that make up the world.
I have space. A large, beautiful space to call my home.
When you enter my apartment there is a small foyer. Walk straight and you’ll walk into a door that conceals a walk-in closet. Space to store stuff and hang all of my coats. Staring at that closet door if you turn your gaze to the left you will see my kitchen. It has a brand new, stainless steel stove and refrigerator purchased just for me. For me because I’m the new tenant as opposed to John Doe being the new tenant. It has almond butter colored subway tiles halfway up the wall. There is a built in drawer unit next to the stove that is old like the house. There is also a built in ironing board. Charming and unique to the apartment. Walk out of the door you entered, across the foyer, and pass through the arch that leads into the living room. You find yourself in a beige room with textured walls broken up by picture framing. The hardwood floors are newly refinished. There is a blond strip of wood sandwiched between two dark strips of wood that runs around the room about six inches from the baseboard. From the moment I noticed the details of the room, it gave me the feeling of 1940’s Hollywood. There is something glamorous about it. I think it’s the arches. In this room you will find a blood red velvet sofa, a golden green area rug with mums, an antique table that belonged to my great-grandmother, a 1940’s radio, as well as other pieces that make up my furniture. The walls are empty at this moment, but the artwork is leaning up against the wall in the place where I want it to hang. Exiting the living room to go to my bedroom you walk through another arch. You find yourself staring at another closet. This closet is more of a linen closet. To the left is the bathroom. A gray and white bathroom. Gray marble looking tiles cover the bottom half of the wall. The top half is painted white. The sink is white and modern mixed with an old, but in great condition, white tub and toilet. There are silver towel holders that compliment the silver hooks that hold the light gray shower curtain. I might not have chosen gray for my bathroom, but this bathroom is lovely. Walk straight out of the bathroom and across the small hallway and enter my room. Picture framed just like the living room, its smooth walls are painted a shade of mint green. There are two closets. There are three windows. Enough light that I have to shield my eyes when I awake each morning. The doors, baseboards, and window frames are all painted white. Every door in the apartment has a glass doorknob.
I look at my furniture in this apartment and I’m happy. I feel like I’m home.