No Sleep Till Brooklyn… No Hope For Brooklyn

As of this week, we are back in Brooklyn. Yes, the bitter truth: we are “weekenders” in Upstate New York. In the throes of summer loveliness, it’s hard to remember that living in our home full-time is a fantasy for a future decade. Our reality: we spend summers there, and the rest of the year just weekends and other pockets of time. Alternatively, our lives are lived in a two room (two room not two bedroom) apartment in Brooklyn. Is it any wonder we spin our wheels with projects Upstate? After almost five years, the wonderful old place still feels more like a frat house than a family home.

As for “no sleep” in the title (borrowing from local Brooklyn legends The Beastie Boys), there are two problems: first, our mattress here is terrible. It’s a 15 year-old futon with lumps and bumps, and I just started noticing my head tilts down, even on a pillow. Second, we don’t have outdoor space in Brooklyn, so our Large Breed has to stay inside at night. Upstate he sleeps out, free to roam the yard, and he’s very nocturnal. In Brooklyn, I try to tire him with walks and play so he’ll sleep through the night, but last night he only made it until 3am. Ugh. I refused to endorse his fussing until 6am, and as a result I got no sleep. My day has been quite hazy.

Dod Procter   Morning    1926   Tate Gallery

This lady lounges in a frame above the mantel in our bedroom. I love this painting (though mine is just a print). I love the feeling it evokes. Such a peaceful, rested woman. This is not me, not in Brooklyn.

As for “no hope” in the title: our apartment here is little more than a crash pad, and I am despondent over this fact. I would take pictures as evidence, but it would be too depressing. Suffice it to say, I never imagined living like this. I didn’t always live like this; nor did TBM. Our barely functional existence in this apartment was an evolution, beginning when I moved in and continuing when we bought the house Upstate. When I moved in, it was a matter of combining two households and most of my things went into storage. TBM had a good thing going, a nice bachelor decor based on navy and yellow. I had been living in Manhattan, enamored for a few years with Mary Engelbreit and my apartment had a red kitchen, a mustard yellow love seat, and a duvet cover in the bedroom made from daisy print curtains in yellow, turquoise and chartreuse, rescued from my brother’s “new/old” home undergoing renovations (I still remember my sister-in-law saying: “Oh, those curtains have got to go.” Along with a powder blue bathroom suite which I thought was absolutely fabulous). My city apartment might sound a bit disjointed, but a Boho vintage vibe held it together. As has always been my style, everything in it was reused- thanks, NYC street finds! remade- think curtains-come-duvet; and definitely re-loved. The one thing visitors to my apartment always said was “It’s so cozy!” As decorating compliments go, you can keep your stylish and chic — give me COZY every time.

But cozy… that is not our apartment, not in Brooklyn. This fall, though, I am determined to start making changes and I’ll be charting my progress here. I’m already facing obstacles, namely TBM, who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on this place- a rental- when we have so many needs and wants Upstate. But I know improvements can be made on a shoestring; I’ve done it before, and I am getting a lot of inspiration from blogs I follow where other people are doing the same. Can’t wait to make some changes.

NEWSFLASH: our new mattress will be delivered TOMORROW!

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