It Hardly Matters

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Money Doesn't Grow on Trees

In warm months, the branches of the yellow-leaved tree outside my bedroom window are heavy with shitting birds. Last September, my sister parked her car under it overnight and in the morning we had to break out the bucket and my pink dishwashing gloves and scrub about 100 significant piles of birdshit off of her Jetta. That fall, each night at dusk, the shitters screeched their warm-weather guts out, comparing notes (I got the sideview mirror! I got the driver's-side door handle! Right on, brah!). Self-congratulatory bastards.

Any way you slice it, it's nice having a tree outside my window. Even though I suppose it's more common in Brooklyn than in Manhattan, being able to see foliage directly from my New York Metro Area window is especially pleasurable. Yet another reason why I love living in Brooklyn. When I first moved to New York, I landed in the West Village. For the first six weeks, I stayed with my friend in her studio on Mulberry Street and only knew how to walk to get 1) pizza, 2) cash, and 3) to the bar. Little did I know that those three destinations (the order of importance of which could be debated forever) were pretty much evergreen in terms of their absolute necessity for survival in the big city. In that respect, not much has changed since I made the move across the East River. Tony's Pizza, the AutoCash2000 at Khim's Millennium Market, and Daddy's (happy hour! fireplace!) see their fair share of my face and my dollars.

Brooklyn became my home because I was sick of living in a West Village apartment in which I could scramble eggs while sitting on the toilet. My roommate and I bought copious amounts of Ikea shelving and a miniature dish rack, attempting fruitlessly to maximize the 600 square feet that was 26 Leroy Street Apartment 6. In this "two bedroom," there were no closets, a stand-up shower, and plaster walls with mouse tunnels dating from 1865. Charming, indeed. We happily paid close to $2,000/month for this apartment--being 25, we didn't know any better. To make ends meet, we put our silver dollar pancakes and bacon from the Waverly Diner on our Visas and sold CDs at Bleecker Street Records. Somehow we avoided debtors' prison and survived as semi-starving recent college graduates in a neighborhood that now, five years later, welcomes only B-list actors and couples with a combined annual income of over $500,000. No wonder my roommate moved to Sunnyside and I to Williamsburg, where one can easily walk to the Pay-O-Matic and, on the way, grab a slice of pizza for $1.65.

I don't recall ever seeing birds in the trees outside my apartment in Manhattan. When I moved to the West Village, I didn't give much thought to trees, or lack thereof. I didn't think much about money, or lack thereof, either. I suppose the tradeoff for paying a bit less in rent is that I get to have a tree full of birds outside my window. But of course, being Brooklyn birds, they gleefully, mercilessly, shit on your car.


  • "in which I could scramble eggs while sitting on the toilet."

    The other night over dinner with some folks, I was talking about how much I love cooking & how sad it was that I didn't find that out until I left the WeeVill and moved to Queens. Wesley then explained that it also might have been because our stove was covered with hair because we stood in front of it to dry our hair.

    By Blogger Claire Deveron, at 12:55 PM  

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