Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Many Species of New York Room-Renters

I made the mistake of listing my room on Craigslist before talking to Paulo C’s cousin. I’m moving out in 6 days, so this past Monday I figured I should probably get rid of the room. The Skeeze was out of town so I had no means of talking to Paulo C’s cousin (he’s my translator). I figured she would definitely want me to get rid of it, but 70 responses later I found out that she wants to wait a while to list the room; she has some freeloaders coming in June who will be using the place.

When I listed my room with the Diablo, I probably got about 20 responses over a period of a week or two. That room was $1,300 plus utilities so it narrowed down the responses to those who could afford it (I sure as hell couldn’t) and were willing to share with a random roommate. After all, for the same price you could probably get a studio a few blocks North and live by yourself. As for my current room—it’s quite the commodity coming in at an unheard of $500/month, no utilities. I mean, you get what you pay for: it’s small and comes with a built-in smelly, non-English speaking smoker with a perennially exposed pelvic region and way too many guests, but the place is pretty cute and somehow you end up saving money despite living in New York City. Had Paulo C’s cousin let me rent the room out, I would have given it to the person willing to bribe me the most. There’s no doubt in my mind that I could have got a grand. That is, if they didn’t mind tripping over the two Brazilians who are currently sleeping on our living room floor to look at the room. Sigh.

Here are some of the different renter species I encountered in the process:

The Stalker Species
This species is pretty standard. His/her system consists of calling during the night (while you’re sleeping), in the morning (7 a.m.) and in the afternoon (inevitably while you’re at lunch or in a meeting) just in case you weren’t available the other 650 times they called. This species convinces itself that you are not answering because you are busy, not because you are deliberately ignoring it.

The “Talks so Goddamned Fast I Can’t Understand His Name or Number" Species
…and thus has no chance of graduating into the "I Will Bribe You More Than Your Other Candidates Will" Species.

The “Uses Room Hunting as an Excuse to Brag About Herself” Species
I’ll let this email excerpt speak for itself (by the way, she was also a member of the “Expresses Interest via Template Email” Species)

I'm 24, have been in New York for almost 2 years now, and havebasically led 3 lifetimes in those 2 years.”

-Translation: “People are pulling on me from every direction. I’m in high demand.”

I came here initially to be a magazine editor (beauty and/or fashion), ended up doing freelancefashion styling for [redacted], then worked as an assistant for a fewfreelance stylists, then worked briefly at an ad agency, then fellinto the advertising side of publishing [redacted] and am now en route to becoming a Buyer at [redacted] (I'm a merchandise assistant in theFine Watches area). I work the typical 8:30 to 6pm, M-F."

-Transaltion [I totally love this one]: “Came here to be an editor, but ended up an assistant. People clearly don’t know talent when they see it.” *

”I also moonlight in PR for a record label. I was definitely all over the place for awhile, but am now ready to settle in (at least, career-wise).”

-Translation: “I’m ready to settle down career-wise, but I’m still whorin’ around in the relationship department. Know anyone?”

“About me…I'm trying to think of what to say… “

-You mean the above wasn’t the part where you talk about yourself? (I even skipped a few paragraphs. There were 6 total in this thing).

Here the “Uses Room Hunting as an Excuse to Brag About HerselfSpecies offers her myspace address in case you need her background. Because, you know, you haven’t already heard enough.

The “I’m Looking for a Roomie!" Species
This species is looking for not only a room, but also a best friend and confidant with whom she (obviously it’s a she) can do the following:
-Watch T.V. while eating caramel popcorn
-Gossip about boyzzz
-Drink pink wine
-Bitch about work
-Go shopping
-Decorate! "Our place is going to be the cutest apartment of all of our friends" (Because we obviously share all of the same friends now)

The “I Don’t Do Drugs ‘Cos Drugs Is Whack” Species

This species is a not-so-distant cousin of the “I Don’t Like Drama” species. Basically, if you’re even throwing it out there, then you’re a crack whore/drama queen. It’s like me saying “I’m not into people with acute cases of psychoses and occasional episodes of neuroses.” Ummm. Yeah.

The “I No Speak English” Species
I already live with this species, but wouldn’t it be, like, so multi-culturally sound to have an English-speaker, a Portuguese-speaker and a Cantonese-speaker all living in perfect fucking microcosmic harmony? They could all walk around pointing at shit and pretending that if they talk just a bit slower they’ll start speaking one another’s languages in no time! “Issss thisss yooouuur milllkkkk oorrr miiinnnneee?”

There were others, too, like the “We are Two Foreign Student Who Want to Share Your $500/month Room (and thus take up twice as much space in the shared living areas like the bathroom and kitchen and living room, not to mention the hallways)” Species, and the “I’m 65 Years Old and Have 2 Cats” Species. I just don’t have time to list them all.

* I laugh, but, umm, my story isn’t too far off. Sigh.

1 comment:

DCchick said...


Oh man.

Hilariously true unfortunately.

(you didn't like the cat lady?)