Yesterday I bought a house.
I didn’t need a house. I have one already that I love.
And that’s the point.
My house that I love is in a wonderful neighborhood. It is why I bought it. It is why I pay my property taxes with pride. I know every single person within 1,000 feet of me. These people welcomed me with open arms when I bought my home in 2004.
My neighbors have shared wine with me, listened to my music, had me over for dinner, told stories of their families, and more than a few slightly bawdy jokes (“slightly” to be kind because after being a bartender in New York City for 20 years I’ve heard some pretty bawdy jokes),
They allowed their kids to have a pizza party/dress up night at my house …well, what else am I supposed to do with all my shoes and sequin gowns?
I moved here to be part of a neighborhood – to know everyone around me. On purpose. New Yorkers are notoriously compartmentalized. We live in apartments, we can’t help it. My last place was a coop on a four unit floor. At one golden point I knew everyone on the floor and we would get home from work and open our doors freely visiting from one home to another. The best nights were when the Italian couple in 3C would cook. Oy.
To be a part of that kind of community, to feel safe in the knowledge that your neighbors know you and value that communion: That is priceless.
So I bought a house I didn’t need. But one that this neighborhood needs to preserve itself.
To have the means (by a thread) to do such a thing … who knew?
I feel good.