Tag Archives: Shithole

I Could Blog You Under the Table

If I were someone who consumed alcohol, consumed it frequently, maybe too frequently, maybe hungover at this very moment– I would be extremely pleased with the diverse New York City bar scene. However, everyone knows that all bloggers absolutely do not drink because we are too busy with our wildly successful internet writing careers. Instead, I write the following post hypothetically, but for ease of writing, it might read as if I have actually experienced the joys of alcohol, which of course I haven’t, because I’m much too busy posting in this blog every three weeks to indulge in libations of any kind.

There’s a place for anyone, even a super important and busy blogger, in the New York drinking scene. Desperate office worker? Midtown. Desperate high-powered office worker? Financial District. Tourist? Times Square, or maybe swigging a 40 under the Statue of Liberty while crying into your upside down subway map. Enjoy Pabst Blue Ribbon? Time to bust out your Chinatown Ray-Ban knockoffs and catch the L to Williamsburg. Do you wear a blazer with dark-wash jeans and pointy leather shoes? That’s unfortunate, but I hope you find your way to the Village. Study better for med school exams when you’re buzzed? Morningside Heights works. And also, seriously, don’t ever be my doctor. That’s f*cked up.

As a poor, procrastination-loving grad student who hypothetically drinks on occasion, I’m happy to spend time commuting to a bar with great specials, if only to escape the wanker bars that are closest to my fakepartment. One of these places in particular, the bar at Amsterdam Restaurant and Tapas Lounge, has a decently-priced happy hour. The downside to this place is that happens to be run by militant yuppies who hate everyone and hate themselves. Even though I hypothetically frequent this place every Thursday night with a large group of people, Amsterdam conveniently forgets our consistent patronage and always finds some excuse to yell at us. Whether it’s because we were ordering from the bar instead of from the waitresses, or because we weren’t aware we couldn’t eat delicious Levain cookies near the bar because they were “outside food,” or that other time when someone hypothetically and violently threw a couch cube at the bartender when he informed her happy hour was over– they always find an excuse to chastise us. Whatever, I don’t hold grudges. I’ll be there next Thursday, if they hypothetically let me back in after I hypothetically pay $400 in damages that never happened.

Self-explanatory, I think.

Self-explanatory, I think.

I do keep my eye out for cheap bar deals in the city. I (may or may not) have been to other places with a cheapskate mentality, such as the appropriately-named Cheap Shots, a dive bar on 1st Ave between 9th Street and St. Marks Place. This place is a shit hole and proud of it. It is the size of a walk in closet, and there might have been poop on the ground and lining the walls. Even so, true to their name, they do have cheap shots. My problem with this place wasn’t so much the poop as the tiny medicine cups that were posing as legitimate shot containers. It was continually disappointing to have a medicine cup as a drinking vessel but the contents not taste like Children’s Grape Dimetapp, which is a delicious, delicious cold-fighting medicine that should be the real base liquid for purple drank. But I’ll continue to come to this place, if only so I can begin stories with, “I was in a bar with poop on the walls and my Red Headed Slut came in a medicine cup…”

One bar in particular that has caught my eye while simultaneously perplexing me in every way possible is 123 Burger Shot Beer, a joint in Hell’s Kitchen. I’ve never actually been (TAKERS?!?!) but according to their website, it’s dollar burgers, two dollar shots, and three dollar beers– no gimmicks. Seems like a hell of a gimmick to me, AND IT’S WORKING. But, as Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords so intelligently once sang, “What are ya’ ovaheads?” Seriously, how does this place make money? It is utterly baffling. How is it even possible? How is this not a business model for every bar in the history of the United States of America? I wonder if the manager of 123 Burger Shot Beer moonlights as President of Citigroup, or perhaps the head of the Federal Reserve. It’s too good to be true, and I’ll believe it when I drink it, but only after I drink a lot of it, and then immediately regret it, and then take an expensive cab all the way back to Morningside Heights, which I will also immediately regret. Hypothetically speaking. Because I will never do this, ever.

Brb, going out for a blog.

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Filed under Food and Drink

Step 1: Finding the Right Shithole

In order to successfully find an apartment in New York City, it is virtually a prerequisite for one to become physically, mentally, and emotionally addicted to Craigslist. I don’t know who this enigmatic “Craig” is or why he decided to take time off from pleasuring himself to craft this amazing database of classified ads. What I do know is that if checking Craigslist were equivalent to drinking a half a shot of Malibu, I would be wasted by 10:30 am every single day.

On Monday, I had my first ever New York City apartment viewings. Both of the ads fit my relatively reasonable requirements for an apartment:

a) Female roommates in their early to mid-20s.
b) Apartment was located in either the Upper West Side, Morningside Heights, or West Harlem below 135th St and priced below $1200 a month.
c) Apartment was not described as “cozy,” “charming,” (read: “glorified closet”) or “kosher.” Don’t get me wrong, I love the Jews, but at the risk of unintentionally making a sexual innuendo, I like my meat and cheese together whenever possible, thank-you-very-much.
d) The ad had good syntax, grammar, and punctuation. I have visceral reactions to “IDK MY BFF JILL” types. Also, on some level I irrationally believe that if one possesses typing aptitude, one has a smaller chance of being serial killer or rapist. “Can I kill u in ur sleep?” “No pls kthxbai.”

The first apartment building, on W 110th and Broadway, was gorgeous. No doorman, but the marble-floored lobby had a vaulted ceiling, which looked fantastic. I took this adorably quirky elevator up to the fourth floor, and an overenthusiastic (perhaps rabid) Columbia med student let me in. I walked in and–

The apartment. Was. A Shithole.

I don’t think I would ever want the young woman who showed me this place to ever be my doctor. If her apartment is any indication of her work hygiene and bedside manner, she would probably lick her hands clean before entering the operating room, and then later after I regained consciousness, slap me across the face with an eight month old copy of the New York Times she’s been saving for a rainy day. The place was straight up disgusting. The kitchen appliances seemed to be gravitating toward a central, vortex-like sunken point in the floor, and there were cracks in the wall. I attempted some robotic med school humor by calling the cracks “flesh wounds.” She was not amused.

I quickly left the decrepit apartment and set out for the next apartment, two blocks downtown on W108th and Broadway. The two blocks were like night and day. W110th was a quiet, beautiful tree-lined street with picaresque stone buildings. W108th was a busy, dumpster-lined street with stone buildings constantly under renovation. Upon entering the building, I was immediately reminded of my visit to the depressing Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side, except it was far less clean than the museum. And people still lived in it.

The authors of the ad, despite having grammatical prowess, failed to mention that the apartment was a fifth floor walk-up. I finally made it to the apartment, thankfully without needing to enlist the aid of a Sherpa. The girl who answered my knock let me in and without any small talk immediately began the tour of what was an unexpectedly amazing hidden gem of a place. Some highlights: high ceilings, an absurd amount of natural light, newly renovated, new appliances, clean, wood floors, well-decorated, spacious bedroom, and seemingly sane potential roommates.

My future studio apartment in Morningside Heights.

My future studio apartment in Morningside Heights.

After sitting down with the two current roommates, I found out they were also interviewing a number of other “applicants” for the apartment, and my meeting with them was strangely intimidating and uncomfortable for that very reason. The whole interview process kind of freaked me out. Lesson learned– apartment hunting is a cutthroat business. I need to learn to better sell myself, but not literally (since it’s illegal and degrading), just metaphorically.

Unsurprisingly, the two girls did not choose me to live in their covertly awesome apartment on W 108th. I think I lacked the latent sorority girl quality that they possessed. Also, it probably didn’t help that I mocked the Zac Efron poster in their apartment, only to find out that they didn’t put it up to be ironic. Awk-ward.

I should have just responded to this Craigslist ad. What a perfect arrangement.

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