Part One: Places I Am Contemplating Living In New York. Part Two: Minimizing My Already Minimal Life.


Part One:

The first time I lived in New York, I resided in Manhattan on 65th Street, between Madison and 5th Avenues. My partner and I were extremely fortunate to have found a studio apartment on the Upper East Side that we could afford. However, back then (in the 70's and 80's) $295.00 per month was considered steep. Yet, I laugh at that price now because studio apartment rentals have tripled TWICE since then.

Yes, rent in New York City is high. But if you search carefully (as I've been doing over the past 3 months), you can still find affordable studio apartment rentals. I pay a pretty hefty amount for my studio apartment here in Philadelphia, and the prices I've been seeing in New York are not that much higher. So I feel confident that I'll find something I can afford. Plus, I'll be getting paid more in New York.

I would love to live in Manhattan again, however, if that doesn't happen, I have no problem living in one of the outside boroughs; commuting to work. And depending on where I decide to live, the boroughs often give a better view of Manhattan because you can see if from across the river, which looks stunning at night.

Listed below are four areas that I am contemplating living in New York. Two are in Manhattan, and two are in the outer boroughs. In case you're interested, I've included a link below each location that will give you an idea how each place looks and feels, and what it offers.


Washington Heights (Upper Manhattan)


Harlem (Upper Manhattan)




Part Two:

For as long as I can remember, my natural instinct has been to live a minimalistic life. Which is why I can live (and live comfortably) in a studio apartment with one closet. I don't like excess or clutter. I am very much like a cat, I'm fastidious and can adapt quickly to small spaces. In fact, I prefer smaller spaces because a studio apartment allows me to observe my space in a single glance. And I like that.

Since deciding to move back to New York last year, I've been slowly going through my apartment each month, minimizing my already minimalistic life; slicing things down so that I have as little as possible to transport. And what's funny is that for my minimalistic lifestyle, I have found a lot more things that I can minimize before I move. Such as: my collection of DVD movies; old theater programs, scripts, and newspaper reviews of plays and musicals I was in; boxes of old photographs. You see, I'm a sucker for memorabilia, so if there is anything I'm guilty of it's holding on to good memories. Yet over the past several years, I've learned that I don't need to hang on to physical memorabilia because those memories are always with me; etched within my mind and soul. Therefore, I've been shedding a great deal of my memorabilia and it feels absolutely liberating. Every time I slice something away, I feel more buoyant.

I've been sharing my DVD movies with others; giving away many to those who wish to have them.

I've tossed all my old theater programs, scripts, and newspaper reviews in the trash because there is literally no reason for me to keep them anymore, other than to look back and reminisce. Been there, done that.

I think the hardest thing for me to get rid of were the old photographs I've been keeping for years and years and years. Now mind you, I didn't get rid of them all, but rather took my time in selecting a certain amount that were special. Again, I don't need all those photographs from my childhood, my family, my school years, etc., to remind me of those good times because they will always be in my heart, as energy.

This move to New York represents so much more to me than just a move.

It's symbolic of where I'm at in my life.

Change. Adventure. Trusting. Letting go.

And simplicity.

Which frees me to focus on, the now.


Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
X

32 comments

  1. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comMay 03, 2018

    I so admire you and your slicing away of the unnecessary! I know when we moved, we got rid of a lot of things and it felt good.

    All those neighbourhoods look great! I usually stay in New Jersey when I visit - the views over the water to Manhattan are great.

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  2. Valerie DaggattMay 04, 2018

    I feel your excitement, Ron. For a very different reason I have been sorting out my memorabilia, got rid of some and restored most. I decided not to chuck any more away since the memory might fail and I might need reminders. In my case I can happily leave the sorting to someone else...haha.

    Love the pictures, if I had to choose the best I would be lost to decide. Both areas look pretty good to me and I like the buildings. Where I live the powers that be have turned everything into cheap looking buildings that have no attraction at all. And to prove it, a lot of them are collapsing. Now you know why I love New York.

    Good luck to you in your final decision, my friend.

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  3. Wow. From an architecture standpoint, Harlem and Brooklyn look very unique and interesting. It would be hard to beat the city view from Queens. I'm sure you'll be able to "feel" the right place once you begin visiting rental property. I've been called a lot of names, but Minimalist has not been one of them!! If fact, when Entrepreneur mentions the D-word (downsizing), I tend to break out in a cold sweat. :-) I've scanned and are keeping a lot of old photographs digitally....but also have quite a few in albums tucked away safely in the basement. My kids are going to scream when they have to go through all my stuff after I'm gone! Good to see you moving forward with your goals and dreams. Hope you have a fantastic weekend.

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  4. Such beautiful photos of each area! I hope you post some more shots on your search. I fondly remember visiting my husband (boyfriend back then) when he lived in Sunset Park, Brooklyn in 1984-85. There's definitely great energy everywhere you go there!

    So hard to throw out memorabilia, but I get it! I've been purging photos recently, because my kids don't want a million pictures of themselves or of me! Lol!

    Thanks for keeping us updated, Ron!

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  5. Wonderful post, sir. I think personally I'd be drawn to Brooklyn the most. Maybe that's due to my fascination with Saturday Night Fever, lol. I'm sure wherever you end up you will be happy, because NYC is totally your destiny.

    If you're like a cat, does that mean you have nine lives?!

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  6. Ron, I'm so excited for you! What a wonderful life change you're embracing by paring down your stuff and prepping for relocation to your dream city! I know you'll choose the right area to live in, too; it seems as though you've already done your homework and have narrowed down the options. NYC is far too big for me, but I think you can handle it just fine, and I'm looking forward to sharing your journey vicariously.

    It's funny that I, too, am paring down my "stuff." I spent two full days earlier this week going though huge boxes stored in a shed, and I've managed to toss a LOT. I'm keeping house-setup items like dishes, silverware, glasses, and so forth, but throwing out scrapbooks, Domer's baby things, college books, etc. Something I heard recently struck a chord with me, and maybe it will for you -- "The head might forget, but the heart always remembers." So even when we get old, our memories are things nobody can ever take from us, as we'll *feel* them forever!

    Have a splendid weekend! xo

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  7. Hey there Fiona!

    " I know when we moved, we got rid of a lot of things and it felt good."

    Isn't that the greatest feeling?

    I was in my early 30's when I first started the process of slicing away the unnecessary things in my life during an apartment move and was struggling with what items to keep and what items to get rid of. It was then that I began to realize that I didn't need "all this stuff" in my life. And now at this point in my life and my move to NYC, I feel the desire to slice away even more.

    "I usually stay in New Jersey when I visit - the views over the water to Manhattan are great."

    OMG...you are so right about that! I love the view of Manhattan (especially Lower Manhattan) via Hoboken, New Jersey. GORGEOUS view!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a lovely weekend!
    X

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  8. Hello there Valerie!

    "I decided not to chuck any more away since the memory might fail and I might need reminders. In my case I can happily leave the sorting to someone else...haha."

    HAHAHAHAHA! OMG, I loved that! And I know what you mean because as I've gotten older, I too have been getting more forgetful. Yet, doesn't it feel GREAT to sort out memorabilia, keeping some, and getting rid of others? I've been doing this since last year, when I made the decision to move because I didn't want to wait until the last moment.

    I know what you mean. The buildings in New York (Manhattan and also the boroughs) are so attractive because of how old they are. The architecture there has such a wonderful, historical "feel" to it. New York has such a wonderful blend of old mixed with new, and I really like that.

    I'm planning a week away at the end of May and part of June to go into New York City to check out these areas. I will definitely be sharing pictures and my decision with you guys!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Wishing you a lovely weekend!

    X

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  9. Hey there Lisa!

    "I'm sure you'll be able to "feel" the right place once you begin visiting rental property."

    Yes, you are so right about that. Which is why I'm planning a trip into New York the end of May, beginning of June to check out locations and apartments. And for some reason, I have a positive feeling that I'll find the exact place to live, both financially and aesthetically. I'll be sharing pictures with you all once I decide.

    ". I've been called a lot of names, but Minimalist has not been one of them!! If fact, when Entrepreneur mentions the D-word (downsizing), I tend to break out in a cold sweat. :-)"

    HAHAHAHAHA! OMG...that made me laugh out loud. Too funny!

    "I've scanned and are keeping a lot of old photographs digitally....but also have quite a few in albums tucked away safely in the basement."

    Yes, someone at work suggested the same thing, but I honestly didn't want to take the time do that. As I shared, I didn't get rid of all my photographs. I kept just enough that I could store in a portfolio that I could take with me on my move.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a gorgeous weekend!

    X

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  10. " I hope you post some more shots on your search."

    OMG yes, most definitely! In fact, I'm taking a whole off at the end of May; beginning of June, to go into NYC for several days to check out locations and apartments. So I'll be taking photographs to share with you guys on my blog.

    "he lived in Sunset Park, Brooklyn in 1984-85. There's definitely great energy everywhere you go there!"

    Ironic you mentioned Sunset Park, Brooklyn because someone suggested that area to check out. I have some other locations to check out in Brooklyn as well Also, Queens. Both places, depending upon where I live, are an easy commute into Manhattan, where I'll be working.

    "So hard to throw out memorabilia, but I get it! I've been purging photos recently, because my kids don't want a million pictures of themselves or of me! Lol!"

    Yes, you're right..it IS hard. Which is why I started last year to do this, so that I could take my time deciding which photos to keep and which to toss. I decided to only take the ones that I could fit into a portfolio.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a flawless weekend!
    X

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  11. "I think personally I'd be drawn to Brooklyn the most. Maybe that's due to my fascination with Saturday Night Fever, lol. "

    HAHAHHAHAHA! OMG Mark, it's so IRONIC you mentioned Saturday Night Fever because I was talking with several fellow-workers the other day and mentioned THAT movie and John Travolta, I kid you not! Funny too because I was living in New York City when that movie was filmed in Brooklyn!

    And you're right...NYC is totally my destiny, so I feel that everything will happen EXACTLY as it should and that everything will fall into place.

    "If you're like a cat, does that mean you have nine lives?!"

    HA! Yes...hopefully!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a most excellent weekend!

    X to you and Tara

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  12. Aw....thank you, Debbie! I can't believe that my move is only FOUR months away. Last year flew by so fast!

    "I know you'll choose the right area to live in, too; it seems as though you've already done your homework and have narrowed down the options."

    Yes, I've been slowly taking steps throughout the past year so that I wouldn't have to wait until the last moment to decide everything. I'm taking a week off at the end of May, beginning of June to go into NYC for several days to check out locations and apartments. And I'll be sharing about that on my blog with you guys and gals in future posts, so stay tuned!

    " this week going though huge boxes stored in a shed, and I've managed to toss a LOT. I'm keeping house-setup items like dishes, silverware, glasses, and so forth, but throwing out scrapbooks, Domer's baby things, college books, etc."

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay....good for you! And doesn't that feel fantastic? It makes you feel lighter and less attached to "things" because all the memories remain deep inside you. You don't need all the scrapbooks and pictures.

    "The head might forget, but the heart always remembers." So even when we get old, our memories are things nobody can ever take from us, as we'll *feel* them forever!"

    *clapping and cheering*

    OMG... LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that, Debbie!!!!!! And I can't thank you enough for sharing that great piece of inspiration!

    Have a super week, my friend. And thanks a bunch for stopping by!

    X

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  13. What an inspiration you are, Ron! I love your outlook on things about life because they make total sense. I used to be a huge hoarder but that all changed many years ago after I got divorced and had to decide what I wanted to keep and let go of. Part of me wanted to keep it all but another part want to be done with it. I learned a lot from that experience.

    I am so looking forward to your move to New York. I hope you share the process with us because I feel like I'll learn something from it.

    Have a great weekend!

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  14. Thank you, Candice :)

    Isn't something how life experiences teach us so much about how to view life with a totally different perspective?

    And isn't is something how the highs and lows of life teach us about what's important and what is not? When I was much younger, I used to want to hold on to everything because I thought they held on to the memories. Later though, I realized that the memories are not within the objects, but rather the essence which remains in our hearts forever.

    Yes, I will be sharing my move to NYC throughout the next four months. I'm taking a week off at the end of May and the beginning of June to go into NYC to check out locations and apartments. I'll definitely be sharing photos too!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have wonderful weekend!
    X

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  15. I'm pretty good at de-cluttering, but was looking the other day at all my old memorabilia and wondering why I still have it. It feels like it's the only proof I have that I did these things, but who am I trying to impress? Weird.

    My other weakness is clothes and caps. I do sell them but then replace them with more.

    Harlem looks very atmospheric.

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  16. Hey there Joe!

    ",,,but was looking the other day at all my old memorabilia and wondering why I still have it. It feels like it's the only proof I have that I did these things, but who am I trying to impress? Weird."

    You're right, and I know exactly how you feel because I felt the same way. Keeping old memorabilia does feel the only proof that we did those things. Yet, I got to a point in my life where I finally said to myself, "Why do I have to hold to these things? I "experienced" them; therefore, the memories will be me forever, I don't "the things" to keep them a live."

    Doesn't Harlem look so cool? It's an area in NYC that has changed a lot since I lived there. That's one of the things I love about NYC, it knows how to revive and reinvent itself, and prosper.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you're having a great weekend!

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  17. Ron, I am so excited about your move to New York!!!! Being a native myself (born on Long Island) I'm familiar with Brooklyn and Queens, both of which I love because I have family there. I hear that Harlem made a complete turnaround since I moved and that's it's really nice and still affordable. I'm sure you'll find the perfect apartment with a good price because you're destine to be there again.

    Your post inspires me, I so NEED to start minimizing my life and all the unnecessary stuff. I same everything! " Therefore, I've been shedding a great deal of my memorabilia and it feels absolutely liberating. Every time I slice something away, I feel more buoyant." That's the way I want to be and feel, liberated and buoyant.

    Be sure to keeps us posted on your search for a place in New York. The best to you, Ron!X

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  18. Hola Denise!

    Aw...thank you, girl! I'm getting soooooo excited too. I can't believe it's only FOUR months away. I have a feeling this summer will fly by in my preparations to move. I'm going to take the last week of May into the first week of June off and go into NYC to check out living locations. I will be doing this in two parts. Once now, and then again in July. Yes, I have a feeling everything is going to work out fine and that I'll find an affordable apartment in an area I like. I feel very positive about this move.

    " I hear that Harlem made a complete turnaround since I moved and that's it's really nice and still affordable. "

    You're right, it's has changed. Especially since I lived in New York, back in the late 70's-80's.

    I used to collect a lot too. But back in the late 80's I started changing my outlook on saving stuff. At one point I had BOXES of memorabilia that I just couldn't take with me when I moved from one apartment to another in Florida. I simply had to get rid of stuff.

    Yes, I'll be keeping everyone updated throughout the next four months on my progress.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you had a fantabulous weekend!
    X

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  19. I can literally feel how excited you are about this change/move, Ron. And I'm excited FOR you! I don't know much about New York, so I'm not family with these areas. I did check out the links and each placed had it's own unique appeal. I always hear people talk about Brooklyn and how nice it is. How far is it from Manhattan?

    I'm with you, I don't like clutter and I like my living space to be minimal. My girlfriend says I'm OCD because I'm a clean freak. I kid her about eventually having separate bathrooms because she has too much crap spread out all over the place. I like things neat. She's more of a collector than I am. My feeling has always been that the less I have, the less I have to take care of.

    Good luck finding a place in New York, dude! Keep us updated.

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  20. Hey there Matt!

    You're right, I AM excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Depending upon where you live in Brooklyn, it could take anywhere from 30-45 minute subway commute into Manhattan. And that also depends on what store location I'll be working at. I'll be figuring that all out within the next several months.

    " My girlfriend says I'm OCD because I'm a clean freak."

    I'm OCD too. I'm like Joan Crawford in Mommy Dearest - HAHAHAHA!!!! I like things to be kept neatly organized and clean.

    "My feeling has always been that the less I have, the less I have to take care of."

    A-MEN! My sentiments exactly!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. I'll be updating you guys throughout the next several months on my moving progress. Have a super week!
    X

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  21. Rob LenihanMay 08, 2018

    Wow, Ron, what an inspiring post! I love how you're trimming away all the excess stuff in your life and becoming more buoyant. You're stronger than I am to be able to toss those items, but I love the idea of letting go!

    As far your new home, obviously I'd love to see you in Brooklyn--and Bay Ridge, to be exact!--but I know you will be a great choice and be very happy wherever you end up.

    Keep on slicing, keep on believing, and keep on truckin'!

    Take care, buddy!

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  22. Oh Ron, being a native New Yorker who was born in Brooklyn, I say MOVE TO BROOKLYN, you'll love it! It's changed so much over the years, but around the time we moved, Brooklyn was at its peak of everyone wanting to move there because it was less expensive than Manhattan. I still have family there and enjoy visiting. My husband and I sometimes think about moving back because like you, we am so over Philadelphia. We moved here for a my husbands job, but he's retired now so we really have no other reason to live here.

    When we moved from NY to Philly, my husband and I drastically streamlined our life because we moved to a smaller home and didn't want the clutter. I applaud you for slicing away all the things that are not necessary in your life because it's not an easy thing to do, part with memorabilia. You're right though, we don't the "things" to remind us of the memories because they will always been within our heart.

    Inspiring post, Ron! I can't wait to read more about your return to New York these next several months. I'm so excited for you. xo

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  23. Hey there, Rob!

    It's so funny that you mentioned Bay Ridge, Brooklyn because on one of the apartment websites I'm using to find an apartment in New York, suggested Bay Ridge as one of the areas. I will be taking the last week of May into June off to come into NYC to check out areas, so if I find a potential apartment in Brooklyn, I will contact you before I go so that we can meet up for coffee or lunch.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and for your support, buddy! Have a great rest of your week!

    X

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  24. Hellooooooooo Elaine!

    You are soooooooo right, over the years Brooklyn has become a popular alternative to living in Manhattan because of the prices. However, even Brooklyn has gotten expensive. What I love about Brooklyn and Queens is that they are not far from Manhattan, so I'll be able to take a subway into work. And it might be nice to not actually live in the city all the time, but instead get a break by living outside in one of the boroughs.

    "My husband and I sometimes think about moving back because like you, we are over Philadelphia."

    OMG, I've been OVER Philly for YEARS and YEARS, so I CAN'T WAIT to move back to New York. Oy vey...I am so looking forward to it.

    I started de-cluttering stuff in my apartment last year when I first decided to make the move. Each month I've been letting go of more and more stuff so that I didn't have to wait until the last minute. I want as little to pack as possible when I move in Sept.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, neighbor. Yup, I'll be sure to keep you all updated of my move over the summer.

    Have a FAB rest of your week!
    X

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  25. i'd be so torn between harlem and brooklyn. and 295 for rent, that's now the monthly parking fee. i can't wait for you to move. totally excited for you. congrats.

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  26. "and 295 for rent, that's now the monthly parking fee. "

    HAHAHAHAHA! You said it, Val, that's the price of the monthly parking fee. Looking back, $295.00 sounded like a FORTUNE, can you believe that?

    Yes, Harlem and/or Brooklyn, I agree. But I'm also going to check out Queens because it's the closest to the city and parts of it are still affordable. I'll be going into NYC at the end of the month to check out locations.

    And hey, once I move, you can come into the city and we can hang out and walk all over the place.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have a FAB rest of your week!
    X

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  27. Ron, I haven't known you very long, but I can tell from the posts you've shared about New York that you have such a passion for the city because I can hear it in your voice whenever you speak of it. I've been to Manhattan only a few times, and really enjoyed it. I don't know if I could ever live there but it has such magnificent energy that I can understand why someone would want to live there.

    I admire you for your minimal lifestyle because I wish I could be that way. I'm such a hoarder and hate to part with things LOL

    I wish you the best in your journey back to your favorite city.

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  28. Ron, I have confidence that you'll find the perfect apartment when it's time. You are DESTINE to live there!

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  29. Aw...thank you, Matt!

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  30. Hey there Daniel!

    Ever since visiting New York City when I was only 14 year ago, I knew I was meant to live there. When I first lived there I was very young. Now that I'm older, I appreciate that city even more now than I did then. New York is truly my "soul city" because I feel it in my soul.

    "I don't know if I could ever live there but it has such magnificent energy that I can understand why someone would want to live there."

    Yes, and as much I love NYC, I completely understand that it's not for everyone. And as you said, it's that magnificent energy that feels so simpatico with my heart.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a super rest of your week!

    X

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  31. Hi Ron! I'm excited for you. So much to think about and do. Having just seen a small sample of photos from your preferred areas, all I can say is that they all look good. You got a tough decision to make.

    A suggestion for your photos. Scan them! I bought a cheap photo scanner somewhere, and scanned every one that I wanted to keep. Then I threw them all away.

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  32. Aw...thank you, Pat! You're right, I have much to think about and do over the next three months. I'll be taking time off at the end of this month through June to go into NYC and check out various locations to live. I'm one of those people who can kind of "sense" what area will be a good place to live once I get there and "feel" it.

    Yes, other people have suggested scanning my photos as well. I have an HP printer/scanner, so I may do that. I already threw out a ton of photographs that I had doubles of, but other I will keep.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a GREAT rest of your weekend!

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