Monday, June 11, 2012

Our new (empty) apartment!

This time around, I made sure to obsessively document the “before” state of our new space. I even made a floor plan... at work (the battle of competing interests is truly a fierce one). So here are the “before” photos, working from the front door back to the patio (!!!! Yes, we have outdoor space! *dances around like a giddy freakshow*).




THE ONLY CLOSET (wah-wah):




So there you have it. The bones are really pretty fucking awesome (11’ ceilings, wood floors, clawfoot tub, ginormous windows, aforementioned dreamy outdoor space), but there are definitely some interesting design challenges to tackle.

I really should post some “in progress” shots of how the place looks at this very moment, because the space actually looks pretty perfect when there’s NOTHING IN IT, but once you try to cram all our crap in there, and end up with a bunch of cardboard boxes and errant pieces of furniture strewn about all haphazard and shit, you begin to realize that the almost complete and utter lack of ANY built-in storage whatsoever is a bit of a problem (and don’t try to say “but what about those horrible, looming wardrobe thingies?” - they are going away immediately. Let’s be real here.)

And while the ceilings are soaring and amazing, and we are so lucky to have two small rooms (i.e., a one bedroom) rather than one big one (i.e., a studio), we are essentially working with two 11’ cubes, which presents its own set of challenges (particularly with the railroad layout we’ve got going; you are either sleeping right up against the street and walk immediately into the bedroom through the front door, or you have to walk through the bedroom to get from the living room to the kitchen/bathroom/anything else).


We’ve got some ideas brewing, so I hope to post some potential furniture layout sketches, as well as some incriminating “here’s what we’re working with” in-progress shots to give y’all a little context. Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

She's baaaack...

Guys! Big news! I’ve been embarrassingly quiet for almost a year (eek!) but that’s because SO many changes have been happening! In the last 8 months, I’ve:
  • been 3/4 of the way around the US on a month-long road trip with one of my best friends (chronicled in detail here)
  • moved across the country to San Francisco
  • learned how to ride a bike (!)
  • got a new job in a totally new industry
  • and moved in with my boyfriend (TWICE!)

WHEW! Needless to say, I’ve got a LOT to catch you guys up on.

The road trip was insanely amazing and challenging and invigorating and exhausting all at once, and I am SO happy we got to do it.

Honestly, I don’t really know if anything is more valuable in life than getting to explore the world around you - it truly changes your perspective on things, and instantly gives you something to be grateful for, and, oh god... I am a total cliche, aren’t I?? Whatever, it was epic, and I’d highly recommend the experience to anyone who needs a dose of reality and to learn a little bit about themselves and the world around them.

I’m slowly and steadily falling into a rhythm in my new city of San Francisco - it’s definitely been a challenging transition at times, but the city is pretty damn beautiful and the fact that it’s just teeming with a very familiar breed of smart, liberal, compost-loving, home-brewing, fixie-riding hipsters has made me feel not so very far from Brooklyn after all.

It’s also been a great comfort to finally be back in the same city as my sweet BF Danny (yep, the same one I wrote about four years ago during my semester abroad in Italy - he’s a keeper, what can I say). I did everything you’re not supposed to do: got back together with an ex (we had taken a year off), moved across the country to a new city to be with him, and immediately moved into his SHARED living situation with three other roommates. But amazingly, we’ve come out alive, and after 6 months in that house (!!), we’ve finally gotten ourselves a sweet little 1-bedroom love nest in the adorable Hayes Valley neighborhood in the heart of SF.

We’ve been at our new place for over a month now, and the fact that we still have at least 10 not-yet-unpacked boxes scattered around the apartment, no tables to speak of, and still haven’t quite figured out how to get our internet to work properly is evidence that things are going to be a bit different this time around - turns out working full-time has a way of hindering one’s ability to decorate full-time as well. I want to do both, and it is proving to be impossible. Drat. Where is my Harry Potter time-turner necklace thingie?!?

If I were doing anything else as my main job, I might just say “fuck it, I clearly want to be repurposing flea market furniture, re-arranging rooms, and coming up with wacky color combinations all day long,” and focus on finding a way to make that my career. But my work as a Code for America fellow is ALSO incredibly fulfilling, and at times I actually find myself instead saying “why the hell are you wasting so much time hunting for furniture on Craigslist and running back and forth from the hardware store 3 times per weekend when you have this amazing, limited-time opportunity to fully immerse yourself in this exciting and meaningful new field?”

My job puts me at the intersection of design, technology, and civic innovation, three spaces that I find endlessly interesting. Most of my colleagues are spending every minute of their free time attending tech meetups and conferences, learning new skills, and hacking on tech and design projects over the weekend, and as much as I want to (and feel that I should) do the same, I feel this parallel compulsion to spend every moment of my free time tearing through shelter blogs and scheming my next trip to the local salvage yard.

I do not know how or when this dichotomy will be resolved. For now, I will continue to reimagine government by day, reimagine interiors by night, and will do my darndest to better document the latter on this here blog o’ mine. I”m pretty sure I’ve made that last promise multiple times over the years, so I don’t blame you if you don’t believe me - hell, I only half-believe myself - but I figure saying it out loud (on-screen?) is at least a step in the right direction...?

Oh, and PS - somebody help me come up with a new blog name! Surely I can’t continue to write about living in San Francisco with the title “Another Brooklyn Blog”.... can I? Thoughts welcome.