The secret city in the forest

All day, I’ve been working in this 1902 quasi-craftsman cottage, sitting on this big, red, overstuffed couch, looking out the picture windows at the trees of Woodstock. All the doors in the house are open, and I’ve heard the rainstorms and wind blowing all day. This afternoon, when the sun came out, I heard the birds sing. This sparkling, not-quite-summer midweek workday feels notable for its breeziness and beauty.

I moved to Byrdcliffe, the art colony in the hills above the village of Woodstock, in October of 2013. My boyfriend, painter Bobby Lucy, and I had lived in a 440-square-foot apartment in a commercial district of Manhattan for over a decade. When we were informed that the building was being sold and that Bobby’s studio in Bushwick was kicking out all the artists—let’s just say the message was clear. If New York City hadn’t turned exactly hostile, it had given us a firm but loving shove out, and we responded with an exhilarated yes! to leaving the city. We’d spent enough time exploring upstate and dreaming of what it would be like to have a place here one day. We never expected to move to Woodstock, but a series of events involving not-great credit and a surprise Craigslist notice brought us to a place where the only prerequisite was proof that we were working artists. Neither of us had ever been so well suited to a place in our lives.