So how’s about spendin’ half a day, underneath a tree losin’ leaves?…*

*Lyrics from The Nerve off the 2008 album Keep Color by The Republic Tigers. I followed the Spotify suggestions and found this band to be intriguing. I struggled to find an appropriate song for this post – perhaps my tentative reaction to the band is akin to my tentative approach to the roof deck. So maybe I got it right after all. Either way, both the band and the outdoor spaces should prove even more interesting in the future.

AFTER: This is how it's been looking for the past few weeks - pretty bare, and pretty untouched, save for the lush greenery that's grown happily around us.

I thought it only fitting that I finally share with you some pictures of our outside space here at the Pied, you know, seeing as how we’re officially in the height of summer. It’s been tropical in NYC for the last few weeks, and, I must admit, our valiant attempts to be out there every day, to enjoy the space no matter what, have been thwarted by intense thunderstorms, incessant humidity, mosquitoes, and general hotness. Also, we haven’t really gotten very far with the decorating. Yet.

Naturally, the decorating (and unpacking) inside the flat has taken precedence, and beyond ordering a sofa combo for lounging al fresco, we haven’t been able to make many decisions. We can’t seem to choose an outdoor rug, an outdoor dining table, or an outdoor coffee table, so our time out there is relegated to deep lounging (sans pillows, because we can’t decide on those either). Hunching over our laps to eat isn’t exactly pleasant (plus, we get enough of that inside, thank you very much), and we haven’t been able to properly carve out a little comfy zone for all the things we like to do outdoors. But, I will say, the lounging part I think we’ve nailed.

Sadly for us, we also have to share the air with the neighbor who lives upstairs from us (in our old pied!). On one of our early nights here, before the tropical air decided to park over the greater NYC area, as we were peacefully relaxing away, our upstairs neighbor decided he’d like to smoke on the fire escape with his friend. With all his lights on blaring down on our nighttime, mildly romantic, formerly mostly dark, relaxing summer mood. Nothing like cigarette smoke, blinding bare bulbs, and strangers chatting animatedly in close proximity to kill the moment. It soured us a bit, as we realized that city life also means sharing again. Blerg.

BEFORE: As we received it in March, complete with two all-weather chairs, two AC units (one was mildewed so we gifted it to the universe), and miscellaneous scraps of a former life.

–Side story: When recounting to my mother the tale of our first shared space experience with our upstairs neighbor, she said, “That’s part of the charm and horror of living in New York City.” I said, “I need to write that down so I don’t forget it.” She replied, “You won’t forget it as long as you live there.” I love my mom.–

We’ve been living in the apartment full-time for about three weeks now – with one weekend spent back in Massachusetts tying up loose ends, so it only feels like two full weeks here – and we’ve just returned a short visit to Los Angeles to visit family and friends for a few days, and are setting off for the weekend to sew up some more loose ends in MA. Basically, we’ve had no time to even think about that space, let alone place orders that could be delivered at a potentially inconvenient time (we had to make a special trip to NYC to receive the sofa delivery, only to return to MA the next day to continue finalizing our house sale, among other things). We’re afraid that when we finally decide (on anything) and place our orders, the summer will be over, or the things we want long since sold out. Anyway, we’re working on it. At least trying to.

Also, sadly for us, we might never have this kind of space again. We measured, and our outdoor space is a full 200 square feet larger than our indoor space (!!). In other words, we could spend a fortune doing it up, only to not be able to use the stuff at our next place. Talk about throwing good money after bad. So, we’re being extra choosy, extra careful with what we put out there, and extra slow in making those tough calls. But, in the lucky for us category, Jeff’s business partner is doing over his own roof deck (which is much nicer and bigger than ours), so he gifted us a couple of lounge chairs (and a giant umbrella which we aren’t going to use after all).

Anyway, we still feel insanely lucky for all this space, and for all these ‘problems.’ Ultimately we feel that we’ll probably be able to use the rooftop until late September-mid October, so making it feel a bit more finished is a worthwhile investment (it literally doubles the size of our apartment, after all). We have more to do, but for now, have a look at what we’re working with. It’s raw, it’s unfinished, it hasn’t even been properly cleaned yet, but it’s ours. For now.

Pictures! Enjoy! xoxo


  1.'Heather {A Fire Pole in the Dining Room}

    Wow! This space has so much potential, but I’m a little bit horrified by the position of the fire escape and the upstairs neighbor’s use of it. What a bummer. Is there any way to create a buffer between the lounging area and the fire escape? A row of large potted trees would be cool but probably expensive. Maybe some sort of wood screen would be be better? Maybe it’s not as big of a deal as I’m making it? I’m falling deeply in love with our outdoor space (or was until the humid summer weather become entrenched) and it would be really ruined if neighbors were hovering about.

    1. So Happy Home Post author

      Luckily, we haven’t had another encounter with our neighbor. He’s a single guy, and spends most of his evenings out and about (and most of his days sleeping it off). Plus, we’ve just spent the past two straight weeks with nearly 100 degree temps every day, with extreme humidity and heat indexes in the low to mid-100s, so we haven’t been able to enjoy the deck for a while. We thought that the umbrella could have provided a nice bit of privacy, but it was so huge that I couldn’t rationalize ruining several people’s views just so I wouldn’t feel encroached upon while lazing about. I think if we can nail down a small table, a rug, and a coffee table/cocktail table we can feel pretty at home out there, without having to spend too much more money/effort making it ours.

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