Author: Illustration by Kathyrn Rathke

In the West Village, neighborly relations are a little strained these days, especially when it comes to boldfaced names. Gary and Addie Tomei, parents of Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei, are suing their West 13th Street neighbor Sean Lennon, son of John and Yoko, over a tree on his $9.5 million property, the roots of which have allegedly cracked the Tomeis’ stoop and even crept into their basement.

We never planned to be New Englanders. We were New Yorkers through and through. I couldn’t wait to move to the City after growing up in a small town in western New York State. And Craig Bassam, my partner, made his way to New York from his native Australia. We had the quintessential New York life—including an apartment with a wraparound terrace in West Chelsea.