The world is a small, weird little place. My recent evidence for this involves the “Top Secret” note I mentioned leaving for the new tenants at the original Manhattan Nest apartment a couple weeks ago. Mostly I thought—if these people were anything like me—they’d have fun stumbling upon some covert correspondence from the previous occupant of their new home. Like a midnight visit from a ghost or receiving an email from a wealthy Nigerian prince in desperate need of an overseas bank account, something about it would make them feel special. Chosen.
So, while sitting on the subway from Brooklyn during my final commute to my old apartment, I scribed such a letter. It divulged information about the blog, about me, a few helpful hints about the neighborhood (you know, where to buy wine and tools, the important stuff). Things like that. Then Vincenzo was all up in my space when I got there, and I panicked. Could I actually leave this note, single-handedly planting such self-incriminating evidence? What if it fell into the wrong hands? Maybe it would never make it past Vincenzo’s final cleaning, if he performed one, and they’d never even know? Or even if they did find it, would they care? Maybe they would think I was crazy? Maybe I am crazy?
Eventually, I decided the potential benefits (funsies!) outweighed the potential risks (loss of security deposit, intense, lasting shame), took a deep breath and stashed it in the bottom the wardrobe, pressed up against the back, where you’d have to be down on the floor and practically have your face planted to the ground to ever notice it there. It looked like this, because I never mastered block lettering in 3rd grade.
Then, just a week or so later, I got this in my e-mail. And oh did I get excited.
So, while trying to cram everything I own into one very tall yet not all that efficient closet I found your “Top Secret” letter. I must say this was a very welcome surprise, as was reading your blog, since I had many unanswered questions & I was about to embark on a journey to seek you out. That may sound strange so let me explain…
As I’m sure you know my roommate found your apartment on craigslist & we were the first people to view it a mere 24 hours after it hit the market. She fell in love immediately and put in an application before I was able to return from Boston to see the place. She assured me it was everything I’d ever wanted in an apartment, the perfect combination of pre-war character and modern aesthetics. I’ll admit I was a touch wary. She’s in finance and has a passion for saving money while I’m a designer who has a love affair with all things shiny, pretty & aesthetic pleasing…and naturally a flair for spending ridiculous amounts of money on said “pretty things.” But I was at the end of my rope with apartment searching (I was traumatized when a bird that flew directly into my face at our last apartment viewing) and decided the hell with it, jumped back on the bus to NYC and hightailed it to the Upper East Side to see this “dream apartment.”
You had me at the orange glow light.
The bright kitchen paired with that orange glow blinded me; did I see the outdated appliances? Nope. Was I fazed by the lack of a dishwasher, the Formica cabinets or the odd coloring to the kitchen counter? No. No. No. I was indeed blinded by love at first light.
And then on to the bathroom…ohhh the bathroom! That tile floor & that navy paint, and my god… that shower head! Again… did I see the peachy tinted tile on the wall? Nope. Was I bothered by the fact that you step out of the shower and on to the toilet where toweling off becomes an exercise in body contortion? Absolutely not.
This apartment was everything our Stuytown apartment wasn’t and we hadn’t even made it to the living room yet. The lighting! The windows! The doors! OH MY! My roommate was right! This place was a dream come true. Except that’s where the fairy tale ends…
Alas! Where did my orange glow light go!? (Okay, okay I’ll admit I knew the lighting was too good to be true..but a girl can dream can’t she!?) Where are the blinds!? Ohhh and the beautiful coverings on the glass doors… what is this!? Where am I! Those beautiful windows… did they always look out over brick buildings and neighbors bedrooms?! This cannot be the apartment I saw before; everything I’d fallen In love with is gone! Ripped from my grasp in one fell swoop.
I cried… I mourned… I tried to apply window film. And then I found your “top secret note” and finally all was right in the world again (well not quiet. but I knew things were at least turning around). I had in my sweaty, sticky hands (window film is indeed a bitch) the guide to (re)creating my dream apartment & also the story to where that damn showerhead went. Not only should Vincenzo pay you for single-handedly creating a masterpiece out of a mediocre apartment and renting it out in less than 24 hours flat, he should also pay me for all the work that I have to do to recreate what you accomplished. Who knew such a little tiny Italian man could destroy a masterpiece in a matter of a month? Had I known, I would have intervened…at very least petitioned to save the coverings on the door (to everyone who asked about our new apartment I said… “Ohh! Just wait till you see the doors!”).
So sorry for this longwinded note but I thought you should know how much we adored your apartment, so much so that we were blinded by all the fabulous things you did to it that we didn’t really see much else, such as the need for insane amounts of storage due to the lack of closets.
We will be using MANY of your tutorials to update our new space (it’s like a dummies guide to our apartment, how cool is that) and we’ll also be doing some DIY projects of our own… starting with an oversized mirror that we’re turning into a chalkboard for the kitchen.
So thanks again for the note, it was such a fun surprise & I’m already obsessed with the blog & will be following all of your amazing adventures in Brooklyn!
If you’re interested I’ll shoot you some photos of the progress we make!
Good luck with your new digs! (the details in the place are to DIE for, can’t wait to see what you do with that insane hallway!!)
Ps. Thanks for the stuff that you did & were able to leave! I love that the blog showed me what the place was like before you moved in… the work you did on the doors & the cabinets is just fabulous.
Isn’t that just, like, SO COOL?! Not only did they find the note, exactly as I hoped, but my apartment now belongs to a totally awesome and sweet designer (check her out over here!) who’s going to take great care of the place.
Allie and I have emailed back and forth a bit and we agreed that this whole thing is just too much fun not to share on the ole bloggy, so hopefully every once in a while I’ll be able to post a little update on what’s happening over at the original apartment we all know and love. I’m totally psyched to see what somebody else with completely different taste will do with the same space, and I’m so glad my old home is in such great hands!