I still don't have an apartment. I'm sleeping on my brother's floor and may be moving into a room in Harlem temporarily, starting tomorrow. I went to the neighborhood today. It's just grim enough to make me feel like I can be all like, "Yeah, I lived in Harlem. It was kinda sketch but whatever, y'know?" Without actually fearing for my life.
I can only stay there two weeks at the most, so I've been a slave to Craigslist. As in, I just sent out over thirty emails at one in the morning to various people across the city.
I went to look at a room today in Brooklyn. Being unfamiliar with the area except for the ultra-gentrified island of Park Slope, where I am staying, I believed the guy when he said that his area was "one of the safest in Brooklyn."
Wish I had a picture of my expression when I walked out of the subway tunnel. Imagine every Wu-Tang video ever made, then subtract the music so the setting is just muted, decrepit and ominous. I walked down the street. Oh, a playground. That's nice. Wait. Marcy Playground. That's a song or a band or something. And that's a project. Holy shit. Marcy Projects. Ashy Larry. Jay-Z. Holy shit holy shit holy shit.
My first impulse was to flee back to the subway without even calling the guy I was supposed to meet. Instead, I called my brother to make sure I wasn't just being all white-flighty.
"What streets are you by?"
"Uh, Marcy Ave."
I met with the guy. The apartment was nice. The view from the windows was literally the urban erosion of what looked like five decades. The buildings were literally melting or something. Piles of trash everywhere.
It's the only place I've been that rivals rural Hungary in terms of decrepitness. But Hungary was funny, because it was like being in a country full of shirtless Marios. Living in Grand Theft Auto is not acceptable, though; even if the rent is good.