September 7, 2007

I Know What I Did Last Summer

About a year ago I wrote a lengthy post, as I do, comparing the events of my manic quest to move to New York with the dramatic structure of a screenplay (small defeat, small triumph, large defeat, large triumph!), but the post was boring--even for me, reading about myself. So, I figured I'd try to scale it back and just summarize some of the things that transpired during the tumultuous ride, since moving to New York is at least topical to this site. On the other hand, I'm more than a little tired of writing about topics that are typically written about on blogs such as this (i.e., people writing about themselves), and as such I have about a dozen finished posts sitting in "pending" that I'll never post, because who cares about what happened on the street today, or what furniture I built in my apartment, or... whatever. Anyway, having stared at this post for too long, trying to figure out why anyone would care to read it, the easiest solution became to just click the "Publish" button staring me in the face, and move on.

So this will likely be the last post about personal life details for a long while, since I successfully moved to NYC and that part of the question is answered. What I will focus on instead is anyone's guess, although the odds are high that it will be Haribo Gummi Bears.

Last year, before I was where I'm now (really? gee) it was a struggle (a Beautiful Struggle?) just to actually move to New York. Here is some shit that happened:

--While starting my job at MTV in Times Square, I spent 3 hours a day commuting back and forth to Connecticut, every day for a month. Then I found a temporary sublet at Columbia University for three months, figuring I'd line up a permanent place before that ran out. However, after looking at something like 25 apartments in person, filling up a notebook with details on prospective dwelling units, being lied to by three different brokers, losing out on places to other (richer) applicants, and having an illegal lease pushed on me, I still didn't have a place to inhabit when move-out day arrived. So I packed up my car and started couch-surfing at a friend's place. I really don't understand how anyone can have a car in NYC without a garage, as I had to move it 4 times a week for street cleaning. Seems like more trouble than it's worth.

--Amidst this, I got robbed at the Riverside and 79th courts I'd been playing basketball at--twice. First someone made off with my gym bag--which was incredibly, coincidentally, and accidentally devoid of any valuables other than my cell phone (only because, while moving my car for the aforementioned street cleaning, I'd been unable to find a spot and instead drove down to the courts. After calling and canceling my credit cards, and becoming deeply worried about the fact that my social security card was in my wallet--which I needed in order to swap my NC license for a NY one--I returned to my car and found that I'd left the wallet in it. Also, had the theif(s) decided to hit a button on the key fob, they'd have been able to steal my car, only a block away, which at the time was full of all my worldly posessions). The robbers dropped my bag on the street a block away, and, I suppose frustrated at the lack of valuables, threw one of my shoes in a trash can. The other remained on the sidewalk.

--Then, the following week at the courts, while I watched my bag like a hawk, someone made off with my basketball. Which wasn't even close to new. Welcome to New York, country boy!

--I wore nothing fancier than a t-shirt, day and night, for 5 straight months. Only on one occasion did I break this streak, when I went to a interview with a potential landlord (after pointing out the illegality of the lease--it was in clear violation of rent-stabilization laws, which were spelled out right in the lease itself--the landlord was no longer interesting in dealing with me. Live and learn).

--While driving my car back to NC after finally finding a suitable studio in the East Village, I was hit by a half-ton truck in D.C., rendering my car's driver's-side door useless (but thankfully leaving me unscathed). The accident might have been technically my fault--which I'm fine with, considering D.C.'s DuPont circle has the most asinine traffic pattern I've ever seen, considering that any vehicle of lesser height and weight never would have hit me, considering that I shouldn't have even been there but for the bad directions I'd been given, and considering that I was on my way home to sell my car and would therefore no longer have any car insurance to worry about--but it was literally the last trip I was ever making in my car. And in 10 years of driving and probably 150k or so miles put on various vehicles, I'd never been in an accident while I was at the wheel. It's like the fatigued movie plot where the grizzled criminal goes in for one last score, only to get popped during his last caper. Except I'm not grizzled.

--After this, I rented a minivan in North Carolina in the early morning, loaded it up with my worldly possessions, drove it up to New York (transit time: 7.5 hours), unloaded all the stuff into my new apartment, returned it to JFK airport, hitched a ride in some old man's car to the F train in Queens, rode the subway home at 1AM, found my new apartment's door lock had stopped functioning, and used a credit card to break into my own dwelling (break-in time: 2 seconds). All on a long Tuesday.

But I'm here now (and, having written this almost a year ago... I've been here). In terms of the "tries to move to New York and start a film career" storyline of this site, one out of two is in the books. Just think--in terms of energy expended to achieve the first goal, I only expended something like 3409503495 joules.

Meanwhile I'm writing about filmmaking processes over on the blog portion of The West Side, which is my play to "start a film career." Once that's also in the books, what will I do with myself? Maybe something more productive than personal blogging.

Your Comment


I also went out to NYC to try and get involved in film. I went to NYFA for a few weeks before deciding it was a massive waste of money for me coming from Canada (at a time when the Canadian dollar was worth 85 cents instead of 101 cents).

My biggest reason for not staying down there was that as a Canadian I am not allowed to work in the USA, otherwise I would have loved to try and find work and stick around, I really love that city.

Anyway, good luck to you!

October 10, 2007 at 1:20AM, Edited September 4, 10:17AM


Dude, maybe you should have moved to Tokyo. You could leave your gym bag in the middle of the train platform at Shinjuku station (the largest station in the country) for a week, come back and find that it hasn't even been touched... well... maybe not now, since Japan feels obligated to emulate American foreign policy and treat all foreigners like criminals. That would be a double whammy on you as well. You're not Japanese AND you're of Chinese descent! The station police would see you drop your bag on the platform to perform your little experiment in Japanese honesty, and they'd club you to death (since they don't carry guns). After the gas attacks 12 years ago on the Hibiya subway line, all trash cans were removed from EVERY PUBLIC FACILITY IN THE COUNTRY. Sometimes living here sucks... at least my shit don't get stolen though!

October 11, 2007 at 7:53AM, Edited September 4, 10:17AM

J Presley

Gday, I was looking at this page using my Blackberry and this appear to be somewhat weird. Guessed you'd would want to know. It is a excellent post nevertheless, did not mess that up.

January 10, 2011 at 2:39AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM