Virginia was living in Williamsburg itself. She lived with her roommate Billie. We often hung out in the East Village, going to movies and bars and taking the L train back to Brooklyn. But Bedstuy certainly had it’s rough side. Despite gentrification, gunfire was a problem during the summers. Bedstuy, which had seemed gentrified in the winter, was pretty ghetto in the summer. I wished I had listened to all those who warned me about moving to Bedstuy. But as a broke freelance writer, what else could I afford? Virginia and I were both living in less than ideal circumstances, due to our shared career path. Virginia also freelanced as a writer and we both went to Cornell. Virginia, desperate not to live in unsafe circumstances, convinced a women’s group that she was battered when she wasn’t. She was able to move into a women’s only residence run by nuns. The women’s only residence was cheap, and she saved a lot of money by living there. I thought about moving in with priests to get a decent price for a Manhattan location, but never got around to doing it.
As for me, I too needed a way to raise extra money. I had dental problems, and I had to pay off student loans. So I decided to get roommates. I rented out my apartments to two Norwegian girls, who paid a lovely amount of money for my apartment each month in cash. I crashed in the upstate NY home of my friend Yosef, who was my mentor in every thing that had to do with NYC. As the cash came in over a period of 10 months, I paid for my dental work and reduced my student loans by one third. As for what I did for fun when not writing, I did what I always do. I took the G train a few stops to Williamsburg and went swimming at the gym on the corner of Bedford and Metropolitan. I went there on a regular basis. I also went to Metropolitan, the one gay bar in Williamsburg at that time. During the time I lived and hung out in hipster people, it was a revolving door. Many creatives moved in. Many creatives moved out in a few months, totally underestimating what it would take to establish oneself in a career in anything in New York. It’s particularly difficult in the creative fields, where multiple factors such as talent, luck, family connections, education, and things I likely haven’t thought of all way in. The instability of this crowd made it difficult to bond with anyone long enough to have a decent boyfriend. Those that stayed any length of time had to resort to extreme measures like Virginia and I did. Everyone loves a success story, but those A listers are few and far between in a city of 8 million that has been a revolving door for centuries.
My last week in my apartment ended on a crazy note. I went three different birthday parties, one thrown by a group of friends, another with my family,and another with a group of friends. Upon leaving my place to go to one of my parties, I went to the store and came back. Michelle, my crackhead first floor neighborhood sat on the door steps. She was drinking out of a bottle of vodka. She had refused to move and allow me into the apartment. Not wishing to get into a fight and in trouble for punching her out, I called 911. The police always come in force in Bedstuy. Ten officers arrived. They urged me that everything was fine. I went in the house to get my camera, as I was going off to my celebrations. As I left my building and walked down the street, Michelle got up in a cops face. He slammed her to the ground and told her she had one more time. About a week later, her husband notified me he wanted to speak to me. But unknown to him, I had already packed and shipped all of my belongings out. I was just enroute to get my bus ticket. He informed me that we needed to have a serious discussion. I told him to knock on my door at 9pm the following night. I went to Port Authority, got my bus ticket and returned to my apartment. I picked up my suitcase and my laptop briefcase, called a cab, and went back to Port Authority. I boarded the bus and went off to my next adventure.