Tuesday, May 6, 2008



New York, NY--Downtown Manhattan
February 2004-present
4-bdrm loft apt, occupied by three ever-rotating female roomies (ten different ones in the time I've lived there--and then there are all the boyfriends who've ended up "moving in" along with them) and I

About two years ago I returned home one night to find a police officer standing at the top of the stairs.

As I opened the door I heard the woman shouting to another officer around the corner. I froze. She looked nervous and put up her hands and told me to stop and not come up the stairs. The next thing I heard was the other officer shouting/asking if I live on the second floor. I quickly responded that, no, I do not live on the second but on the fourth floor. I repeated this a few times in case there was any doubt.

After standing in the cold doorway for about ten minutes the officer motioned for me to pass. I quickly walked up the stairs and as I turned the corner I noticed three more police officers standing on every other step of the next flight. The lead officer looked very tense and had his hand on his gun. There was another officer at the second-floor apartment door getting ready to break it down. He was holding that weapon they use to break down doors with.

They all looked at me half accusingly. The main officer continued to bang on the door and shout "open up!" I wondered if anyone was home. I quickly brushed by them and continued up the rest of the stairs. I made it inside but I was in a state of shock. My roommates saw the disbelief on my face and I quickly told them about my brief encounter with the cops. My one roommate ran back into her room to put makeup on and go flirt with some of the officers. Another roommate wanted to run down to see more of the action in person and the other one started analyzing how the landlord could be part of the bust.

The next morning, heading downstairs on my way to work, I saw that second-floor door covered in orange tape with big black letters: WARNING. There was an eviction notice on the door and some handwriting stating the tenants were part of an illegal massage and prostitution operation. Over the next couple of weeks the tenants managed to disappear, the apartment was renovated, and new tenants were found. The overall trafficking of random men that used to drop by stopped. On occasion, I still do see men in business suits coming and going from the apartment. They’re usually wearing guilty expressions and most of them are wearing wedding bands. They tend to hang around waiting for a good twenty minutes.

Thing is, it didn't really bother me. I figure my neighbors can do as they please as long as it doesn't interfere--too much--with my living.

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