Sunday, May 20, 2018

The end of the East Village

We are packing up and moving out of 315 E 5th Street. This marks the end of almost 11 years living in the East Village. We moved to the East Village after just 1 year on the upper west side, which I moved into because a friend gave me her fully-furnished, rent stabilized apartment. I didn't plan on leaving after just one year, but once the move was on, we started looking all over town. I didn't think the East Village was affordable, but Jon showed me that it really was. If you were already going to pay 1,400, 1,500 for an apartment, why not spend just a few hundred more to live where you wanted to? I had to adjust to the mentality of not looking for just the cheapest possible place.

After two years on E 6th St in a 2nd-floor walk-up studio apartment, where the only room with a door was the bathroom, we found a great 1-bedroom with the same realty company just one block away, 315 E 5th. Equidistant to 4 different train lines, it nicely connected the East Village to almost anywhere you wanted to go, plus situated on a quiet block between 2nd and 1st ave. Also, with an elevator and laundry in the basement. It was heaven. Living here gave me walking distance to everywhere I wanted to be like Cafe Mogador, Sidewalk Cafe, Mercury Lounge, Sunshine Cinema and the Angelika, the KGB Bar and Kraine Theater and all the places I didn't know yet but then discovered, some of which are gone, like St. Mark's Bookstore where Margarita would always pay me in cash for sold zines even though I was sure I was being over paid. I even had the WNHP Greatest Hits reading at St. Mark's. I felt like a literary star.

Living in the East Village allowed me to do community things I may not have done if I didn't live here, like volunteer as the zine buyer at Bluestockings Bookstore (10 min walk), take up acting with Middle Players Community Actors (5 min walk), join East Yoga with Lu and meet instructor Rian Bodner and rediscover yoga and my body. I've enjoyed biking around the hood, sometimes not leaving the area all weekend. Biking over the Williamsburg bridge was just far enough to be a safe adventure.

We have done a lot with an apartment this size. On the one hand, you fight less, because there is no where to go and sulk. I had enough room to have a crafting table in the hallway/kitchen for when I was an active clock maker and craft fair and Etsy seller. We have hosted small parties and game nights, had a few friends on the living room floor. We love the East Village and while I am looking forward to owning, to a larger apartment that we can design, I am going to miss the neighborhood and the history terribly. It's been fun to go through books and things while packing and moving.