Thursday, July 19, 2007

Be It Ever So Humble

I feel as though I’ve been taking a lot of jabs at my new apartment lately, and it’s not entirely fair. Like many people my age, I’ve lived in a lot of rentals since I left my parents’ house at age 17, and I can honestly say that this is the first one that I can actually see myself occupying for a long time. My first apartment was a furnished two-bedroom in Ann Arbor that was adjacent to a lumberyard and boasted views of the University of Michigan stadium, a.k.a. “The Big House.” Some Saturdays my roommate and I would sell our football tickets to scalpers and try to make out the scoreboard from the kitchen window. The remaining days of the week, the marching band would practice at a nearby field, so we always knew ahead of time that the halftime show would feature a medley of songs from feature films, such as “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic. This number was particularly memorable for several reasons, but most of the time the tuba was just the soundtrack to our days and I never really noticed it much.

After college, there was a brief stint in Hoboken, New Jersey, which I typically omit when telling Crazy Apartment stories with other New Yorkers. It’s not that I’ve become that provincial – I actually really like New Jersey (Tenafly, holla!) – but for me, Hoboken was like an entire town made up of fraternity row. And every bar was the basement at the Beta House. So many ribbed cotton sweaters. So many shiny black shoes with buckles. So. Much. Tanning. And the puka shell necklackes! I think I have PTSD from the puka shell necklaces. I don’t care if you are a native Hawaiian and speak fluent Samoan; they will forever scream “date rapist” to me.

Fortunately, my roommate at the time had made plans to move in with her boyfriend, leaving me free and clear to escape to Brooklyn. (I still feel a bit guilty about that, since he was a complete tool and it was obvious that they were going to break up before our lease ran out, but c’mon, I was being supportive. She was secretly dying to live in Manhattan anyway, boyfriend or no. Don’t look at me like that.) Three apartments and five years later, I finally have on-site laundry, an elevator, and adequate storage place. Like most New York renters my age I am a bit of a real-estate whore, but I know when I have a good thing.