Today I realized I am needlessly adding stress to my life. Calling all of these people, setting up these appointments, witnessing these empty rooms full of potential, seeing the prices that keep me from living my life within them, feeling the tightness in my chest that wrestles me to bed when I return home, aching from the burning ember at the end of a stick of cancer to calm my nerves, and realizing all of this is peeling away hours of my life and stealing my time from being spent on better things. This horrible cycle of hunting and failing has lead me to the realization that I don't need hardwood floors and exposed brick right now. I don't need to live above the bar scene. I don't need to pack up all my things just to never leave the apartment again because I've made myself house poor due to some other's opinion. I need to be me in my own little corner of this skyscraper I call home.
For eight months, someone tried to convince me I shouldn't be living in this building because it didn't align with their notion of what's popular and desired. While I agree that the historic buildings that flaunt their past (aesthetically) are amazing, I don't think it's necessary to break myself in order to live within them when I have a perfectly wonderful space as is. Of course I wish my building bore the same furnishings it once had, but that doesn't make its current status historically invalid. Did Music Hall always have dry wall and carpet? Did Union Terminal always lack a main concourse? You can love a historic thing for still existing even if it has been updated from its original look.
I moved to my ninth story, southern-facing apartment near the top of the old Broadway Hotel (1926, Fourth and Broadway version) two years ago for a reason. This is my tower. Yes, renovations over the years have modernized it to the point where very little of its original character still remains inside, but I don't need to see it every day to know it's there. I've been to the basement of this building and I've seen the old wooden meat cooler that held the ingredients for luxurious meals for staying guests. I've seen the coal pit and massive pitch black boiler room that once roared with steam and heat to keep everyone above warm. I've seen the dimly-lit winding corridors snaking underneath the northwest corner of fourth street as well as the dusty rooftop freight elevator controls from the roaring twenties. This building was built the year before the the E.F. Albee Theatre. Almost ninety years of history rests within these walls even though it's not obvious to the naked eye. And two years of my history exist here now. I am inherently part of its story. And, quite frankly, I don't think many residents who've come in and out of these doors know how old it is or even care. But I care about it because this place is home and someone needs to love the old Broadway Hotel. It's the underdog of East Fourth and I am its biggest fan.
So here I sit blogging about why I'm staying in my apartment in this glorious, understated little building that everyone overlooks. It's quiet and I'm cozy in my room at my desk. In two weeks I'll be laying in bed watching the fireworks from the river as people in cars nine stories below get frustrated in traffic. I'll take a short walk down to the Taft Museum on a Sunday with my coffee to admire the Dutch Baroque. I'll walk to work every day and come home for lunch like I have done the last two years. I'll walk a block to a Red Bike station and come home the same way. I'll have my little safe corner in the middle of the city where I can retreat when I'm finished exploring. I'll have my old Broadway Hotel, now called Lytle Tower, to love because it has been so good to me these last couple of years.
I'm really glad all of this became so clear to me earlier today. I don't have to work myself up about moving anymore and I get to stay in a nice place. I'm happy here on the 9th floor. Cheers to another year, Broadway.