I’m staying in a loft in Dumbo. It’s beautiful and furnished in a midcentury style, just under the Manhattan Bridge that rushes trains over the East River. It’s a dynamic, shifting place. Sometimes the apartment shakes when trains pass.
It reminds me of Hawaii’s Big Island, where I slept in a hotel room built on rocks near the ocean, which shook at night with the waves. I left the balcony door open and let the noise in.
Three weeks ago, I was living in Brooklyn Heights on a street with shops and restaurants. Climbing stairs to a view of roofs and balconies in utter quiet.
I prefer this, the moving and shifting and change in Dumbo, at least right now.
I have a pet again too, am enjoying the company of a small dog who runs to greet me and plays fetch and watches me jump on the trampoline in the apartment (which is amazingly awesome).
I work in my room at a white desk with a painting of a wave on the wall, or in the main loft at a long table that occasionally hosts dinner parties held by my roommate/host.
One of the great joys of my recent nomad-ness has been living with roommates again. It’s forced me out of my comfort zone and into contact with people who have adventurous lives different from my own. It’s made me more productive and imaginative, and I’ve made new friends as I explore new neighborhoods.
It’s like turning New York up to 11 — extending its influence right into my living space, which is usually a haven and a refuge from the noise and motion.
Amid this chaos, I am thriving. I have few belongings. I don’t do housework. I eat well but simply. I minimize everything that’s not waking up and working on interesting problems and learning things. Exploring new places and ideas.
Sometimes I feel scared by all the new things I’m doing. I feel like I’m on a train I don’t really know how to drive, staying on the tracks but pushing the accelerator harder and harder. On purpose.
“How does that feel? Terrifying? Great. Take it from 60 to 80.”
At least for right now, it feels like the right place, at the front of a speeding train, figuring out how things work. It’s what I needed. The purpose of these two years is to do as much as possible, and as many things that scare me as possible.
I remind myself I won’t get stuck if I keep adapting. If one approach doesn’t work, try another. Repeat until satisfied. Keep thinking. And go faster.
In the meantime, there’s a dinner party.