I’ve found an apartment that I really love.
At first I looked for studios and one bedroom apartments, they were still cheaper than any rent I’d seen anywhere decent to live in New York and lately I’ve really been craving my own place. A kitchen that I want to sit and sip coffee in, a hallway with artwork, and a bathroom that is not relatable to a dorm bathroom in any way.
Then I realized I’m moving to a new city where I don’t speak the language and don’t know anyone and I kind of freaked out. The appointment I had with a realtor about an apartment that required a year lease and proof of income from the last six months, it didn’t help. Plus most of the places just came with a bed or in some cases just a mattress, and sometimes a desk. So I started looking at the rooms/sublets page of Craigslist and after a week of not so great appointments I was about to buy a plane ticket back to the states.
It was raining and I had taken the wrong train and the directions I could’ve sworn I’d put in my day planner were missing. How did I get here? What the fuck am I doing here? Argh. I missed my friends and knowing what street signs said and overhearing conversations.
So after six appointments that ranged from really nice to quite scary looking I ended up at what would be my final meeting. It was in Prenzlaur Berg, lots of coffee shops, cozy restaurants, and a park. The building was 17/18 and the bamboo plant near the door leaned a bit as if it was waiting to see who was coming out. When K answered the door I realized how funny I must look. I was soaked with flakes of snow and my glasses were so fogged I could barely see. He offered me a cappucino. He was much older than I’d thought and in the hallway I noticed a bunch of kids drawings proudly displayed.
view of the kitchen from the window
kitchen from the other side
K is American; he moved here about 9 years ago and has 2 kids, Lucy (pronounced Lootzy) and Leon and his girl friend N runs a company that rents rooms and apartments to students and travelers. The kids are here with him every other week. I would be taking the room across from the bathroom towards the front of the house, currently Ross was living there, another American who’s doing his masters here in German History. He was set to move to another place at the end of February, I would stay in K’s room until then, and K who was going to Italy in two days with N would be gone for a week anyways.
When I told my Sister and my friends, I kind of sort of didn’t mention the kids.
book shelf in the living room
So I’m 24, I consider myself an independent lady, I’ve lived away from home in a number of places and situations. When I imagined my life in Berlin, it was very chic and sophisticated, going to the great parties and dating and being in the know about all those things I’m supposed to be in the know about. I’d throw dinner parties and have minimalist art work on my walls and start wearing heels more often. I’ve met the realization that I’m not this person many times, and I honestly don’t even want to be that person. I like my disheveled collection of post cards and my to do lists and big unflattering sweaters. And even though it is a bit difficult for me to admit to myself and my independent friends: I really like the idea of living in a home that reminds me that there are things bigger than my take on the world.
my room (for now) the one I will be in is bigger and white. I’ll post photos at a later date
For right now, that is seeing kids (although not being responsible for their care) and living with someone who will ask me how my day was and being reminded that not only am I not only a hot 20 something artist but that the rest of the world isn’t either.
So there you have it, my new home, feel free to send me letters and postcards! (just email me and I’ll be happy to give you my address).