After staying in Sofa City at a bunch of friends’ apartments, I found a room for rent at $125/week. I thought I hit the jackpot, but what I found was actually a tad illegal and shady. I went to a real estate manager’s office for short term rentals. I filled out an application, and was shown this apartment. It was small but they would take my cats and it was a two minute walk to the subway station, not to mention the grocery store across the street. I gave my first week and last week’s rent to my roommate, who also managed the apartment, and picked up my cats from the kennel. Fast forward to a few months later, to where I come home and my roomie’s friend who owns the dry cleaning store across the street is there. He tells me that my roomie is in Miami for a few weeks and he would collect the rent. My roommate lived in Miami for about a year and has friends there, so I didn’t think anything of it. The following day, I got up, did all my laundry, cleaned my room, cleaned the cat litter box and went out to dinner and a conference with a friend. Later that evening, I come home to a messy apartment. Apparently, a search warrant is a piece of paper that allows the police to ransack your apartment, throw your shit on the floor and search everything, including your underwear and your cat litter box. One of my cats, Diablo, who rarely socializes or meows, greeted me at the front door, crying like a crazy cat. Great. I’m living my own version of Law & Order, except there is no hot detective to help me. I read the warrant and it looks as though they searched this apartment and another one for fraudulent papers, aka a fake passport or Social Security Card ring. Now I’m pissed. I don’t feel safe and my cats feel violated. Who keeps fraudulent documents in a cat litter box? I cleaned my room, calmed the cats and went to bed. A few days later, my roommate’s wife comes by the apartment looking for my weekly rent. I explained to her what happened and that no one was here to collect the rent after the warrant incident. She told me I had to have last week’s rent and this week’s rent to her by tomorrow. I said fine. The next day, I told her to come by and pick it up before 230pm and she said okay. At 2:10pm, she asked me to drop it off at the dry cleaner place across the street. I did so, only because I know the owner and I gave it to him after txting her that I gave him the money. The next morning, the super knocked on my door asking for rent. What? I told him that my roommate does that. A few hours later, the building manager comes by, saying that my roommate is two months behind in rent. Of course, he has no business card, and no phone number for me to contact him, but I give him my roommate’s wife’s number. Interesting. As soon as the manager left, I went across the street and asked Mr. Dry Cleaning if the wife picked up my rent money. He said no, prompting me to tell him that the super and the building manager came by asking for rent. I called her, and she did not pick up. So I asked for my rent money, and he gave it to me. A few minutes later, she sent me a txt message saying that she was going to give the apartment back to the building manager in seven or eight days and that it was too much work for her. I just said okay. She then txtd me saying her sister has a room in Manhattan for $150/wk if I wanted it. I declined. I’m not stupid. This morning, she came by asking why I took my rent money back. My other roommate popped in and said, quite frankly, “You told us last week that we have to be out of here by this week because you’re giving the apartment back in a few days, and after the search warrant incident, you still want us to pay? Hell no.” I stiffled my laugh. I told her that she still had my last week of rent from my deposit and that I put a deposit on a new apartment and gave money to the building manager. I also said that she is two months behind in rent and I refuse to give any more money to anyone else until I am guaranteed a place to stay. She had nothing to say about it. My other roommate let her have it, because the police dumped everything he owned on his bed and the floor. Before she left, she said that she would be giving the keys to the super or the building manager on Friday. Yesterday, the super told me there was a woman in the building renting a room for the same price, and it’s actually on the same floor. Meanwhile, I posted ads for the mini fridge, the futon and other things that my roommate let me use. And I’m taking the cable modem, the router, and the tv. Class, what have we learned? If the apartment is cheap and too good to be true, it’s most likely illegal. If you think you’re being screwed, try to stay one step ahead and sell their shit. Class dismissed!
My Christmas list goes something like this:
- A modest, roach-free apartment on the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side, or eff it, Greenwich Village
- My babies! I miss my cats. Since I’ve been living the hobo life, my boys have been living the luxury life at a kennel. They get treats and fresh water twice a day, and they get brushed. I don’t know if they’ll be happy once I get them back.
- A pair of warm boots. Damn this New York winter…and the rain…and the snow.
- Some longjohns….seriously…I moved from Florida to New York, so yeah, I’m cold.
- A white iPhone 4, please. I know it’s a myth, like the unicorn, or the Jonas Brothers’ virginity. A girl can dream, can’t she?
- Gerard Butler…I know, I’ve mentioned this before but please, if there is a Santa Claus, I’ve been a good girl, and I deserve a bad boy.
I made the calls, forwarded my resume, sent the follow-up emails and made the move. One sentence cannot emphasize the amount of stress I have gone through during the last two months. I packed up my apartment, donated most of my stuff, and put eight boxes and a bag in storage. I couldn’t fly with my cats so I rented a car and actually drove from Florida to Maryland. Oh…holy…Jesus…that was stressful. I haven’t driven a car since 2008 so yeah, not only my life was in danger, but also my cats, and anyone on the road or the sidewalk. I left Monday night, arrived in NYC on Wednesday afternoon. I slept for 10 hours in 3 days. I was a wreck. But now I’m so much happier. New York is amazing. I still haven’t found an apartment yet, and have resorted to staying with friends. I start my new job this week and I’m working on getting another one. I don’t know what is going to happen next, but I know I am much happier here.
Things are going well with the new apartment. The few friends who have come by like the layout and the open feeling when there. I just wish I had more furniture. I am focusing on decorating it, and putting something on the walls! I went from owning a 2BR/1.5BA with a basement and a deck in Baltimore to renting a studio apartment with an eat-in kitchen in Miami Beach. I’ve given away or sold most of my furniture from previous residences so I’m starting from scratch. My place looks like a serial killer lives there, with a mattress on the floor, a tv, a pitifully small futon, and a desk. There is no table to eat on and I have two forks, two spoons, two plates, two knives, etc. If more than one person comes over, I have to eat off paper plates. I strongly believe the word minimalism really means having no furniture and barewalls because you’re broke.
I got a job again…finally. I’m working at a nice boutique hotel AND I will start my retail job soon. Yes, I have two jobs. I’m already tired with the hotel job, I don’t even want to know what will happen when the second job starts. But I’m happy to be working. In other news, the drain to my tub is clogged. I have emptied two containers of fake Draino into it. I called Roto Rooter and they wanted to charge me $239 to clear the clog. I said that was unbelivably high. The technician went back to his truck to “see how low he could go” and returned with a price of $150. Oh hell no. I’m going to do some research and figure it out myself. Until then, it’s a whore’s bath for Shenae.
A frog hopped into the house yesterday. It took me 15 minutes to get it out, like it didn’t want to leave. And it wasn’t just any ordinary frog, this was some kind of albino looking grayish white frog with reddish brown eyes. What is significant about little Kermit’s visit is that frogs are a symbol of prosperity in feng shui and if one hops into your house, it means that money is going to be coming to you. Love that feng shui!
I got a new job, moved to a new apartment and my bank reimbursed me for the British Airways debacle. But the best thing is that I am a few weeks away from purchasing a new Mac. I am going to order a super duper MacBook Pro. Oh I can’t wait. No more hitting the “i” and “o” buttons with all my strength in order for them to work. Did I mention that I’m getting a Blackberry? Oops, forgot about that one. No more phantom calls and I will get my txt messages on time, not 2 or 3 days after. Life is sweet.
So I got a job…finally. I am working as a pantry cook at a restaurant near my apartment. Gotta love that two minute commute. I chop things, rather, massacre food, make sauces, cure or smoke meats while listening to rock music on the radio. It’s very easy and I’m getting my chef legs back. I still think I’m slow. I haven’t cooked in a restaurant kitchen in over four years. It doesn’t matter. I like to learn new things, I learn fast and I like to work, so I look better than the lazy people they had before. The downside is that I haven’t found a part-time job to supplement the day job income. Why do I need another job? I have two words for you: student loans. I can’t defer them any longer.
I have been busy organizing my life. All of my laundry is almost done, my kitchen sparkles, and I re-filed my taxes. Apparently, the state of Maryland LOST my 1999 taxes. I am not joking, they lost them! This is why I hate Maryland. Anyway, I have a drinking club to plan for, a happy hour and a wedding to attend this week. Yes, I am trying to be a busy bee. I am counting down until I start my knitting and sewing classes. And I am thinking about buying a DVD player. I am a movie fanatic, so I am surprised that I haven’t purchased one yet. Email me your suggestions if you have any.
I love Old Navy. I just got my order today. I love ribbed turtleneck sweaters and little tees. I look good in them. I am going to a happy hour at Geckos tonight. It’s because some people want to get out, but I am going to celebrate my kick ass review and raise. Oh yeah, I am in another tax bracket, baby! And yes, I will be sporting some of the new threads tonight.