ISO Brooklyn Pied-a-Terre

EMBRACE CHANGE, DON’T BATTLE IT. A fortune cookie said it, so it must be good advice. I like that action verb “embrace.” Not “welcome” change, receptively — no, no, go out and give it a big hug. Reach for it, move toward it, make it happen. That’s what I read this morning, on a little slip of paper I stashed in my wallet long ago, and that’s what I’m doing. With some trepidation.

I’m starting my search for a pied-a-terre — a 1BR rental apartment — in Brooklyn. The Wikipedia definition pleases me: A pied-à-terre (French, “foot on the ground”) is a small living unit usually located in a large city some distance away from an individual’s primary residence. The term pied-à-terre implies usage as a temporary second residence, either for part of the year or part of the work week, by a person of some means.

It’s not that I don’t love living in the woods way the hell out on the tip of Long Island. I do. But I have unfinished business back in Brooklyn. A storage space full of furniture, art, photos, rugs, clothes, mirrors, books, collections. City-dwelling friends and relatives I haven’t been seeing enough of. And I want a base there, a place where I can meet up with my grown children when they visit, from which I can take plane trips without having to drive 3 hours to and from JFK. Friends’ spare rooms have been fine for the short-term, but the vagabonding thing gets old.


Brooklyn was my home town for over 30 years. True, I haven’t missed city life in the year-and-a-half I’ve been away. Haven’t yearned for it in the least. And yet, something compels me to take this step. See how it feels to go back and forth, “split my time,” have a country place and a city place. I need more on my plate. A new challenge, project, change of scenery.

My city stuff, above, presently in deep storage

I never intended to live here in Springs full-time. It happened by accident. It’s almost fall, and the Hamptons have never been so beautiful. Leaving, even for a day, seems crazy. I’ve never been skilled at anticipating how I’ll feel months or weeks hence (I’m not sure that’s something a person can really know, anyway.) I’m trying to project, with difficulty, how I’ll feel on a gray day in January, when it’s quiet here with a capital Q; I think I’ll be happy to have the Brooklyn alternative.

Prospect Heights is my neighborhood of choice. I’ve never lived within easy striking distance of the Brooklyn Museum, Prospect Park, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and I’d like to.

My search begins tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it goes.

About cara

I blog (for fun) here at casaCARA, and write (for money) about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites.
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8 Responses to ISO Brooklyn Pied-a-Terre

  1. delftblue says:

    to rent or to buy?

    (psst .. you should be looking in brooklyn heights too!)

  2. cara says:

    Rent, Delft. Forgot to mention that; I’ll add it, thanks. Lived in Brooklyn Heights eons ago, and of course it’s wonderful (and no more expensive than other brownstone neighborhoods these days), but I’m hoping to try out a new part of town.

  3. Terry says:

    Good for you. I could never see moving to the country, away from friends and family. “I need more on my plate” is right on the money.

    But maybe – compared to Brooklyn – I already live a relatively country life. Nice to have digs in both worlds.

  4. Quinn says:

    I’m completely jealous!

  5. Mary-Liz says:

    Go girl!!!! Looking forward to reading all about the search & what you find!!

  6. Nancy says:

    I can’t wait for you to spend more time in Brooklyn!

  7. cara says:

    Gosh, folks. Thanks for all the votes of confidence. I was feeling a bit decadent, wanting two homes when some people have none.

  8. Terry says:

    It is a bit decadent so keep a little guilt going. Of course I’ll want to stay there when I visit – either place.

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