The first time I saw the flat at 83 Sixth Avenue, I knew it was meant for me. The light, the space, the walls—above all the walls convinced me. Yes, I know walls are simply enclosures shutting out and shutting in. But they are as well mute witnesses, recording layer by layer traces of the lives they contain.

One week later, I moved into 83, the upper story of a two-flat building, erected just after the 1906 earthquake.

I was, at last, in place.

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