Ah, moving. It is never not stressful, but sometimes it can be stressful and exciting. The degree of excitement lies within the circumstance. Perhaps you are ready for a change and are switching apartments purely of your own volition. Or, conversely, you are moving because you have no choice but to move. I found myself on the latter end of this spectrum a couple months ago when my then-roommate and I found out that our landlord was planning on selling our apartment, leaving us no choice but to find a new place to live. It was then that the dread of finding a place to live in New York City hit me for the first time. All I wanted was something comfortable. Judging from how hard it had been to achieve the level of comfort I’d had at the apartment I’d been living in, I thought I’d never find that comfort again.
I had a couple of leads that fell through. I had a nervous breakdown about it at work and cried, cried, cried. I resorted to combing Craigslist, where I would try to find an apartment that I would share with the least-freaky freaks I could find. Everybody is a freak on Craigslist. They are either prudish neat freaks or slovenly weird freaks. I resigned myself to the fact that I was doomed.
But thank god for the internet and thank god for my boyfriend, who sent smoke signals out over the internet that were seen by Maud, a coworker of mine who needed to move by April 1st as well. We now have a super rad apartment RIGHT NEAR THA L TRAIN. As soon as the deal was sealed, I finally started feeling super excited about my move and super over my old apartment. As I packed all my shit into a thousand banker’s boxes, all I could think about was what I hated about it and how I couldn’t wait to leave. When I finally got all my shit out of there and was taking one last look at the place, I could only think about the things that I loved about living there. I made a list. Let’s start with the things I hated.
PART ONE: THE BAD
1. THERE IS NOTHING AROUND THERE
Except Family Dollar. Fuck those people who robbed the old Silent Barn because that was the only worthwhile shit within walking distance of my house. Since moving to Ridgewood, my mood has improved about 10,000 percent. There are STORES and FOOD TRUCKS and PEOPLE walking around. If I want to go to brunch, I can take a nice walk down Wyckoff Avenue to Café Ghia. Shit, there’s even a 24-hour McDonald’s if you’re into that. Which I am, but only while intoxicated.
2. THEY GOT RID OF THE BAT CAVE
What the fuck, y’all? I don’t know what this used to be- I am assuming it was some sort of bar. One day I was walking down the street and was very disturbed to find that somebody had painted over the sign, which was one of my favorite idiosyncrasies of the neighborhood. Why had I never bothered to take a picture of it to show my future children!? Oh well. Some person from the internet did it for me. Thank god for Google Images.
Anyway. The space of the former Bat Cave has been empty ever since the sign was painted over. I can only hope that they are doing some work inside to make it into another bar because as I said before there is nothing around that neighborhood except for Family Dollar.
3. MY SHITTY NEIGHBOR DID PULL-UPS IN THE HALL
At first, I was indifferent to the pull-up bar that my neighbor had installed in the doorway of his apartment. Whatever. That’s kind of weird and bro-y but okay if you’re into that then who am I to be a hater. But the more I thought about it, the more I was like, dude, why don’t you join a gym? You own the apartment. Surely you can afford a gym membership? Everybody who visited my apartment commented on and would make fun of the pull-up bar. The ridiculousness of it became fully apparent to me when I realized that my neighbor seemed to think that since he owned the apartment he owned the hallway, too. Every day there was at least one of the following clustered outside his door: sneakers and/or boots (at least two pairs), glass/plastic recycling, cardboard recycling, a tub of car litter, and a bike pump. JESUS. Can we say FIRE HAZARD? However, all that pales in comparison to what came next.
One day I was relaxing as much as one can relax while reclining on the least expensive couch available at Target. I heard the door to my neighbor’s house open. He was blasting Lana del Rey really, really loud. That wasn’t my problem. My problem began when I realized he was doing pull-ups. At first, all I could hear was heavier breathing, work-out breathing, if you will. He went inside for two minutes. Then he came back out and resumed doing pull-ups. This occurred several more times. The breathing turned into grunting. The grunting turned into... I DON’T EVEN KNOW. All I know was that it was LOUD and gross. Lana del Rey singing “Blue Jeans” in the background made it even worse. Yeah, I get it, dude. You’re a sensitive guy who is still manly. That’s great. Now get out of my freakin’ hallway. Because, believe it or not, OTHER PEOPLE LIVE HERE and they don’t want to be hearing your work-out sounds while trying to read/write on their Target sofas.
4. IT WAS TOO EXPENSIVE AND THE HEAT WAS ALWAYS BUSTED
Actually, that’s not quite true. The heat was working when our evil landlord decided that he wanted to sell the apartment. As rich people spun through our apartment with a real estate broker with a Louis bag and Restylane-filled lips (that was way harsh, Tai), our apartment was nice and toasty. My room was always very drafty no matter what, though. It was the one huge drawback from having the room with windows.
5. THE LANDLORD NEVER CALLED ME BACK
Even when some jackass broke my toilet while we were throwing a party. Come fix my shit, this is serious business! It sucked to be ignored all the time. I guess the thing that bummed me out the most about the apartment was the bad vibes I got from the management company. True, our apartment was nice and not-falling-apart, and I was thankful for that considering my previous two apartments. But there is something very depressing about living somewhere that belongs to a man who is never in his office, who doesn’t care, who doesn’t like women. A man who pulls the rug out from under you! Evil, evil man. Good riddance.
Well, that was the bad. I always think of the bad before I think of the good whenever I move. It’s easier to think of the bad, to focus on the things that you didn’t like in order to like another apartment better. That brings me to the next part of this post:
PART TWO: WHAT I LOVED
my old room
I won’t go into much detail, because it was nebulous, dreamlike. I remember good things the way one experiences happiness- in fleeting impressions. I don’t think it was the apartment itself that I will miss. Instead, I will miss the life I lived inside of it, even if that life was at times a huge mess. In semi-chronological order, here are the things I will never forget:
The sense of relief I felt upon getting out of Crown Heights and finally moving to Bushwick, where I’d always wanted to live during all of the time I’ve resided in this city.
Everything we ever did on the roof. Laughing with friends uncontrollably until dawn, drinking far too much, listening to music and dancing and streaking (!) and not having any neighbors catch me.
Sleeping in my old room with no windows and leading the exquisitely miserable and desperate lifestyle that I continue to romanticize.
Moving into the room with windows after my horrible roommate moved out and my awesome roommate moved in.
My 25th birthday house party, our housewarming party, and Andrea’s birthday party.
Hosting the M1 Eve sign-making party. Solidarity forever!
Those pussy willows I put on the living room table last spring.
The breeze blowing into the front room. Waking up to tree branches heavy with green leaves.
The lull of the B20 bus chugging down Decatur Street. Hearing laundry turn in the dryer and water churning in the dishwasher.
Having the coolest, most non-judgmental roommate ever.
Loving the man that I do in my bed, in my room.
The last morning I spent in my room. The pink and orange sunlight and the mourning dove cooing in the tree at quarter ‘til seven.
I suppose the good outweighs the bad, yes?