This is one of a series of stories we are sharing to show what's inside CubeSmart. You not only get a peek inside our customer's storage unit, but also a peek inside what is important to them. Thank you to Sean, customer of our CubeSmart store in Long Island City, for sharing his story with us.
For the past six months, Sean Bernaday has been filling his Queens, NY storage space with beloved possessions: his Star Wars collectibles, video games and baby clothes for his first child, who's due in three weeks.
"We're naming her Leia Rae." That's after Princess Leia and the rebel heroine of the prequel Star Wars movies. Sean has been a fan since he saw the original in the theater with his father in the 1970s. "My middle name is Ray, so it's cool, even though it's spelled differently."
Sean's partner, a veterinary tech who works close to CubeSmart's 30-25 Northern Boulevard, Long Island City location, is thankfully also a Star Wars fan. "We would never have agreed on that name if she wasn't. The mother has to like the name or it won't happen," he says.
They met three years ago at a mutual friend's party and started talking. They just "clicked and that was it," he says.
Soon, they will merge their six cats (five are hers; one is his) under one roof. "It's been going good. Really good, I guess, since we're having the baby."
Sean is a bike messenger during weekdays and works in the dairy section of a local supermarket on weekends—in total, 60 hours a week between the two jobs. "I always liked to ride bikes and someone told me when I was twenty years old that I could get paid to ride all day. I deliver packages all across Manhattan, sometimes Brooklyn or Long Island City."
Once, he says, he showed up to a high-rise apartment building and the doorman sent him upstairs with the package. The door opened and he was face to face with actress Rue McClanahan of Golden Girls. "I was like, Blanche! And she invited me in and gave me an iced tea. I've met other celebrities and seen a lot of them in elevators over the years. That's just life in Manhattan."
Sean says he's been lucky in his 19 years on the job that he's never gotten hurt—just a few bumps or scratches here or there. Now that he's in his forties, though, he thinks he'll probably retire from the work in the next five years or so.
"I'm not sure what's next. I'm still exploring. I never want to stop exploring."
Today he's brought with him a new Star Wars shirt he got from a friend who worked at Comic-Con. He's been looking for baby-size Princess Leia buns but no luck yet.
"I was surprised we didn't get any Star Wars gifts at the baby shower. I hope she's into Star Wars, too, but I want her to choose her own path."