This Realtor's Rooftop Zen

I’m in love with New York City, from street level to a penthouse in the sky.  As a real estate broker I have the privilege of taking in the sights, smells, and sounds of non-stop life around me during my day-to-day travels between clients and listings, and at home I’ve made the effort to cultivate a quiet oasis on my terrace.

Beauty is the product of balance and integration in my life. Like many New Yorkers I rarely take a full day off from work, but in the spirit of living happy and healthy I also never take a full day off of living, either.

In my career as a real estate broker, I’ve developed habits to integrate spiritual fulfillment with more practical pursuits. I’ve found that living a high quality life between my strictly professional hours helps me to share “Best Practices for Living” with my clients.

Rooftop- and window box gardening are best practices I definitely enjoy during this time of year. As a matter of action, tending to my personal garden provides a feeling of empowerment and satisfaction to balance out the stress of uncertainty in my life. On a passive level, the plants’ organic growth is the perfect counterbalance to the structure of urban life.

New Yorkers of all stripes can welcome nature into their domains, with just a measure of willingness. In a recent New York Times article called Urban Gardening on the Third Floor, author Anne Raver states that “urban gardening is a lot easier now than it was 20 years ago.” As a spiritual awakening of sorts has come to grip the City more and more, our gardening resources have proliferated. What’s more, New Yorkers living in all different configurations have shown our characteristic grit in developing techniques to suit any environment.

This mindful approach toward living, whether it’s just a means of cultivating a beautiful, peaceful environment or if it also includes getting closer to our food, is a great way to free up mental and spiritual energy for the bigger tasks in life.

Keeping it local, many flower shops these days have expanded beyond your standard bouquets and orchids to provide resources for those of us who seek to take some time to slow down and smell the flowers (literally and figuratively - when we have the time!!), and possibly get closer to our food. In my neighborhood, I’m a fan of Amaryllis Florist on West 73rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue. Any city resident can take advantage of "urban gardening" and you don't need private outdoor space to do it!

Window boxes are the perfect solution to apartments without a private garden- and even work in light challenged spaces. If your building won't allow you to mount a window box on the outside of your window ledge - though many will - install it inside on your window sill! A wooden, metal or fiberglass planter along a windowsill planted with sweet-smelling herbs, low-light tolerant ferns or palms, or flowering annuals for a sunny spot improve the quality of living for any city home. They will make any home's inhabitants happier and healthier, and are a terrific, easy, inexpensive tool for marketing a home for sale or rent. My go-to spot for the best selection of planters, window boxes and all of the necessary accouterments is Jamali on West 28th Street.

These are among the things I enjoy keeping an eye out for on my walks through the City. Be sure to check out my Instagram to get a better taste through my pictures, and follow me if you  haven’t already. Here's to Happy Healthy living in NYC!