Last November, Andrew and I had decided that we were ready to make a home together and eager to ditch the commute from DUMBO to midtown east. I, still living in my mom’s apartment on Sutton Place felt super excited to make the move to Brooklyn, where all the young and cool seemed to be, especially the young. Wide eyed, we began our apartment search that only the New York City real estate market could crush to the brink of hopelessness (if only for 30-45 days).
December rolled around and as we now alternate major holidays, we were with his folks’ in southwest Missouri for Christmas. Despite our lack of apartment, we hit the flea markets and furniture stores of downtown Springfield and the foothills of the Ozarks. His parents kindly and patiently towed us from market to market as we set out to create that old farmhouse feeling with a touch of modern, sailing enthusiast and a dash of equestrian in our future abode.
There were amazing large wagon wheels and canoes turned bookcases, reclaimed barn wood everything, as well as, with many flea markets, unreclaimable junk.
It was our second to last day before heading back to the east coast to celebrate New Year’s in Connecticut and at this point, we had accumulated a few large items that American Airlines would unlikely let us tote back. Walking through the one-time meth station turned hip and up-and-coming downtown Springfield (think meat packing when the hookers had just packed up), we discovered Grayson Home. It is a gorgeous furniture store with grand old farmhouse pieces from large armoires to Danish-modern sofas. It smelled pleasantly of artisan candles and Clive Gray, the owner couldn’t have been kinder and more welcoming. This is when we found our dining table, a seven foot long and 100 or so year-old barn door converted into our dream table. This table has character, scratches paint splats; it’s rustic — and we must be crazy as we live on a budget in New York City — not exactly the definition of dining space.
We eyed it, ooh’d and awed but went home that night with an empty car. Not that this thing would have fit in our car.
That night, I said to Andrew, “let’s cancel our flights, rent a truck and drive all of this stuff and that amazing table back to New York, we can leave it in the shed at my mom’s place!” His response was, “you’re crazy.” After a few hours of back and forth, and begging and even going into my fear of flying, I finally convinced him.
The next morning we picked up a 12′ Penske and drove to Grayson’s. Mr. Gray chuckled as we noted that we just wanted to look at it again. He knew there was no way we were leaving without this thing.
We loaded the truck along with the table and all the other items accumulated and stowed in his parents’ garage and set out. For three days straight we (Andrew) inched us closer to Long Island. I’ve never really driven west of Southampton and wasn’t about to start on I-70.
Three days and I don’t remember how many chapters of Game of Thrones’ audio book later we reached Amagansett.
One month, 30+ apt. showings, and one lucky Craig’s list post later, we found our garden apartment in a 1860s Cobble Hill brownstone, perfectly befitting to (and able to fit) our table.