Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ten years and two books

The picture above was taken one Memorial Day weekend when the two moves that followed (to Harlem and then back to Brooklyn) were not even a whisper.

This first terrace, in the Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, a dozen blocks north of where we live now, was a sweet, quiet and private place. There are many things we miss about it, like the top floor sense of isolation, being able to see the sun and moon rise in the east, and the quick access to the roof and its wide, big sky horizons. Measuring those exact 66 square feet, this (lack of) space transformed my life. And the cat you see there, Don Estorbo, had a lot to do with it, too. He started his irascible blog a few months before I did. That gave me the idea to write this one: it will be ten years old, this June. The blog led to many good things. New and lasting friendships, writing for a living, the discovery of the Frenchman, all the way on Canada's British Columbian coast, and my first book.

So over on Instagram (@66squarefeet), for this little anniversary, I am giving away two copies of the book that this terrace inspired: 66 Square Feet - A Delicious Life. Please follow that link if you'd like to enter the random draw. The deadline is Wednesday the 31st, 11PM, EST.

We now live in Carroll Gardens with about 1,000 square feet of garden - a fantastic luxury in a city like New York. We can move without bumping into things. I can grow more than token crops, at last. Eight rows of potatoes, rather than one pot. I can experiment with the wild plants that I like to forage. And our crazily weathered salvaged oak table, built just for this space, never runs out of surface area, like that little stone table above, which I now use as a potting bench.

We have learned things with each move. We have lost. We have gained. I miss aspects of each place we have lived. Just as I was happy to leave elements of each. I will write more about it, one day.


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