Looking for an apartment was a part-time job. We went most nights after work. To this day I can walk past buildings on the Upper West Side and remember those peeks into other people’s lives –the outsized nude portrait (think Burt Reynolds in Cosmo minus the bear rug and cigar) of one of the two owners of an apartment off Amsterdam, the rooftop kitchen (way out of our price range, not sure how we got in) of a penthouse on 81st , the overstuffed apartment somewhere in the West 80s with a purple mantelpiece and an overdressed toddler, lace poking her chubby chin.
There were two things we wanted. First, that rare commodity almost anywhere in New York–outdoor space. We were thinking, maybe a balcony.
Secondly, I wanted a separate workspace. I was starting to do a surprising amount of freelancing. In those pre-UGC days, advertorials were a fast way to make money–special advertising sections that were essentially stories with little ads slipped in. The New York Times, The New Yorker, Travel & Leisure, The Wall Street Journal. He was doing own freelancing as well. I didn’t want one person working in the bedroom while the other tried to sleep, and I didn’t really want desks in the living room either.
It was looking tough.
And then, globe-trotter that I was back then, while I was on a work trip to somewhere, he saw that little ad in the real estate section of the Times.
The ad that said “Breakfast in the Garden.”
It was a real garden. A full garden.
And, the bedroom had a loft.