It All Started on Orchard Street

I’ve lived in New York City for 12 years. I lived in a teeny tiny apartment on Orchard Street for most of my tenure as a New Yorker; it wasn’t supposed to last as long as it did, but I ended up being there for 7 years.

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I loved (and sometimes hated) that apartment. The hot water would go out, the mailbox key randomly stopped working (how does a key stop working….), the Super always said he’d be there “in 2 minutes” and would come at some random time in the next 3 weeks. It had graffiti on the door and the entrance looked like it could be featured in a horror movie. Our microwave sat on top of our fridge, aided and abetted by a multipurpose step stool. But the whole set up had a certain New York grit and charm and surprise.

It was just a few steps off the Williamsburg Bridge, where I started my adult journey with fitness. And my apartment randomly had this private walk out deck. You had to climb through my window to get to it, but it was…magical. It was bigger than our two-bedroom apartment and nobody could explain why it existed. With some patio lights and candles, it felt like a secret suburban oasis in the midst of the increasingly gentrifying Lower East Side. So much happened in this apartment and on that deck: I had my first prototyping meeting there, I remember setting up my Sukoon Active email out there, my ABC News interview in a “home office”…even our Kickstarter was filmed and photographed on that deck. It is littered with memories of Sukoon’s beginnings and most of my growing up during my 20s: late night hangs with friends and family, and early morning chais with my notebooks and thoughts. It witnessed all the heartaches and all the joys.

I moved out of my Orchard Street apartment (and New York…eeeeek) about two weeks ago. Me and Sukoon are re-headquartering to…? TBD on the exact details for now. B U T. I was feeling #emo and my wonderful friend Abeer helped me capture a little bit of my story about how Sukoon grew into a toddler at a tiny 400 SF apartment in the Lower East Side. It was my first idea lab, my first office, my first headquarters. It was the garage to my startup story. My bed would turn into my daily desk, and my step stools would turn into shelves and chairs and storage. It was gritty and scrappy and warm and cozy and homey. It was the humble beginning to what I hope becomes a leading global brand.

Looking forward to where we’ll go next and what’s coming, but here’s a little bit of me actively loving Orchard Street.