I’m pretty sure that we were Punk’d yesterday. We had an appointment with a woman at noon to see three apartments in Brooklyn. We met her at her office, filled out some paperwork and then headed off with her and a “coworker” in her car.
She was a small asian woman. And, forgive me for saying as much, but not the most intelligent individual. She was super trendy and liked fashion. She was born and raised in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia. Which basically means, “I grew up in a mall.”
So we’re in the car with her and the other woman who she called “Stacy”. Stacy had pink hair and wore leather. Stacy was a very serious woman. She liked to talk about all things driving.
Make sure you wear your seatbelt. They pull people over for that here.
What time is it? If it’s not yet 1 p.m. don’t even think about parking here. They will give you a ticket. They are street-cleaning.
I parallel park good. I could get us into that spot.
And she did. Mena got out of the driver’s side and Stacy got in and Stacy parked that bitch. She parked it real good.
I once drove myself across the country. Took me 1 month.
And then we saw our first apartment.
There is a new strategy the broker’s use in New York now that Craigslist exists. They will post one property as a “NO FEE” apartment. (For those of you who don’t know what this means, in the past it was nearly impossible to find a place without paying a broker’s fee. They act as the middleman between you and the owners of properties.) After they reel you in with a NO FEE listing, they sneak in a few more with a fee. (I’m assuming that the fee apartments are nicer than the NO FEE apartments. But don’t quote me on that. Especially based on what we went through yesterday.)
The first apartment had a fee. But that’s totally o.k. because it was downright awful. The kitchen was the biggest room in the apartment. Stacy said, “THIS IS THE BIGGEST KITCHEN IN ALL OF WILLIAMSBURG.” But she couldn’t drive it so it was of no real use to her.
The walls were all off. There were no right angles. The bathroom looked as if someone filled it up with “brown”, shook it hard like a dollar-store snowglobe and then set it down to rest. The “second” bedroom was barely a second at all. It was more like the bastard you leave locked up on the basement. The building itself was o.k. but the apartment, quite frankly, was not. BUT THERE WAS A VIEW! And by “view” I mean you could see a few metal tips peeking out from over the other Greenpoint rooftops.
So we left to see number two. Number two was worse. Much later I would say to TobyJoe, “If we were to move into that place, I would be driven to suicide.” And I meant every word.
The kitchen was yellow and blue. And had it been attached to something less hideous and disturbing, it could be considered nice. But the living room was not at all nice. Someone painted the walls blood red. And not “live” blood red, but dark blood-that’s-been-sitting-out-and-curdling red. And the walls were not even. There were bulges behind layers of paint. It’s as if we had entered the inside of someone’s stomach in the middle of an autopsy. I was sure that at any moment the metal objects would come poking through the red wall and pluck Stacy up and out into the sunlight, the glorious sunlight.
The bedroom was filled with the most horrible 1985 set of furniture I have ever seen. The owner thought “Well, maybe someone would like to have this wonderful bedroom set. So let’s leave it and let them decide.” And for that, I have concluded that she is a blind lady from New Jersey.
It was a very depressing apartment. I am still twitching because of it.
Once back inside Mena’s Toyota, Stacy started asking questions.
So what do you two think so far? Are you interested? Did you like one that you saw?
My head exploded. I am a terrible bullshit artist. But at the same time, it’s really fucking hard to tell a stranger the truth when you’re in their car. This is where Toby saved the day and came up with some crap about the second apartment and how “cute” the kitchen was. And how cheap it was. All was o.k. But right about then I began to think there were cameras on us and Ashton was gonna jump out and say “DUDE, JUST FUCKING KIDDING YOU! HUMANS CAN’T LIVE HERE!!” But that did not happen.
And then we saw the third apartment. The 3rd apartment was only slightly awful. It was about 115 degrees. It would have made a kick ass Bikram studio for the homeless. Had it been in the lower east side, or had it been about 700 dollars, I may have thought about it. But it wasn’t. Instead, it was 1350 and it was on a major road cutting through the not so wonderful part of Brooklyn. The apartment faced the back which faced another building and an alleyway.
What I find surprising is that people actually eventually RENT these places. But what I find most offensive AND surprising is that this “real estate company” actually looked at Toby and I
– a married couple making enough money to afford something nice – and decided to show us this bullshit and assumed we might actually take it.
We must have been Punk’d. There is no other explanation. Someone let me know when we’re on the new reality TV show called “Condemned.”