Two: The Quest for Housing
The difficulty of finding housing in New York is
legendary, and deservedly so. My plan for discovering a place
to live consisted of asking every single person I met whether
they knew of anyone moving soon or with extra space for rent.
And every Tuesday night I grabbed a fresh copy of the
Village Voice and made phone calls for about two hours.
About five of these calls would get through, and I would spend
the next couple days checking out apartments throughout New
This could actually be a lot fun. I got to see a ton
of different living spaces, from illegal lofts carved out of
giant warehouses in Brooklyn to gorgeous 40th floor apartments
on the Upper East Side to tiny little ratholes in Harlem.
However, it also meant dealing with some horrible assholes,
dashed expectations, and sleeping on my generous cousin's
floor for a month and a half.
Fortunately, with assistance
of the Gay Roommate Information Network, I have acquired a
space to live: I currently reside in a two-bedroom apartment
in Brooklyn Heights, which I share with Dominique and a cat
It's very strange -- I live in a mall. For two
blocks in every direction, there are only chain stores and
fast-food restaurants. The apartment is directly above a nail
salon and a deli. The third floor is my roommate's multi-media
business, and we occupy the entire the fourth floor. There is
also a fire escape which leads to our porch -- i.e. the roof
of the buidling next door. This is an exceedingly convenient
location; Brooklyn Heights is as close as you can get to
Manhattan without actually being on the island. And I'm within
four blocks of the A, C, F, 2, 3, 4,5, N, and R subway lines,
so no part of the city is safe.