Saturday, June 28, 2008

Welcome to New York

In January of '07, I came to the sudden conclusion that I was going to move to New York. I can't pinpoint what prompted this move other than a guy who ruffled my feathers by standing me up on New Years Eve. I was also employed as a hostess at Red Lobster, hastening a desire to move as far away as possible. Wasting little time, I found an apartment (a glorified closet, but MY glorified closet) through a few weeks prior to graduation. I graduated May 13 and was in the City by the 15th. I had an interview scheduled on the 16th. *For a job I didn't get. Long story short, I spent a month applying for jobs while roving from one apartment to the next, never staying for more than a few weeks. My first apartment was a studio shared with two other people...SWEET. However, by the time my birthday came around in late June, I was officially employed (yay!) and had acquired a nice sublet in Brooklyn. In all, I moved 8 times between May '07 and May '08. Through baby sitting and other odd jobs, I managed to get by on pita bread, PB & J sandwiches, and generous wads of cash from parents oblivious to the miniature scratches up and down my arms.

My bedroom in my Syracuse apartment. Spacious and accommodating, this about the same size as my first studio apartment in Manhattan. Shared by two other people, of course. We had bunk beds, and I shared the top bunk with my 30-year-old roommate, Sky. The bottom bunk was occupied by Leopard Boy, so named for his favorite underwear print. Said LB occasionally brought home women after a night on the town. Sometimes, I'd precariously descend the top bunk in the morning, trying not to fall to my death, only to find LB in the clutches of someone lying passed out and topless.

My roommate Sky. She didn't want her picture taken so she used her laptop as a shield. About one week into this living situation, I knew I needed out. "Let me take your picture for my cellphone," LB jibed, one of a serious of red flags coming from that direction. Thus begins the story of my new roommate, Psycho Cat Wench. PCW, a 60-year-old dance instructor, insisted on walking around clad in her underwear 24-7. Granted, we didn't have air conditioning, be we had only known each other for a few days! Also in spite of a fairly curvaceous figure (”curvaceous” is generous, trust me). In exchange for free rent, I took care of her cat for three weeks while she was out of town for a dance camp. She insisted that I establish a very tight bond with “Kitty.” I’m not a huge cat person so this became a slight problem for both of us. I slept in her daughter’s lofted bed for three weeks while fully entrenched in the job search.

Yup, that’s me in there. I was drying my sheets using the cheapest method possible. When PCW came back from her dance trip I was dogsitting a German Shepherd at a different apartment in the same building. I was supposed to move back into her apartment a week later. She had different ideas. Apparently I took over her apartment with a “sense of entitlement,” code for cleaning everything and buying dish towels. She promptly placed the towels and other gifts (four placemats, two soap dispensers) in a pile, along with my personal possessions, and told me to move out. I had to find a new apartment in two weeks.

Verne! Sweet, lovable Verne without a care in the world. I was staying with her while franticly scanning the craigslist ads for a new apartment. I found this awesome sublet in Brooklyn.

Note the cardboard boxes conveniently filling in for real furniture. I moved in with two attractive female roommates in their late 20’s, and lived 15 minutes away from the trendy Williamsburg neighborhood. Other than the absence of air conditioning, life was good. Unfortunately, it was only a sublet until Sept. so I had to find another place. So I moved to a cheap apartment in Bed Stuy. I had my own room, but also two odd roommates — one male who slept on a blanket on the floor, and the other a chain smoking female from St. Thomas (the island, not the school) who lit up doobies from time to time. If that smell didn’t completely overtake me, the smell of cat pee did. My predecessor kept her cats in the closet. So I paid a professional carpet cleaner to douse the carpet... within a few days, the smell was back. Despite numerous requests for the roommate to smoke outside, she smoked in her room, saying it was too cold outside. Luckily, my previous roommate Sky saved me from this horrible living situation. She was looking for a second roommate for a one-bedroom in Hells Kitchen Manhattan. Hells yes. I moved in almost immediately.

I slept in the living room. Two awesome money-saving moves of 2007: I sold my old MacBook for $700 on, and a coworker gave me this box spring mattress free of charge (excluding shipping). I have since moved again for various reasons — lack of space and privacy being among them — but I am not at liberty to disclose those details... ;) I can say I’m quite content where I am now and so grateful I made it this far. Thus ends my rambling note about my start in this great city. Freightened much?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Erin -- I just discovered your blog. This entry is hilarious. I've had my fair share of odd roommates/living situations since graduating, but nothing this bad. I'm glad everything worked out in the end for you, though.