Welcome to Jay and Mary’s urban adventure–the great experiment of embracing an entirely new way of life.  We’ve gone through home downsizing twice and I can assure you it’s absolutely the most physically and emotionally exhausting thing we’ve ever done.

We had three yard sales and dropped off probably twenty carloads of goods to various charitable collection locations.  We even got to the point of being embarrassed to dump too much stuff off at any one place.  And the process continued…after a year in our loft,  we finally moved the rest of our stuff out of a storage facility, made two more drop-offs at  St. Vincent de Paul,  and finally fit the rest of what we didn’t need, but couldn’t part with, into two much smaller storage spaces in the basement of our loft in the Eastern Columbia Building on 9th and Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA as the locals refer to it).  At least now we’re reunited under the same roof with the remaining memorabilia, seasonal clothing, sporting goods equipment, art supplies, miscellaneous boxes of documents, holiday decorations and whatever else we have packed away in those plastic tub boxes.

In the course of our downsizing, as the fear of letting go subsided, we started to feel such a sense of freedom.  And in some cases it was wonderful to know that things that had served us before were now being recycled back through the family.  My mom’s traditional maple dining table with 3 leaves, that we acquired when we moved into the Dutch Cape Cod house, would never have worked in the loft but we couldn’t just sell it or give it away.  As it turned out,  I was able to send it back to Mom thanks to the ease of uship.com getting  it from L.A. to Northern California safely and affordably along with a couch for my brother.   That table was a wedding gift from my  grandparents to my parents so it was great to know that it could stay in the family.  Sometimes it’s OK to be sentimental.

The saga of the purge started when we sold our 3,700 sq. ft. house  with a well-filled attic and basement in Country Club Park where we’d lived for eleven years .  We moved to a 2,200 sq. ft. house closer to where our only child, Nick, was going to high school.  Phase II came when Nick went off to college and we decided to give up the joys and burdens of homeownership to move into a 1,600 sq. ft. loft in downtown Los Angeles.  It wasn’t long before Nick, who thought the place was so cool, decided to change colleges and move back in with us!  Here’s the journey in pictures:

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I recently read that baby boomers and millennials want the same things these days–neither demographic is focused on child rearing at this point in their lives and they’re looking for ways to have more time to enjoy life amidst the demands of work.  They both want to get away from long commutes, they want easy access to restaurants and entertainment, they want to spend more time with friends and family and they want to be physically active. They’re also interested in getting involved in social or charitable causes.  More and more, the city lifestyle puts all these priorities within reach.

In this blog, we’re going to show you how we’re doing it and we’d love to hear from all who’ve decided to shift gears and try out the urban lifestyle whether you’re in Los Angeles or another downtown locale. Jay’s the chef so he’ll be sharing his expertise on loft cooking and entertaining.  I’m more on the ambiance, frivolity and decor side of things.  I also believe that you’re as young as you think you are , so I’ll be sprinkling in health and fitness tips on taking care of what we’ve got.  We’ll keep you posted on our favorite DTLA restaurants, where to shop for items we can’t live without and what’s going on in the way of downtown experiences.

We look forward to this being a place where the downtown life gets appreciated for all it offers and where we can all revel, just a little bit, in our new-found freedom– from yard work, gutter cleaning and depending on our car every time we want to head over to a favorite restaurant, see a movie or watch the game at a neighborhood bar.  And then, of course, there’s always Uber, our favorite form of transportation when we want to go somewhere downtown that’s just a bit too far for the walk.

6 thoughts on “Welcome”

  1. I Love your Blog Mary and Jay!! Amazing how DTLA has changed since I walked down Broadway at 7years old to watch a movie with my parents. You make it all the more fun! 🙂 Marisela

  2. Mary and Jay: Great to spend an evening with you at Jan and Gerry’s and to hear about your efforts in the Dominican Republic. You two are another reason it’s so great to be residents of the Eastern Columbia! See you around. John

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