Thursday, January 14, 2016

Norfolk VA: Happy Second Anniversary

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, COOL CATS! Two years ago on January 15, I departed the great & powerful New York City to launch a new life chapter in Norfolk, VA. The crazy cool Frank Lloyd
Wright-inspired home that beckoned me here offers joy every morning as the sun bursts into my bedroom, while I raise a glass daily to sunsets on the patio.

I’ve planted a hundred bulbs and sunflower seeds. I’ve hung a thousand lights on trees. I relish visits to Home Depot and paying less than $5 for eggs at a huge supermarket. No more quarters to do laundry! I even get to drive a car again. Yeah, being a suburban dwelller is mad fun!! Two years (and counting) of inspiration and bliss.

Adding to the aesthetic at home, I have replaced the HVAC and 18 windows & sliding doors, filled in a decrepit pool, gutted 2 full baths… and this month begin renovating my kitchen with respect for its midcentury modern imprint. I spent 13 years renovating my Brooklyn apartment: Can you tell I love a project?

And there’s more. In November 2014, I began hosting guests here via airbnb. Who knew what a joy (and a boon) that would be, with 200+ folks & families sharing in this space since, providing companionship from all over the world: British, Austrian, South African and Parisian families; brilliant Asian and Indian college students; a black bachelorette party (oh, the stories!); gorgeous weddings; southern evangelicals (true accepting Christians, the way we were raised); and so many individuals from whom I've learned so much. Here, I have perhaps absorbed more diversity—more intimately—than during 18 years in the big city.

My greatest trepidation in leaving NYC was that, as a freelance journalist, the work would cease. As if location matters in today's connected universe. I’m still writing like a madman, continuing to earn a living… but now with a lake view instead of a Brooklyn brick wall. So all’s well that end$ well.

Two years. Life has profoundly changed, for sure. The question I am most often asked: Do you miss New York? Of course I do. But by the time I departed January 15 2014, the NYC that treated me like a king had already deflated. Thankfully, I recognized when it was time to turn the page, instead of trying to hold onto or recreate an era whose time had passed.

This is where I’m supposed to say the best is yet to come, right? Oh, please. I’m 50+ and I’m hardly that naive. How’s about: Today is real good. With another sunset on the patio tomorrow, we’re looking just fine.