New York Stories: Jamie Shupak shares a New York memory
Guest blogger Jamie Shupak tells us about a Fourth of July that stands out for reasons other than fireworks and hot dogs
Mon Nov 18 2013
Photograph: Melissa Hom
Welcome to "New York Stories," in which some of our favorite New Yorkers tell a story—funny, heartwarming, sad, whatever—about this great city. This week, NY1 traffic reporter Jamie Shupak shares a sweet tale about the oft-intertwined subjects of love and NYC real estate.
I've never been big on July 4th fireworks, but my fiancé Brian [Stelter, of CNN and formerly The New York Times] is. Maybe it's because they start after my early bedtime, forcing me to stay up for just a few minutes of oohs and aahs. Maybe it's because it's the same ol' thing, year after year. Maybe it's because I never had a great view of them.
That all changed July 4, 2012, when my best friend's boss invited a few of us over to her apartment in the West Village. Having lived in the neighborhood for about eight years, I was intimately familiar with the building and, by proxy, its stunning roof-deck view. Admittedly (and not surprisingly) I was much more excited to see her newborn baby girl and eat the guacamole than I was to check out the fireworks. But we went.
And I'm so happy we did. The weather was perfect, there was nothing blocking our view of the barges in the Hudson where they set the fireworks off, and the roof was packed with people Instagramming themselves with the celebratory explosions in the background. My kind of people. But that's not why this night was so special.
As Brian and I walked out of the building, hands intertwined, we looked at each other in agreement as we said, "We could live here. We should live here." A year into our relationship, we had been talking about moving in together when our leases were up that September, and it was at that moment we had a very New York thing: our first real-estate dream as a couple.
At the time Brian was living way uptown, like in the 100-something street numbers, which as any downtown denizen knows is basically like him living in Boston. But just as he turned me onto fireworks that night, the view, the building and I think mostly the girl holding his hand who would never live above 14th Street wooed him downtown.
That September, we moved into the building. Thirteen months later, he asked me to marry him on that roof deck. This July 4th, we'll be up there watching the fireworks.
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