Well before the world started to fall apart due to “the Virus”, we had already started seriously planning our escape from the city. This is, we know, neither a new story nor a particularly unique one. But it was our story. If we wanted to be original, perhaps we would have plotted a move to Finland, but we were simply trying to find some greener pastures while maintaining a close proximity to our beloved Brooklyn. We romanticized, like millions before us, a utopian blend of city and country life balance.
Pre-pandemic, this was our idea: downsize to a very inexpensive studio in the city and move the bulk of our life upstate.
But during the pandemic, the idea morphed: Suddenly, a small, cramped studio in New York didn’t seem like a pragmatic decision. In fact, during this period all decision making felt agonizing and nonsensical. The less decisive we were about New York City, the better. After a combined 30 plus years of living in the big, glorious, dirty, chaotic, expensive, creative metropolis of New York City, we started to slowly shed all of our excess belongings in a purge that would ultimately allow us to “reboot” upstate. We weren’t saying goodbye for good. We were just waving goodbye…until we had a better idea what life and the landscape (health, jobs, finances) might look like in a year or so. For the time being we settled upon the less lease restrictive idea of using HotelTonight for essential trips to the city or – even better – couch surfing with willing friends.
We knew we were changing our relationship with the city, but we weren’t sure which form it would take. New York City, I had been dipping my toe into a “country home” for many moons – visiting friend upstate, renting Airbnb’s all over the Hudson Valley, and