The best place in the world, right now




By Caitlin Kelly

Is here, on our suburban New York, small town balcony.

After three full months of isolation, this is now our extra room and my outdoor office and a break from so much life lived safely only inside our apartment.

We face northwest, facing the Hudson River from its eastern side.

Those white things in the distance that look like sails — that’s the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

The light is gorgeous, and we can see the sunrise reflected in the many windows of the houses on the western side as the rising sun hits them.

I call it the “ruby moment.”




We’re on the top floor, 6th floor, with only the sky above us — and plenty of (noisy!) helicopters and jets, as we are on the flight path to the local county airport.

Sometimes we hear the very distinctive thud-thud-thud of a twin-rotor CH-47 Chinook, a $38.5 million military helicopter moving along the Hudson on its way to West Point, the military academy just north of us.

Before he left for good, my first husband built a sturdy bench on the balcony that serves both as comfortable seating (with custom-made cushions) and storage for potting soil, paint supplies and tools. We repaint it every year to freshen it up.

And the area is blessed with quite a few good plant nurseries, so we budget for a blast of gorgeous color every summer.



I love how dramatic this view is — ever-changing. We see rain and snowstorms long before they arrive


We’re literally at tree-top level, with dragonflies and bumblebees and songbirds coming to visit — there’s a daily chorus of birdsong every morning around 4:30 a.m.

I can’t wait to set out lanterns and invite friends back for summer meals here, lounging against all the blue and white and yellow and green pillows we’ve accumulated.




Our winding, narrow street slows down traffic, and we don’t get a lot of it, which also keeps it quiet. There is only one remaining house, and the rest are low-level condominiums or co-op apartment buildings, so our terrific view has never changed and never will.

It really is a refuge, and the best summer break we will get for quite some time to come.

9 thoughts on “The best place in the world, right now

  1. I’m green with envy. I have a dirty, tiny balcony that I’ve never used. It overlooks a noisy street. Luckily, though, there is much greenery and woods and parkland nearby (and the river Seine at the foot of my street.) But to not to have to get dressed up and just wander out onto the balcony in the morning with a mug of coffee and The New York Times … that’s bliss.

    1. So sorry!

      It is really the best thing, in some ways, about this not-attractive REALLY needs refreshed lobby/hallways 60s building.

      And (yayyyyyyy!) we joust found out our next-door apt. neighbor (who we can hear very audibly through our shared wall) is gone all summer — and whose balcony adjoins ours. Fantastic!

      We are out here from earliest morning to evening….can’t wait to start having friends back up for dinner and sunset.

      Just did some re-potting and will hit the plant nursery again tomorrow…

  2. Jan Jasper

    WOW, that is beautiful! I love everything from the flowers you’ve placed on the balcony to the various sky views. What wonderful photos! The new Tappan Zee is very cool, I’ve driven over it. You’d mentioned it before, but until your current post I had no idea how very lovely your location is. And you’re lucky to be on the top floor – no noisy neighbors walking overhead, disrupting your sleep. I do hope you’re correct that no taller buildings will ever be built in that area. I’d think that location would have developers salivating to build much taller buildings that would take in a wider panoramic view. It depends on local land use ordinances and such – just keep your fingers crossed that these officials don’t have a change of heart.

    1. Thanks!

      We’ve added even more flowers.

      Well, I bought this place in June 1989 — and not one aspect of the view has changed BUT the bloody trees are now so high we lose our summer view.

      There is simply nowhere to build on this street — the condominium complex directly across from us is all very low-level and hidden by old growth trees, so we don’t even notice it — and there would be no way to build upwards from there. Believe me, I was very aware of this when I chose to buy here….as I know so many people in NYC and Toronto, to name only two, who have bought for a great view — and lose it soon when another new building blocks it.

  3. Love your pic. I’m familiar with the area. I haven’t seen the new bridge yet. We are in Florida and usually head north in the summer to visit family, not 2020. Your post brought a smile to my face today, thanks. . . just saying, Claudia

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