Sunday, March 25, 2007

Chelsea 2BR for me, Alvy Singer, Gia, and the monkeys

Once again, the time's come for me to pull up my bootstraps, pack up my 15 pairs of designer jeans, 300 books and six plastic boxes of sentimental childhood items (on the off-chance that I'll wanna scan an old photo for my blog that no one'll think is cute but me [and my Mom, maybe, but she's probably got her own copy of it and it'd take her less time to dig for it in storage than load it via internet] [no, jokes about my mother's dial-up'll remain endlessly amusing to me and I'll never stop telling them, until Mom joins the other homo sapiens and springs for DSL]) and move to a new apartment. I hate moving. You wouldn't know that if you asked the US Postal Service because:

1. Obvs that's just a figure of speech, you can't ask them anything, like, not even: "Will I be in this godforsaken line for the rest of my life?"
2. I've completed 16 change of address forms in the last 10 years.
3. Just so you know, "2" is 100% true. Most things on this blog are between 50%-95% true, so grab hold of that gem and keep it, people.

I don't wanna move: I love this place. But I gotta, so I'm trying to excite myself about it by framing the move in a "Total Life Re-Vamp" Context. These imaginary re-vamps often involve a transition to somewhere suspiciously cinematic. When I was a girl in the heartland, staring at the ceiling and listening to Juliana Hatfield, I dreamt of a certain kind of apartment. The fictional kind.

SUNDAY TOP TEN: WHAT I WANT IN AN APARTMENT


10. Like the Ones in Woody Allen Movies

I like all the books on bookshelves and the typewriter and the papers. Alvy Singer has let his dust collect, he hasn't moved 16 times in 10 years. The perfect rooms for neurotics, for crisis, for breakdown. It may not've looked like that in real life, but if I wanted real life, I'd be living in some tepid romantic comedy set in the suburbs starring Jennifer Aniston, or something. I want bursting bookshelves.

9. Like the One in Igby Goes Down


I remember Amanda Peet all strung out on cocaine, billowy sheets, big loft space, Jeff Goldblum in a flashy suit, Kieran Culkin lookin' all Holden-ish and wide/bright-eyed. I think a disturbingly high amount of my apartments-i-liked-in-movies are occupied by drug addicts. This loft is pretty standard fare as far as films-set-in-NYC go. Huge windows, shiny hardwood floors. You can break down in these lofts, get all bloody and wired, and still not make a mess. The beds are random, walls are afterthoughts (in After Hours, I Shot Andy Warhol, Basquiat, Gia, etc). This'd be a perfect spot to explore my secret love for painting abstractions on large canvases while stoned.


8. Mary McCarthy, Manhattan, When I Was Young

Back in the diz-zay, writers could totally wax poetic on the detailed layout of their apartments without worrying that the reader'd hurl the book at the wall and pick up The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I read this memoir in the summer of '01 while on my 11th street-to-110th street commute to a non-fiction writing class at Columbia and the apartment descriptions remain apt, vivid. 21 Perry Street, McCarthy remembers, housed "the most secret of all the Village's secret gardens. It was very large, with two fountains, a small stoner altar, private sitting areas at the rear"; you get the idea. Bushes, turtles, peacocks, all things now only afforded by Madonna and SJP. She lived on East 21st for $90/month! And she can speak of the village like this: "Giving up Greenwich Village would have meant giving up not only its sweet, seedy streets, but a certain self-image. B and I were Villagers; we bore (I told myself) a noble heritage" which we could never do, now, because it's so cost-prohibitive. Am I NOT the first person EVER to make this point? Sometimes I'm really impressed with myself.

7. The Annie Leibovitz/Susan Sontag Situation

They lived across the hall from each other. Permanent dorm/permanent genius. Developed artistically, loved, fought, pushed, grew, etc. Perhaps even more remarkable is that on my first google, my initially incorrect spelling of "Leibovitz" resulted in a top result of: a post from "this girl called automatic win." When we aren't plotting to be the gay and half-gay Paris/Nicole, Hav and I often dream of being famous friends in the same building like this. Last week, in the midst of this mag-article/party-planning/memoir-writing nonsense, TB noted: "We're like so
Sontag/Liebovitz right now. Guess which one I am? Right--the white-streaked one of course, cause I'm fucking old. And you, the celebrity-canoodling Jew."

6. The Characters without Box-Springs: As Featured in the Writings of Tama Janowitz, Maggie Estep, Mary Gaitskill

Their characters live in hovels. A stench of something fecal and feline, dark windows haunted by ghostly stalks and stems, wallpaper peeling off in great strips like the skin of some sad psychedelic beast. The sexually deviant and perpetually underemployed and their shameless filth, and scraping by and wild-craving-fucking protagonists of their short stories--they're horrid but also beautiful. In particular: "Soft Maniacs," "Two Girls Fat and Thin," "Slaves of New York," "Bad Behavior."

5.Oh, RENT.

I think this musical's soundtrack tapped into our Midwestern Teenage Dreams of transporting our spoiled selves into unheated apartments (not important when passion burns deep inside you to keep you warm) to pursue art and love and esp. loving the sick/dying people and drugs and cold. That was a nice thing to sing along to. Now I think, that is pretty f'in amazing that they didn't pay their rent for an entire year. That's fucking crazy shit. I mean, why didn't they have any money saved up after a year of no rent? (I probably wouldn't've either, but i'm sure most of my tres responsible friends would be like "After that year of no rent, I've got enough in my pockets to buy a place in Soho!") Still, the romance! How can you connect in an age when strangers, landlords, lovers, your own blood cells betray? Sing! Burn things! Candles! Yay! Music! Damn the Machine, Save the Empire!

4. The Hotel Chelsea
Oh, the romance! The Andy Warhol Superstars, Dylan Thomas, Sid Vicious, Rufus Wainwright, Allen Ginsberg, Simone De Beauvior, Stanley Kubrick, Bob Dylan, Jane Fonda, Nabakov, Robert Crumb, Quentin Crisp, Sarah Berndhart, Burroughs, Christo, de Kooning, Jimi Hendrix, Jasper Johns, Janice Joplin, Robert Maplethorpe, and I love Chelsea! I just love it! It's everything we ever dreamed of, everything, everything!


3. C.C.'s Pre-Star Apartment in "Beaches"

During my first viewing (circa 1990) of this chick-flick tearjerker, I sobbed because: 1. someone died, 2. soft rock really yanks at my heartstrings. Now I'd cry from pre-internet nostalgia; this plot would never stand up now ... the precious b+w photostrip from the beach's booth, the faithfully exchanged handwritten letters, the trouble of tracking someone down in a time when only obscene fame or luck would land them naturally at your doorstep. (Now, C.C.'s character would totes've pimped out her MySpace and her Mom would have like, been her webmaster) ... but I also loved her little apartment, with the Chirstmas lights and tiny bed, the proverbially small kitchen. I don't recall where she lived, but I imagine it was someplace that claimed to be gritty and no longer is, like Hell's Kitchen. I just called Hav to ask her where it was and she was like "I don't remember, I just remember that really big apartment she got when she was famous that was on Central Park West or South or something. It was amazing."

2.The Apartments of Michael Cunningham Characters in The Hours and A Home at the End of the World


I told Lindsay I was reading The Hours and I'd noticed Clarissa also resided on West 10th, like we did (Summer '04). Clarrisa's pad is vastly superior: it's not, for example, a series of closet-sized boxes pretending to be rooms. It wasn't on the 6th floor of a 6-floor walk-up. In the movie, it's so lovely, and even the site of Richard's discontent verges on derelict glory. That being said, I'd take the threesome's starter Village hovel from A Home at the End of the World, too. It had a lot of love and wine in it, a good place to dye one's hair crazy colors, or for Colin Farrel to sport the worst haircut ever.

1. The Actual Apartment I Am Going to Live In

As I wrote this post, TB solved my apartment problem for me. So this is what I'm doing: something I never thought I'd do (and it doesn't involve a U-Haul, you skeptical bastards!) I'm gonna be homeless for 22 days, then move into a Warlem summer sublet and put my shit in (TB's) storage. This moving-again-fiasco has reminded me of how much I loathe myself for being so tied down to places cause I have so much shit (partially not my fault; my Mom doesn't keep any of my stuff in her house, like most people's parents do). So I'm going to be a hobo for 22 days, ideally finding places to stay for free and eating Ramen. I've considered living in storage space like the girl in Shortbus. I've considered couches. I've considered Central Park. I've considered your couch. I've considered, at length, the possibility of Hawaii.

9 comments:

dear dear chicago said...

okay, confused. why do you have to move? and how would a summer sublet solve your ultimate moving problem?

team gingerbread said...

I'm assuming you mean you want your mom to get DSL right? I mean my DHL guy is really cute and all but he's frequently late but he makes up for it by forgetting to make me pay duties so it's cool. Also, I don' share well

Book Cannibal said...

If you get sick of being homeless, my pull-out-couch is totally here for you!

LN James said...

Hey Win, I've been living out of two bags and mooching unsecured wireless for a month. Here's some hard-won advice: pack extra pantaloons! Sacrifice shoes, an extra hoodie or whatever you must, but having clean undergarments while homeless is a must. Trust me!

Good luck with that whole move thing, I feel ya sister..

nyradical said...

Holy uncapitalized e.e. cummings-ish bullshit "i"s, dude. F that. And ... what did Blogger do to our format, huh? Yeah? Totes dead-ass spacing. Hi autowin. I'm @ work. Acht Mein Gott. Processing fees, etc. Crazy. Miss you. Namaste/hi, ciao beautiful, TB.

nyradical said...

P.S. Clarissa doesn't live on 10th, she lives inside Mrs. Dalloway. Totally couldn't stand The Hours. Snooze dude. Yeah. P.S.S. Recap yeah?

Anonymous said...

you're officially the best!
ive nominated you on that our chart thing

riese said...

jenna: my roomie's best friend is moving here from san fran...and as to how the sublet will solve my ultimate problem...errr...it won't, really. but i'm at a transition point in so many ways--esp. financially--so i can probably use some time to figure all that out, etc.

that would be awesome if my mom had DHL. AWESOME

LN: part of the reason i'm poor--i totes like....probably would just buy more underwear if i ran out of clean pairs. dammit!

riese said...

oh and cam: yeah, totes crashing on your couch. we won't even have to use track changes!