Seven and a half years ago, I was at my first college cast party. (As an assistant stage manager - it'd be almost another two years before anyone let me act.) It was at a senior's house. I knew enough people to not want to hide in the bathroom and cry, but as it was October and I was a frosh, and it was a joint party with another show, there were plenty of strangers. At one point I saw a blond boy in a black t-shirt (stage crew uniform!) sitting in a chair in the living room. I remember exactly where the chair was - one of those snapshot memories. I also remember thinking, hey, I could go talk to him, an oddly easy/confident thought for the situation and this girl, but I let it pass and went back to, I dunno, watching the seniors being awesome.
That winter, I production managed a show. In January, back early before classes to rehearse and build the set, I became friends with the stage manager, tech director, and random helper-girl. The random girl (who actually taught me a lot about production managing, mentor-like) is still one of best friends. For those of you playing along at home, the stage manager grew up to be James, my gay husband and roommate of four years (and obstinate not-reader of this blog). And yeah, he was that blond kid at the party. That story doesn't really have anything to do with anything, but I like telling it - possibly the only, and surely the best, instance of me reading a person. I put that particular two-and-two together some time around junior year, and was very impressed. That's some uncharacteristically correct intuition. Just seeing this kid at a party, I knew that he was someone I could be comfortable with, friends with, one-sidedly codependent with.
So James and I have been friends for seven years. We've lived together for four. (With a parade of weirdos playing third roommate every year. Currently Kate, of the IMs and no job.) We've jointly acquired silverware, artwork, and a pair of cats. But in just a couple of months, we'll be tearing the cats apart (from each other) and moving apart. Sniff.
In case you're of similar logical inclinations as my mother, I'll assure you - yes, everything's okay. And yes, we'll still be friends. (She actually asked that. He won't be rid of me that easily.) Kate might stop talking to us for breaking up the house, but she'll get over it. Or be buried so deep in Brooklyn that I'll forget about it anyway. It's really just that James can afford a nicer, singler apartment, and as an antisocial snob, what better than a pretty studio? He also, apparently, wants to permanently scar our cats by separating them. Evil bastard!
Anyway, I didn't mean for this to turn into a sentimental ode to the guy who's usually pretty mean to me and whose friendship might be lulling me into boyfriendless complacency. Basically, I'm gonna be moving out of my teeny but lovely and still underpriced apartment. (Rent increase, per person, for next year's lease? Thirty bucks.) And because I don't work in the lucrative world of whateverthehell James does, I don't expect to be able to stay on the UES. Or anywhere below 96th Street. So this is what will probably be the first of many similar appeals. Everyone I know lives in Astoria (or my apartment), but I don't think I want to live in Astoria. So I need your help. Do you live in:
- Washington Heights?
- West Harlem?
- Somewhere Nice In Brooklyn Near A New York Sport Club And Where The Streets Are Never Eerily Deserted?
Then I want to hear from you. I mean, if you want to email me a treatise on the pros and cons of your nabe, then for real, go ahead. But as that's a lot of spontaneous helpfulness to ask, if you want to just let me know what lovely and affordable neighborhood you inhabit, then I'll harass you for details a little later. Over the next couple of months (between, y'know, producing two shows - sigh) I'll be taking field trips into promising neighborhoods. I'm going full-out control freak type-A here and planning the shit out of this. This Saturday, Allison (the helper-girl/PM-guru from freshman year) and I are hitting up Washington Heights. Then some playwrights are gonna show me around Inwood, and James' other woman might help me out with Warlem. But I want to hear from you! More voices! More perspectives! Okay. This post is already too long.