[September 1st, 2015]
There was a moment last night, where I was washing the dishes after dinner. Putting the small saucepan away in its spot beneath the kitchen island, I suddenly had a flashback to seeing this piece of furniture for the first time, when the previous tenant of our Wooster St loft was living here.
The first time we saw this place, Aviv and I came with the landlord's realtor and a friend for a viewing. We were totally enthralled by the fact that we were seeing a space on a cobblestone street that we'd always dreamed of living on — but never knew if the opportunity would truly present itself.
When we walked through the door that day, I looked around and thought, Aviv will never go for this place. It was beautifully rustic—just the way I like them—and the furthest thing from that renovated, modern NYC living situation—which is what he always seemed to value in the past.
We started examining the space, walking in and out of the single makeshift room that was the bedroom in the back; and then tiptoed east, through the salon until we reached the windows near the bathroom in the front-right of the space. In the center coming back, I saw the kitchen: another makeshift center-space where the kitchen island stood and the stove and cabinetry surrounding were installed. As funny as it sounds, it was this island that sold me, quite frankly. I stood back and looked at it as if I had been transported into a French country farm house. It was one of those interior design moves that's so special it makes you feel elsewhere; somewhere other than New York City.
It had to be the space with the island, or nothing at all. Is the current tenant willing to sell this piece? We asked. To leave it behind? Turns out the answer was yes.
The kitchen island has two "sections": the tabletop and the bottom shelf. The first time I saw it, I noticed the details of how the current tenant used each section. She placed a very large, wooden bowl full of chestnuts and a handheld nut cracker on the top; and packed the bottom space full of dried health foods: cardboard boxes and closed bags full of pure wheat, oats, and other grains. It reminded me so much of the French house mother I had while studying abroad in Paris. She too used to decorate her kitchen with her health food. And I fell in love with it all: the island, the rustic walls, the whole loft.
We sent our application in that day, and I didn't even have to convince him. Aviv fell in love with it too.
If you look at the island today, we've made use of it a bit differently. In place of the chestnuts, we have a medium sized bowl full of lemons. And instead of the dry-goods on the bottom, that shelf serves as an open air space for all our cooking-ware: pots and pans and the like. Outside of that, this tabletop is also the one from which I write each and every morning, whether for Leaving Wooster or otherwise.
So that's it. There's the flashback. A story for safe-keeping for whomever claims this very special kitchen island next. May you only add even more beautiful memories to its history.