My new hobby is advising people who are looking at apartments in my building to go live in a cardboard box in front of Bowery Mission instead. The other day, a perfectly lovely young lady, clearly an NYU student (I don’t know how you can tell, but you can tell) stopped me in the hallway to ask me if I liked living here.
“Sure,” I said. “I mean, the neighborhood is great. Well, not the neighborhood, exactly. Cuz this street sucks. But a couple blocks north, or a couple blocks east — anywhere where you’re not smack next to the cheesiest nightclub in Manhattan — it’s great. Also, there’s no laundry here. Oh! And a hobo shit in the hall. Did you know the front door was broken for TWO YEARS? Well, it was. And I heard a girl got raped in the stairwell a few years back, but it was much more ghet’ around here then. You know what? Don’t live here. I’m serious. I’m moving to Brooklyn. Or maybe up the street. You should, too. Anyway — moving.”
She backed away slowly and smiled. Probably that was a lot of info for someone who didn’t seem to speak a lot of English, but I like to help.