Homing

A lot has happened between my latest post and now. I’ve moved into a new home and I’m slowly getting acquainted with it – with the strange sounds from the elevator, how the light changes from white to yellow and pink in the evenings, with new sounds from the street and the sky. It’s an old apartment but we renovated it quite a lot and now I have to face the consequences of my own design decisions – some of them were good, some of them ok, some of them I’ll try to do better next time. It’s like learning to live with a new person, exciting but also a bit unnerving – did I choose the right kind of home, will I miss my old home? Will I learn to love this new home?

Another change has come from the lovely new small person who has come to share the apartment with us. So I’m spending a lot more time in this new home, lazy thoughtful hours in the middle of something that definitely does not look like a glossy magazine interior. Magazines and toys on the floor, dirty dishes and clothes on the tables, wilting lilacs on the window sill, swallows outside screaming that it’s summer again.

Melancholy kitchen
Stairway to heaven

These pictures are from a loft apartment that I visited in New York last summer. That home was wonderful and melancholy at the same time. It was located in Dumbo, in an old factory, upstairs from a working paper recycling company. I visited it on a rainy august day and the sweet smell of paper garbage from downstairs, the hot and humid air inside and the constant roar from Manhattan Bridge right outside the kitchen window made it feel like living inside the ocean. The person actually living there was away and the people living there at the moment were clearly uncomfortable with their temporary home, which is probably why the apartment felt so melancholy. And no doubt, compared to living standards in regular Finnish apartments, this one clearly had its flaws: noisy, hot in the summer, cold in the winter, smelly and strangest of all, totally spontaneous and not following any regulations, that make Finnish apartment houses so predictable and secure. This home was slightly insecure and unpredictable.

And still I understood why it was so easy to fall in love with. The view of Manhattan Bridge just outside the windows with the Manhattan skyline on the other side was spectacular. The loft  had many strange big rooms one after another which could be dedicated freely to living, working, having guests or just waiting for a use to come up. There was a stairway to the roof where you could imagine picnics with friends. Everything was a bit used and rough, so you didn’t have to be too careful. There were small spaces on top of the rooms which created an additional mezzanine world to the apartment. Quite a lot of  space, some discomfort, more space than usual in New York, a lot of unpredictability and also some room for unexpected things to happen.

View from the bathroom
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