A Home for Sam
Two newcomers to Seward Park Housing focus their decision making process on the children’s bedroom.
by Frances Madeson
Every morning, the first thing Sam Carr Greenberg does when he wakes up is climb up onto his bedroom sofa and look out the window. While delightfully vocal and expressive, at 22 months, he’s still too young to articulate what the particular attractions are. Perhaps he’s lured by the primary colors: the blue swath of the East River, the green ribbon of treetops in the park, or, maybe, the bold red checkmark of the Verizon logo that dominates the downtown skyline. All of these delights, and more, are splayed out before him from his 14th floor home in Seward Park.
Creating a happy home for Sam (and a new sibling due in January!) was very much the priority motivating Tina Carr and Daniel Greenberg’s move to the Seward Park Co-op from their East Village rental. Tina’s childhood friend already lived in Seward and the couple was intrigued by the spacious, light-filled rooms.
Intrigued, but not convinced. And so, with then baby Sam in tow, they conducted a multi-month search, focusing primarily on Brooklyn. “We were like every other family marching all over Brooklyn to attend all these Open Houses. We felt like a clich?,” says Tina. Deliberate and diligent as they were, nothing they saw knocked the apartments in Co-op Village off their throne. Eight months later they returned to LoHo Realty with a new perspective.
Ultimately, it was the outdoor playgrounds and indoor playroom where Sam’s playgroup meets just one building over that cinched the decision. “As parents, our interest is focused” on the child, explains Tina. “We’ve become linked to the community via the playground.”
“While Sam’s playing with his friends, it’s great to hear the neighborhood gossip, and learn more about the Board’s policies and plans that will very much affect our lives,” agrees Dan.
Indeed, while Tina has recently become the official treasurer of the playgroup, Dan also appreciates the role the group plays in Sam’s development. “Sam will never know what it’s like not to be surrounded by friends and playmates,” says Dan. “We expect that the other children in Seward Park will be his lifelong friends.”
Dan values continuity; he’s worked at the same literary agency for twelve years, moving up through the ranks from assistant to his current role as a principal of the firm. “I’ve always been an avid reader, and I love working with books. The authors themselves are often interesting and each book opens a lens into a new piece of knowledge and experience.”
Since Sam’s arrival at the center of their lives, Dan has been able to spend more time at home with his family than another profession might have permitted.
Tina has an abiding interest in renewable energy and sustainability. Until recently, she was co-proprietor of Gomi, an East Village store which sells fashion accessories and household furnishings fabricated from repurposed and recycled materials. “Growing a retail enterprise was a way of moving from the abstract to the material, to get out from behind a desk and have a door that opens to the street. There was a lot of pleasure being involved in something so creative with an environmental mission. And I used to enjoy bringing Sam to the store, but when he became mobile, and with another baby on the way, things changed,” she says.
The same friend, who introduced them to Seward, played an earlier pivotal role in their lives. “She was Tina’s friend in LA, and she and I had gone to college together in Madison, Wisconsin. About six years ago, she introduced us at a party in DUMBO,” says Dan, clearly amazed at how things have worked out. “Now, from our balcony, we can look across the river and see the building where we first met!”