All four of my apartments in Brooklyn were large single-family homes that had been awkwardly chopped into apartments. In our last apartment in Sunset Park we were on the top floor of what had been a single-family limestone. It was a railroad-style floor-through, probably originally the bedrooms, and when we first moved in we spent at least a week moving the furniture around to every possible configuration trying to figure out what would work best. We ended up trying the bed in all four rooms, every one but the kitchen, before settling on the front room. This shuffling was not stress free.
When we moved to Pittsburgh I expected the same from the duplex we’d rented. But it hasn’t been the same. This is the first apartment I’ve lived in that was built as a small single-family home and remains that way. Upstairs is the master bedroom and a smaller bedroom for the babies. There’s one wall in the master bedroom where our bed would go. Each bedroom has a door that closes, and a closet.
Downstairs there’s a living room that’s clearly a living room, with one spot for a couch, and a dining room off the kitchen. Everything was designed for what we’re using it for.
Out front there’s a porch, out back there’s a porch. Downstairs there’s a basement with a washer and dryer. I still never want to do laundry, but at at least now we don’t have to set aside a day when we’re both here to go to the laundromat.
These are small things, but they make a difference.
Now if we could just make some friends here we’d be all set… But as D said last week, “Every time I start to get nostalgic for Brooklyn, I think of that time I rode the 4 train downtown with my face smooshed up against the door because it was so crowded.”