Miss Heather’s Apartment Share Inferno
Filed under: 11206, 11222, Crazy People, East Williamsburg, East Williamsburg Brooklyn, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, Greenwich Village, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Brooklyn
New York Shitty is a metropolis of pissers and moaners. Crappy jobs/job interviews, crappy dates, crappy landlords: someone has written a lengthy (and usually pithy) missive (or two) about them all. Yet no one has written about a subject that encapsulates all the previous and more: apartment shares and the people who offer them. Until today.
I care not for landlords, first dates or job interviews— but at least I know what all the previous involve: me getting fucked. Be it metaphorically, physically or both. The same cannot be said about apartment share interviews, as I learned several years ago.
The purpose of this post is to showcase the three worst (and/or weirdest) apartment share interviews I have ever had. I have even taken the liberty of creating a handy checklist to track the depths of depravity I endured. Nothing says “you’ve arrived” (in HELL) like PowerPoint, after all.
CASE STUDY #1: THE DUNGEON
Location: Meserole Street and Graham Avenue
Rent: $450 a month
The Catch: It’s a SRO
Truth be told, I was not very jazzed about the location of this share. Sure, it is a beautiful building, but I am a Greenpoint gal through and through. However, when one is dirt-ass broke, she cannot afford to be choosy, so I checked it out.
When I arrived at the front door I was greeted by a young woman. I think she was from Belgium, though it was hard to tell. She was a very pleasant and elegantly dressed lady— which made up for the decidedly NON-elegant setting.
As she led me through the front door (of her section) of the SRO, a man donning a dragon mask and reeking of marijuana popped out of another door and started giggling inanely. “Okay”, I thought “So he likes to party a little on a Sunday afternoon. Who doesn’t? No problem.”
The room she showed me was very spacious. I’ve seen many apartments smaller than this space, which probably measured around 400 square feet. I even liked the shade of lilac the walls were painted. Very pretty. I even told her so and she thanked me. She had picked out the paint herself.
Then I saw something I have never seen in any apartment/share space before: leather restraints, paddles and heavy chains anchored to the wall by mollies. Given that this was a three month sublease, the presence of these implements was non-negotiable. I could honestly not care less what this woman did (professionally?), but I don’t think I could have handled waking up every morning to the sight of Medieval torture devices. I was offered this sublet, but turned it down.
All things considered this experience was pretty mild (as I later would learn). What’s more, she was really likable and clearly not out to rip me off so I give this share a rating of…
CASE STUDY #2: MESEROLE STREET SUICIDE SHARE
Location: Meserole and Leonard Street
Rent: $500 a month
The Catch: Too many to summarize
The only reason I agreed to an interview at this share was because I confused “Meserole Street” with “Meserole Avenue”. After my interview at this hellhole I have never confused the two thoroughfares since.
I knocked on the door, a smallish red-haired man answered and ushered me in. It was dark. It was dirty. It was the bachelor pad date rape central replete with a disemboweled motorcycle in the living area. Although something about the “head roomie” was unsettling to me, I liked the other guy and heard them out. He was nice.
Then the shoes dropped, one after the other.
- Once the “Head Roomie” stood by the bathroom area (which was better lit) I recognized him; this shithead had I.M.ed me on Nerve a month ago. And being a freak (him more so than, me), I dissed him. Whoops.
- After making the previous discovery he showed me the room. It was okay, I guess. Then he pulled out a photo album and pointed to a picture of 20-something brunette chap.
See this guy?
I answered: yes.
He used to live in that space. Really nice guy, always laughing. We didn’t realize he had problems.
Me: Really, what kind of problems?
After not hearing from him a couple of days we went into his room and discovered that he had shot himself in the head hanged himself.
Me: I’m sorry to hear that.
What the hell do you say to something like that? How can one NOT notice a DEAD BODY for TWO WHOLE DAYS??? These are both very good questions. I kept them to myself.
I feel that people need to know about this, you know.
Let’s see: this was either the most diabolical form of revenge ever exacted (Where’s Candid Camera?) or this guy is being honest. Given the lack of overall intelligence he demonstrated on Nerve, I’m leaning towards the latter. I bet he is still trolling the Internets for leg too. My advice: no woman in her right mind is going to put out in a place that reeks of motor oil.
When I took the above the photo a meathead busy recycling beer bottles shouted:
Take a picture of the building across the street, it’s much nicer!
And, inasmuch as I hate to say it, I agree. At least no one has blown his (or her) brains out here hanged him (or herself) there.
With so many different factors at play, I am going to stick with simple suicide on this one and give this share a…
At last! We are down to our last contender from the Universe’s very own Garden Spot: Greenpoint, Brooklyn U.S.A.!
CASE STUDY #3: STONER SPECIAL
Location: Nassau Avenue and Monitor Street
Rent: $600 a month
The Catch: It’s total fucking rip-off… and more!
I slog my ass over to this place. It stinks. Literally. Only a block away from Kingsland Avenue, the corner where this building is situated sports a perfume I like to call Petro le Um #5. Being the eager little domicile hunter I was (because I have a strong distaste about being homeless) I go in.
It is a loft. I do not like lofts. Inasmuch as the real estate industry likes to throw around the buzz phrase “artist loft” my experience has been that “artists” generally do not inhabit such spaces. I write this as an artist. 252 Norman Avenue was no exception.
I look around and note the “stoner special” layout of the living area: three really big, threadbare sofas encircling a very expensive widescreen television set. I am shown the room that is for rent: it is (maybe) eight by ten feet. It has no windows whatsoever. They are asking $600 a month for this piece of shit. In 2001.
I am then subjected to a gauntlet of questions by the residents of this place. I smile and answer them politely. Then I go home.
A weeks goes by and I get a phone call. It is one of the fellows from this apartment.
Me: So did I get the share?
Dude: No, but I thought you were cute and wondered if you’d like to go out on a date.
When I told my buddy Larry about this recently, he opined:
You should have gone out with the guy and moved in with him. That way you will have a place to live and not have to pay rent.
Funny man, that Larry.
That said, there is something so utterly WRONG about using apartment share interviews to pick up chicks. It takes real chutzpah to call someone, tell her she did NOT get the share and then ask her on a date. Truth be told, it gave me the fucking creeps. So I give this jerk a…
In case you are wondering, I ended up putting all my shit in storage and sofa surfing until I found a place of my own. I can honestly say that one month of sofa-surfing wasn’t that bad when faced with my alternatives.