There's this Starbucks
at Astor Place, near the subway; I stop there after arriving downtown on the 5 and 6 trains to have a cigarette
before work. This morning, there was chalk-written graffiti
all along the sidewalk, from Broadway-and-8th to the Starbucks entrance, graffiti along
the lines of "BOYCOTT STARBUCKS", "$tarbucks OWNS you", and "STOP BUYING, START LIVING", perhaps scrawls in sympathy with the first anniversary of the Seattle
protests. There is, unbelievably, a second Starbucks here, on the other side of Astor Place (about a block away); I didn't have time this morning to look for chalk
etchings near there.
I've found an apartment
; I wanted a place somewhere south of downtown Manhattan
's 14th Street, and, after several grueling weeks, I found one -- in Brooklyn
. I saw the place last night, after killing a half-hour walking around the neighborhood; unlike the North Bronx (my hometown
and current temporary HQ) and Manhattan (where my job searches were, and where I work), my trips (two) to Queens and Brooklyn for apartment-hunting were like stepping out of my mental picture of what NYC
is; it was more like, in the case of Astoria, Queens
, like visiting part of
, Massachusetts, while the part of Fort Greene
I saw last night reminded me, at various times, of visits and residences in Richmond
, Virginia, Pittsburgh
, and other cities.
Getting this apartment was a cinch. In contrast to the madness of apartment-hunting in downtown Manhattan -- having often to see a studio with a crowd of other wannabe tenants (one of the last places I saw, I squoze into a teeny-tiny elevator with three other people to get to a third-floor
apartment; the other ten hopefuls took the stairs), then jump through various hoops (at my last trip to a realty office, they made copies of my last three paycheck stubs, my employer's offer letter, my last bank statement, and the dental X-rays of my first born, plus the obligatory running of the credit check, at my expense, of course). My trip to Brooklyn was more like the laid-back atmosphere down South; in the
owner's absence and the broker's tardiness, a friend of the owner let me in. I took a look around for a few minutes, said I liked
the place. The broker arrived; she spoke a little with the owner's friend, in French (I caught little of it,
but he was confirming that I would be the sole tenant). The broker pulls out a lease, and I would have gone ahead and signed it, but we decided to wait until this morning; the owner won't be around until Saturday anyway, so, for now, I'm locked out of my new swinging bachelor pad (/me ducks
from the flying Swiss Army Knife).
Utilities and such (DSL!), I'll worry about later; I still have to go to North Carolina, to finish packing up pingouin World HQ, which wouldn't fit in the car when we drove up here in May.
I was thinking about the ridiculous rents and rituals one has to endure downtown, and figured that the likes of Debbie Harry
, Tom Verlaine
, Bob Dylan
, and Lydia Lunch
, et mucho al, probably enjoyed dirt-cheap rents back in the day
when they emigrated there from small-town
. Chelsea Girl
probably would experience sticker shock
at current rents, and don't get me started on my visits to Soho
, where the first thing I saw upon exiting the subway was some Armani
boo-teek, and similar wastes of space. Makes you long for a
that clears out the yuppies
. In place of La Lydia and Zimmy, we have people like the guy I saw traipsing down First Avenue the other day, jabbering into a cell phone
about his band's next gig
and their impending deal with TVT
, exuding all the "charm" of a cross between "Baby Huey
" (my old manager and radio colleague) and some frat-boy business-administration major. Rock on, ya wuss!
So I've got a pad. I'll eventually have my crap set up, and begin various projex in earnest, like finishing the Java
version of my website, building up a new sound library for my (real and virtual) synthesizers, and somehow integrating open source
tools like Csound
(or a similar audio platform). Once the aforementioned crap is in place up here, I'll begin to
have some degree of normalcy
in my life again, at least as much as one can have when one would much rather be living in a Fijian tree house
, playing a bamboo flute all day.
But that will have to wait until after the IPO.
/me takes a look at the YTD for various tech stocks...