It doesn’t happen very often these days, but every once in a while, I venture to the nexus of the universe.
Yes, I’m talking about downtown Manhattan.
The place where the streets no longer make sense, and the daytime hustle and bustle turns into a ghost town when nightfall descends. Ironically, while I don’t come down much these days, downtown holds a fond place in my heart as it’s where my time in New York began. Walking around my old stomping grounds, all kinds of memories came flooding back especially after I walked past the building where I spent my first few months: 15 Broad Street.
Maybe it was the fact that the New York Stock Exchange was on my doorstep, or maybe it was the ostentatious floor-to-ceiling chandelier in the lobby, but as soon as I walked in there the first time, I knew it wasn’t going to be the typical New York experience.
I won’t bore you with the details of how exactly I ended up living in the lap of luxury my first three months in the city, but needless to say it was totally by the favor of God.
Now just to kind of put into perspective how awesome this place was, there’s a movie theater, pool, basketball court, huge gymnasium, ridiculous rooftop deck overlooking the stock exchange… I mean the list went on and on with this place. I could easily have stayed in my building for a week and never had to leave without feeling in the least bit stir-crazy; it was that self-contained.
I mean I had a washer and dryer in my apartment for crying out loud, forget all the other stuff that was the most impressive feature of all! There was this one guy who I would run into every so often and he clearly mistook me for someone famous (no, he wasn’t Asian) but never quite knew how to bring up that awkward conversation.
So one day we finally end up in the elevator together and turns out we live on the same floor, so we strike up a conversation. As we are about to part ways, he turns and asks me, ”So what is it you do, how is it that you live here?”
Direct? Yes, but then again, I could hardly blame his lack of social skills because I truly did come across as an outlier to the otherwise uniform bell curve.
Maybe it was the tats or the fact that I was “technically” on vacation at the time and kept irregular hours that made my life seem like one continuous party. In any case, I figured I would mess with the guy and entertain myself in the process. I responded, “Oh, I don’t do anything, I am just mooching off my aunt.” The awkward silence that ensued was to be expected. He finally went, “oh…okay” and just turned and walked over to his apartment.
I’m sorry I wasn’t a Knicks player or a rapper, which clearly is what he was looking for and you know me, I hate to disappoint my “fans.” Needless to say, he never spoke to me again and somehow I was alright with that.
Oh well, c’est la vie; it was fun while it lasted.
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