Tuesday, March 25, 2008


New York, NY--East Village/Alphabet City neighborhood
October-November 2005
Studio apt, occupied by my then-boyfriend and I

October 10, 2005
We officially moved to the East Village today. Three months this round.

I love it. Hell if our apartment is very small w/ bugs, the walls streaked w/ who knows what, sentences like "revolutionary things aren't realized until after you're dead" scrawled end to end, a lone dried rose dangling upside-down from a thumbtack... A simple paint job should do wonders. (Yeah, we got permission. Not that anyone'd care.)

Excited! Once those puppies are covered in robin's egg blue, I fear I'll never leave. Size be damned, the space'll be adorable. Anyway, we have the perfect amount of stuff to fill it with.

October 29, 2005
We're staring a pretty dire sublet situation in the face. In sum, in the last couple of weeks, we've learned that a) we walked into a sublet once or twice removed (dude who's subletting to us is subletting from another who's subletting from... his mommy?); b) not a cent of our prepaid rent has yet to make it into landlord-hands; c) our neighbor, guy who's handling the sublet logistics for his friend (leaseholder who's really not) is, along w/ said leaseholder, making a good deal of $ off us (the apartment, clearly in a rent-stabilized complex, is valued at a mere $850/month); d) by default, we *owe* over $900 in back bills to Con Ed, and if the bill isn't taken care of yesterday, off goes the power; and e) if we don't get out soon, we may find ourselves enmeshed in some pretty icky legal proceedings (no, we didn't open his mail, just held it up to the window). That's the gist of it.

Anyhow, a dear and resourceful friend will be consulted in depth later tonight. By tomorrow our game plan should be clear.

November 29, 2005
Tomorrow evening we say goodbye to this luckless apartment forever.

To its credit, I suppose there were a few bright spots. A rundown:

+ Pretty blue walls, self-painted
+ TV, microwave
+ Hardwoods w/ minimal buckling
+ Shower in the bathroom (vs. in the kitchen)
+ Proximity to bus line

And now, the flip:

- Damp walls = peeling paint (not so pretty)
- Fuses blown daily
- Bathroom suited for a 1/2 person
- Living in fear of canceled electricity
- Living in fear of returning home to changed locks
- Living in fear that growling-man (outside window most mornings) would find a way in
- Doll (twin) bed
- Hearing our cross-hall neighbor (and sublet administrator), Rich, smooth-talk the ladies at 3 a.m.
- Hearing said neighbor talk
- Seeing said neighbor
- Long-ass trek to the train
- Long hairy bugs as yet unclassified by entomologists

Let's hear it for the cons.

Good riddance, 1A.

March 25, 2008
W/ this one, the saga didn't end on move-out day, which came a month early at our insistence. Maybe it would have ended then, had our 23-year-old rent-hoarding sublet administrator returned the money we were owed (we'd paid him three months' rent upfront), but alas, he withheld. And so, in the wake of several thwarted promises--"dude I swear, I'll PayPal you the money tonight"--we hauled him to small claims court, we did, only he failed to show up. Of course, judgment was issued against him, a decision we smugly received amidst the cries--"but that asshole ruined my best suit!"--of disgruntled dry cleaner patrons. If memory serves, we treated ourselves to sushi right after.

In retrospect, we'd been pretty dumb to hand over all that money w/ (very) minimal documentation, but w/ two days left at our current location, we'd been desperate. And besides, this was the East Village, neighborhood we'd lusted after since the get-go. At any rate, all's well that ends well, and we at least walked w/ our money and a few good stories, one of my favorites being when D had knocked on Rich's door to inquire about a) a (way) past-due notice that'd just come from the landlord, and b) a final-and-we-really-mean-it-this-time notice from Con Ed. Rich, chin raised, dick/ego hummin' following a spin home from school (a finance major, of course) on his trusty motorcycle, could tell something was up. But he invited D in, and as he made his way to his sleazy vinyl sofa, he pulled a dollar-store switchblade out of his pocket, which he attempted to casually fling open. After a few solid efforts, he was ultimately unsuccessful, and, dejected, reduced, he dropped the thing on his desk. (Oh Rich--pathetic you are, scary you'll never be.) Anyhow, panicked and eager to gain some ground, he fell back on plan b, segueing into an account of recent sexual prosperity, including: "Yeah, the other night I nailed that chick in 2C--you know the one?" Yeah Rich. We love you! Good luck man.

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