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I’m about to tell you some information that might be
upsetting. Manhattan Nest—this blog that you’re reading right
at this very moment—turns TEN YEARS OLD TODAY.
A FULL DECADE. I DEMAND TO KNOW HOW. There are human beings
younger than this blog who know how to simplify fractions and do
long division. I can’t even do long division!
Ten years ago—as a 20 year old gay student in Manhattan who
was looking forward to moving out of the dorms and into a big-boy
apartment—I thought starting a blog about it was an extremely
funny thing to do in and of itself. Unlike my dorm room, an
apartment would allow me to populate the space with my own things,
and use some creativity—in lieu of cash—to make it my own.
Blogging about it could be a fun and silly exercise, because most
of the bloggers I was aware of were moms, living in the suburbs,
following Christ, and painting a lot of accent walls. I do not mean
this in a pejorative sense—that’s just mostly how it felt back
then. And since I was very clearly not that, the whole “shelter
blog” thing (a term that may have not been invented yet, and one
that I feel like isn’t used anymore?) just really tickled some
part of my brain.
Never did I think anybody would really read it. Never did I
imagine continuing to write it after getting that first apartment
set up, let alone still be doing it a decade later, let alone
having kinda-sorta-pretty-much turned it into a job. I couldn’t
have guessed that my dumb blog would connect me to
my first significant romance, or that that would result in
move to Brooklyn, or that that would land me with two dogs and
house upstate. I often find the term “journey” clichéd and
overused, but what else do we call this? It’s been a journey.
It’s accounted for fully 1/3rd of my life. I’ve shared
victories here, failures, joys and heartaches, high highs and low
lows. And throughout, this blog—along with its readers—has been
one of very few constants in my life. 10 years.
It’s a really, really strange and unsettling time in the world
right now. I’m sure everybody reading knows what I mean by that,
but in case somebody is reading this in another ten years, I’ll
just note that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic. I don’t
think anybody living today has quite experienced something like
this in their lifetimes, and it feels, at least, like a major
cultural watershed moment. It’s a mass-trauma. The fatalities
are—and will continue to be—heartbreaking. And then, of course,
there’s the way it’s affecting our daily lives. People’s jobs
are disappearing. Nobody knows quite what’s happening
minute-to-minute. The vast majority of people in this country and
many others are being advised or mandated to stay in their homes.
Isolate. Shelter in place. Quarantine. Wait until this horror show
All of this has given me some time to think—about you, about
this blog, about the bizarre and extraordinary set of circumstances
that led to me living here—in this house that I love, in this
city that feels more like home than anywhere I’ve else I’ve
lived, and how truly grateful I am to be here. Nearly every life
shift over the past decade for me will always be inextricably tied
to this blog. It’s supplied countless friends and connections
from all over the world, professional experiences I never would
have had otherwise, and the opportunity to express myself, on my
own terms, in a world that can be hostile and unaccepting toward
people like me. It’s set my worldview to consider humanity
as—overwhelmingly—generous, kind, funny, and supportive. From
time to time, somebody will comment on what a nice community (the
best, in my humble opinion) surrounds this blog, but I can’t take
credit for that. You did that, not me. I’m just the beneficiary,
a person who’s been given the gift of a more trusting and open
heart through every comment and message and email from a reader. A
person who, even in this moment of literal social isolation,
doesn’t have to feel alone. I’m an extremely lucky guy.
I guess all of this to say: there’s something that feels oddly
appropriate about this 10-year milestone coming at a time when
I’m quite literally stuck at home. It’s not lost on me that
this house would not be a part of my life if not for this blog. And
even if it was, I highly doubt I would have pushed myself as hard
to learn, work, develop, try new things, and expand my horizons
without you being right there with me. The low points might have
swallowed me whole without a place to come and talk about them;
and, admittedly, the high points would have felt less high without
all of the amazing support and encouragement I’ve been spoiled by
here. It’s really something.
If you’ve been here for a long time—thank you from the
bottom of my heart for sticking with me! And if you’re more of a
newcomer—welcome! We still have lots to look forward to. I’ve
finally brought in a little help to manage parts of running the
blog that I’m no good at/don’t enjoy (my twin sister! it’s a
family business now!), so I can really focus in on the content and
the parts that I am good at. More content! Better content! She
started on Monday and I’m already wondering why it took me so
many years and a global pandemic to admit that I could really use a
hand with all this.
SO! TO CELEBRATE! My dear
friend Anna (who herself would still be an internet stranger if
not for this blog) has worked her tushy off completely redesigning
this website!! It’s been a long time in the making and I just
love what she’s done. A few things of note!
-I finally took the plunge: Patreon. This concept
has always made me a little uncomfortable, but I eventually
realized a couple of things. 1) that somebody pledging to my
Patreon does not exclude them from donating to charities and other
worthy causes and 2) that we (I) pay for all sorts of subscription
services that entertain or educate us, and if this blog falls into
that category for you, I should at least allow the option! FOR NOW,
I’m just dipping my toe in—there’s one tier,
priced at $5/month, which is really there to allow those who feel
inclined to throw a little support my way. Since I would much
rather engage directly with you than figure out how to maximize
sidebar ad revenue, or what kind of affiliate-link-filled content I
can come up with, or try to rely on a bunch of brand partnerships
to get any major project done, JUST MAYBE this can be a more
community-supported endeavor than most blogs tend to be. Your
support will absolutely go toward getting projects done (can anyone
say “kitchen”?), which of course I’ll share in grave, tedious
detail for your viewing/reading pleasure. Over time, I’d like to
add additional tiers and special perks for patrons, including those
who sign up now. Any ideas?
-Some major changes to the home screen! Since my posts tend to
range from long to extremely long, we’ve truncated all of them
for improved navigability. We’ve also increased the size of
images by 25%! Archives have been cleaned up to display by year
rather than by month, and Anna added some fun stuff to the
sidebar. In the background, I’m working on cleaning up categories
and tags on old posts so things pop up where they should. Click
around! (note: images may appear a little fuzzy on older posts
because they’ve been automatically enlarged for this new format.
Moving forward they’ll be crystal clear, and I’ll be working to
clean up the old posts to the extent I’m able to.)
-I have a Shop! I’m
so hip and with it. Since the vast majority of my stuff is
secondhand or vintage, my house isn’t especially “shoppable,”
but I’ve tried to add things that I think are either
practical/helpful (like my push-button switches!) or super
beautiful and/or similar to something I do own. There’s also an
Amazon storefront forthcoming, which I’ll use primarily for my
favorite DIY tools and supplies.
-And finally…SO LONG, MANHATTAN NEST. I haven’t actually
lived in Manhattan for about 9 years, and frankly didn’t really
like it when I did…but the name just stuck with me. I use my own
Instagram, so using it here seems like the most logical
decision. In the near future, we’ll be migrating the whole site
to a new URL, but otherwise things will stay the same! All of those
old posts will still be there, and if you subscribe through
Bloglovin’ you’ll stay subscribed. Those who subscribe by email
may need to take some simple action, but I’ll let you know when
we’ve sorted through that.
So feel free to poke around, check it all out, and let me know
if anything’s acting funny! Welcome to my new internet home and,
as always, I’m so glad you’re here.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for 10 wonderful years. Now
let’s have some fun!
Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 1
A Decade of Blogging!