Life + Health

Nine years ago.

These photos of my old brownstone apartment on Henry Street in Brooklyn were taken in 1999 or 2000 or so.

It’s funny to see how differently I lived then; how important it was for me to have stuff all over the place. I still like it, though. I had no money, of course, and nearly everything I owned was either found on the sidewalk or came from a junk shop. It was such a comfortable space to be in! And OH how I loved (and still love) Louise Brooks!

The apartment was on the ground floor of the brownstone, with private access to the garden (which had a fig tree that produced a ton of fruit) and a full finished basement. With a washer and dryer! Such luxury for living in Brooklyn, I know, and it was cheap.

I still miss Brooklyn and Cobble Hill sometimes, but less now than when I first moved away in 2005. Leaving was so hard, but it got easier.

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  • Reply Janelle March 23, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    I miss Brooklyn. I just want to move back.

  • Reply Live a Colorful Life March 23, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    *sigh* Brownstones….Brooklyn….New York in general. It just all sounds so wonderful to me.

  • Reply David Michael March 23, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Oh man this is so sweet, its great to see the evolution!

    My girlfriend and I live in Brooklyn and have dreams of moving away and having more space; this is inspiring and comforting…

  • Reply Heather S. March 23, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    I love the line, “Leaving was so hard, but it got easier.” I recently moved out of a cozy neighborhood in a wonderful city to what most would call Suburbia. I’m not too far from the city and I live with my dog and my boyfriend now, (the trade off is certainly worth it) but once in a while, I get a harsh pang of missing the city. Glad to hear it gets easier.

  • Reply Karla March 23, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    The apartment was super neat. And yay for Louise Brooks. I hope you saved all of the memorabilia. :)

  • Reply Laura March 23, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Great apartment! It actually looks spacious! My brother lives on Verandah Place between Henry and Clinton — such a great neighborhood.

  • Reply eM March 23, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    I left San Francisco for an Island near Seattle 5 years ago – and I even get to live *in* Seattle part time, but I don’t think I will ever get over it…

  • Reply Adam March 23, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Reminds me of Quarropas St.!

  • Reply Cassie March 23, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Very charming.

    Now that the back room and the bathroom are done, is the back yard the next big project?

  • Reply Alicia March 23, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    That apartment probably goes for well over $2000/month now, I’m sure.

  • Reply Lori March 23, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Your hair looked so incredibly cute. That is exactly what I have always wanted to do but have never had the courage to do it. Mainly b/c I don’t think it would fit my face and my bangs take FOREVER to grow out. I have seen all of your hair pics on your blog and think you look great in all of your styles!

  • Reply Katherine March 24, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Oh, I have a black and white postcard of Louisa Brooks that I just picked up in trade at a local used music shop! I don’t know much about her, but I’m glad to discover someone who does. It is sitting in my stash of cards waiting to be sent to someone around the world.

  • Reply Benita March 24, 2009 at 2:02 am

    I love that hair cut. It’s my dream to be have straight bobbed hair with bangs. I did try a similar do once but with my natural curls I enden up looking like a complete dork. The bangs frizzed up at the top of my head or in cold weather stuck to my forehead in a clingy fashion and at the back I inevitably got a flip. Not the sleek do I was aiming for at all. Oh, and once I tried to go short like Ingrid Bergman in For Who the Bells Toll. So not a good look for me. For the past twelve years the pony is my do. At least now I know what my hair is up to but it’s soooooo bland and boring. Wish I had your hair…

  • Reply Monica March 24, 2009 at 2:38 am

    A basement with a washer and dryer in the basement! Garden access! Wow. I think your space was cool. Interesting how taste evolves though. Or in my case thank goodness – while I was in college I put up an ivy border and stenciled ivy all over my kitchen. I shudder the thought….

  • Reply Monica March 24, 2009 at 3:26 am

    I meant to write “a basement with a washer and dryer.” Sigh.

  • Reply read me... March 24, 2009 at 5:43 am

    Small world, my dear friend now lives in the city, but he and his ex-wife had a fabulous apartment on Henry Street and I stayed there many times, and would have done so when you were living there!! Such a great place.

  • Reply nicole March 24, 2009 at 7:55 am

    seems like even longer! i still have the photos we took of each other in that backyard with our matching louise hair.

    the place i lived in 9 years ago was the size of my living room now.

  • Reply annie March 24, 2009 at 8:53 am

    i love these pictures of your old apartment. it’s so neat to see how your sense of home and cozy and space has evolved. and you are beautiful, and i’ve always adored the old pictures of you in your louise brooks cut. xo

  • Reply Northern Westchester Home March 24, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Having moved up north from Brooklyn myself, I understand the bittersweet memories. There are times when I miss the borough of my birth, but all in all I am thrilled with were we live in upper Westchester. Having grown up in Brooklyn Heights (next to Cobble Hill, of course), I am thrilled with the experiences my own own son is having where we live–the balance of country and culture is amazing and I think incredibly healthy. And of course we have regular trips to Brooklyn to visit family.

  • Reply DiP March 24, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    That’s the Anna I first met!
    It has really been nine years???
    Vanderbilt, March, 2000.

  • Reply sweet fine day March 24, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    so cool to see your old brooklyn apartment. I would think that the move was hard, but what an amazing home you have. We’re still in brooklyn….maybe one day…

  • Reply kristin March 24, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    so cool to see your old place! I am a clinton hill/ fort greener :)

  • Reply rh March 24, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    My husband and I missed Brooklyn too much, but didn’t want to move back full time. We now spend weekdays in Beacon, but go down to Brooklyn on weekends. It’s good to have the connection again. Brooklyn is home. I sometimes feel like a fish out of water up here.

  • Reply elizabeth March 24, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    lovely! i live on the same block. your old place looks good even 9 years ago.

  • Reply frannie March 24, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    that was a GREAT apt. it always looked like it cost a mint!

  • Reply Pearl March 26, 2009 at 8:01 am

    22 years ago I left New York (God, that was loooong ago!) for points west and grad school. I have similar pictures of “before” and “after” apartments, bridged by the in-between graduate school apartments. Nice to have a place now to call home, yes? I too was and am a L. Brooks fan, still have the DIARY OF A LOST GIRL poster, and have come and gone with the haircut (incredibly hard to find anyone who can cut it well, I find!). It’s always great to see how our style evolves.

  • Reply Clementine Cassie March 30, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    awwwww, we were practically neighbors! I lived on Grace Ct (off Hicks street, a few blocks north of Atlantic) from 1997-2005. I miss some things, too, but not everything (traffic noise from the BQE permeating my every waking moment…. :)
    I like this little peek into your early years!

  • Reply gigi April 9, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    just found your blog…

    my husband grew up in boreum hill & we lived in carroll gardens for the first 7 years after we were married…we moved to washingtonville in 2001 but miss brooklyn terribly…guess we aren’t the only displaced downtown brooklynites in the hudson valley…small world isn’t it?

  • Reply Apartment in Brooklyn April 14, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    What a great place. I really want to move to that area.

  • Reply Daphne April 14, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    I miss brooklyn! i live overseas now. i was born and raised in bedstuy. stayed all over brooklyn, red hook, flatbush, prospect heights, brownsville, clinton hill, downtown, fort green, coney island..but that was back in the day. now i live…never mind (sigh)

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