Monday, January 03, 2005

My NY Story: Random Roommate

So I would sneak into NYU's computer lab to look online for prospective roommates with cribs. You wouldn't believe the characters I met on my search:

The SEVEN Cooper Union students looking for an EIGHTH to sleep in an exposed loft bed area (bed not included) in their east Village three bedroom.

The gay men looking for someone to share the expenses all the hell way at the top of Manhattan around 208th St.

The college girl in Brooklyn Heights who had a junky one bedroom, offering me the living room and a cat. I almost took it until she told me she sometimes found mice in her Nikes.

And my personal fav...the straight-from-Asia PhD student up in Washington Heights, who sounded mad desperate on the phone. I get up there and can smell the peanut oil and rice from way down the block. I get in there and it's kinda cramped, but there is actually a bed already in the second bedroom. After he shows me the place he tells me it's not available. I was surprised since I had spoken to him a couple times in the past few days. So the next day I call back with a disguised voice and he says it's still available.

Guess he was too new to America to know that not all black girls smack their lips and use slang when they talk on the phone. Thinking back I did realize that he had that wide eyed look when I showed up. I thought he was just happy to see an attractive woman. lol

Sunday, January 02, 2005

My NY Story: Runaway Rent

So back when I lived in the City while interning, thankfully I had a temporary hookup. My best friend from the Cuse, "Multi-Lingual Lawyer," (MLL) was smart enough to transfer to NY.U sophomore year, and she lived in an amazing condo in the Village. Visiting her during college was how I got to know and fall in love with the City. So naturally I stayed with her for my first few weeks there.

She made it seem like I'd find a crib in no time...problem was, she probably assumed I was coming to the City bankrolled. Ahh, no. Actually I was flat broke. I was never under a much pressure as I was searching for a place to live and a place to make some dough.

I think I found the job first. In market research...which means I called people who had signed up with us, conducted interviews to see if they fit the profile of the demographic specified by the company that hired us to find people to come to their focus groups. Cake walk.

So I worked part time, arriving late every damn day, racing from NBC (on the westside) across town to the office on Park Ave. Scavenged in the green room every morning for bagels and lox. Stopped at the pizza joint next on Park Ave for a $1 slice heading in to work. None of the other interns had to work. None of them were stressed. Btwn the YMCA (which I refused, but my boy Chris swore by) or school housing, they all had some sort of roof.

So I found one in Brooklyn, went there the next day and met this little Mexican at the Broadway stop on the A train in East NY. He's like an oral historian, walking me thru the hood pointing out every nook and cranny, to this little enclave off Rockaway Ave. Quiet little residential street with a rim shop at the end. We walk up to this red house with white wrought iron trim. Walk in and meet this older Jamaican lady and her 3 (fine azz) sons.

She shows me the upstairs "apt." Basically it was one bedroom on the second floor of the house, with a small living room attached (remind me to tell you about the African who lifted me and pinned me against that living room wall one night. Whoa!). It was furnished by Jamaicans which meant a plastic covered couch, doilies, old hardwood floors, figurines. There was a "private" bathroom next to the room. The matriarch's bedroom was on the other side of the second floor, and one of the (fine azz) sons lived in the basement.

Tiny. Like a private prison cell. I could stretch both arms and place my palms flat on each wall. There was little room for anything else besides the full-sized bed and my alarm clock.

$100 per week. Not allowed to cook in the kitchen. No phone line. Utilities included. More importantly, no security deposit.

I took it!

All the other interns lived in Manhattan. MY commute from (East NY) Brooklyn was an hour. My block got gully after dark. Walking home from the train at night was more like a slow jog. Dudes chillin at all hours getting their rims did. Btwn keeping up with my credit card bills ($15 minimum), weekly metrocards, a meal a day (neighborhood Chinese or Kennedy's Fried Chicken on weekends), my cell phone bill (not to date myself, but this was long before cellies could fit inside the palm of your hand)...dough was getting tight. But I was living on my own in NY effing City. With no help from anyone. Working. Pursuing my career. Making sacrifices. It was the most rewarding experience of my young life.

Not sure why I never fcuked the fine azz son in the basement. Probably bec I skipped out of the crib in the dead of night with the help of MLL, a few days early, without paying that last week's rent. A ngga was broke!

Saturday, January 01, 2005

MY NY Story: 24

By the time I was 24, I had been living and working in NYC for 2 years. But it was not my first taste of city living. As a senior at Syra.cuse I had enough credits to graduate early. But instead of finishing in December, a semester ahead of my friends, I decided to spend the more tedious, cold and boring Fall semester working in NYC.

The year before, I was invited by the IR.ST to a conference that changed my life. So bizarre, I don't keep in touch with anyone from that weekend, but a few months later I did end up fcuking this guy I met there who went to nearby College. Yet another sexual digression...

[Now take notes young journos]...So at the conference I met with a lot of recruiters for companies in NY, and hooked up an internship with the Today Show [sidenote: the day of my formal interview I show up at 30 Rock, only to learn that the recruiter with whom I was to meet had kicked the bucket that weekend. Literally dead. They politely sent me home, where I cried my eyes out...only to receive a follow up phone call, apology and an offer for the position.] From that conference I also kept in touch with the recruiter from a network, and eventually got a job offer (which I accepted) just before graduation.

So fast fwd to me, 24, working and in a serious relationship. I remember quite vividly waking up one morning at my boo's crib uptown. In the morning we always awoke to Hot 97 and GMA. Starr was of course infamous for being inappropriate, so when he made mention on air of an absurd accident downtown, we shook our heads in disapproval and turned on the TV. Sure enough we saw the second plane hit the second tower. Walked outside and could smell the carnage from over 116 blocks away. Didn't ride the subway for weeks after Sept. 11. Not until my boo's 24th bday a few weeks later.

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  • So...Wise??

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    Our Nation's (HIV) way of Harlem, NY and Upsteezy NY
    I'm older than I look, and stupider than you think. But I'm quite proud of my sharp eye for The Ridiculous, and by Ridiculous, of course I mean Me.