BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Thirty years ...

I missed the actual anniversary, which I believe to be the 4th, but this week is the 30th anniversary of my moving into Newberry Plaza. Needless to say, 30 years in one place is a milestone (if for nothing else, being a standard mortgage term), and I'm having all sorts of swirling emotions this week about hitting it. With the economic turmoil that I've been in for the past decade, I frequently worried that we'd have been able to afford to stay here ... so on one hand hitting this is sort of like dragging across a finish line.

This also pretty much nails me as a immovable object, I hear about people who move all the time (heck, before she signed on with me, The Wife moved, as she put it, "when the windows got dirty") and wonder how they manage. Frankly, the only times I'd even thought about moving, it involved the fantasy of major lifestyle changes, like moving to Quito or Cuzco in South America, or winning some monster lottery prize and moving back to Manhattan (where I lived from about ages 2-9 and still has that "home" vibe for me).

Part of me thought this ought to be celebrated somehow, but I wasn't even able to get myself geared up to shoot my own pic of the building for this (the one here's from a real estate site), but, in my defense, I've found the building very hard to shoot, as it has two or three "faces" by which folks know it, the ground level entrance, the tower itself, and the upper plaza, which just can't be captured in one pic, so I went with something "most iconic".

This view is particularly so to me in a "historical" mode, as back when I was drinking (yes, I've been in Newberry long enough that it encompasses my "drinking days", even though I've been "clean & sober" for over 25 years now) I used to joke that if I walked out of my "local bar" (the long-gone Elliot's Nesst on Bellevue) and didn't see my building, I knew I was pointed in the wrong direction ... and this pic is a familiar view from right about there.

Back in 1981 I was working at my Mom's P.R. firm, and (while she did want me out of her place) she didn't want me too far away from the office, and she helped me get set up with a 1-bedroom at Newberry right after the conversion from rental to condo. We officially were supposed to have taken possession on the 1st, but the former renter hadn't quite gotten everything together to move out, so I didn't get in for a few days. I actually moved in dribs and drabs, as my Mom's place was just down the street, so every day I'd load up another few boxes on a hand cart and walk them over. Since I was starting new, there wasn't much furniture involved, and I had stuff delivered there as I bought it. I still have a few pieces left from then, I'd bought a set of glass plates and glasses, of which we have like 2 big plates, 4 small plates and 1 glass surviving.

I was in a 1-bedroom apartment on the 2nd floor (2C) for ten years, with a balcony over-looking Maple St. on the north side of the building. Of course, as you can see from the pic, the apartments don't start until after all the commercial space, so the 2nd floor was more like the 8th, and cleared all the smaller buildings across from it, giving me a very "urban" vista from my living room and balcony (there used to be a billboard a block or so north that was almost like "art" in my place!). I used to have amazing parties in that unit, made all the more popular by being in the heart of "Rush Street".

I eventually got sober and got married. The Wife and I were initially trying to get the mirror-image 1-bedroom next door to mine to do a conversion, but were never able to track down the owners (who kept it as a pied-à-terre for when their company was in town doing shows at McCormick Place). The real estate gal eventually showed us a 3-bedroom that had just been listed, and we put a bid in on that, and got it, moving in sometime in the fall of 1991. The condo market was in a major dip at the time, and, while we were able to sell her apartment, it took quite a while to move mine (and, again, I moved upstairs over about a month, typically taking a bookcase per night, etc.), and we eventually ended up renting it out until taking an offer less than the conversion price on it ... ouch! ... although, of course, we got the new place at similarly depressed rates.

It was only a couple of years later, however, that I had my car crash, and the P.R. firm closed, and I opened my publishing business ... and fortunately I had set up one of the bedrooms as a home office (in which I'm typing this now).

So, anyway ... thirty years. Amazing. "What a long, strange Trip(p) it's been" and all that.

Visit the BTRIPP home page!


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