Friday, November 5, 2010

When is a house a home?

We have been living in our apartment for about two weeks, now.

Due to the costs of “getting on one’s feet,” and the fun circus it is to start getting paid at a new job, the apartment remains woefully empty.

One of my roommates has picked up the distinctly New York practice of “street shopping” wherein one simply drags things home that they find on the street, size and practicality of the item depending on the level of alcohol consumed.

We have forbidden anything upholstered, but she has reaped a butcher block for the kitchen hall, a nightstand shaped like a fish, and not one, but two broken microwaves.
Other than our beds, and some fabulous $9.99 clothing racks from IKEA, that is actually all that currently furnishes the place.

Which begs the question, when does a house become a home?

Because right now, I feel like I’m living in a storage unit that has a bathroom.

I realize how little time I actually spend in the apartment, and thus, don’t think it’s urgent to furnish it. But then I think maybe I don’t spend time there…because it’s not furnished.
We’re all in a financial state that calls for a diet of dry ramen and 99 cent slices of pizza, so it’s sort of hard to justify filling a kitchen with fancy pots and gadgetry.

When I got paid the other night, I did actually buy food at the nearby market, and was dismayed to find it was a fancy, expensive specialty market. I spent $50 on hummus, a bag of pita chips, a packet of shredded cheese, a packet of sliced pepper jack cheese, one cucumber, a tray of pre-cooked turkey meatballs, a roll of tin foil, a box of red beans and rice, a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, baby carrots, one can of soup (with a pop top, because we don’t EVEN HAVE A CAN OPENER) and roach traps.
Yes, roach traps.

But that’s a story for a different day.

I don’t think about it much but people keep asking me how the apartment is, how I like living here, and I’m realizing the state of affairs regarding the desolate apartment is really affecting my answer.

Like, one of my favorite parts about living in this city is that you can actually have someone pick up your laundry, do it for you, fold it, and return it. For 75 cents a pound. It is frankly fantastic, and I can justify it as it’s the monetary equivalent of buying detergent & dryer sheets, and spending a few hours in a dingy Laundromat feeding machines with quarters. But this experience was almost ruined for me this week as I got all my clean laundry home and…had nowhere to put it. I lined a cardboard box with plastic bags and put my clothes in there. Oh hey, ghetto dresser.
The raw materials of the space are great, as you can see:

It just takes a little effort, and money, and prioritizing, to create a haven in this crazy place. Which is something I hope to tackle this weekend.
Care packages welcome.


  1. Email me your address and tell me whatever you need most desperately. I'm already thinking a shower curtain... :)

  2. First of all, that apartment looks like a perfect balance of classy and contemporary (and the integrity of the construction seems exquisite). Leave the fucker empty. It's more, like... like a new car that you just keep really clean.

    Plus a place like that requires elegant imitations of Rothko and Picaso paitings. I wouldn't hate it... but who has time and money for that shit, really?

    PS - it becomes a home when you know that you are loved there. Miss ya.