By Anna Merlan
By Albert Samaha
By Tessa Stuart
By Anna Merlan
By Roy Edroso
By Carolyn Hughes
By Chuck Strouse
By Albert Samaha
Tell how you got your apartment through the secret superintendent underground.
[Dee Tee] The supers around here all know each other. When you're cool with the supers, they let you know what's going on. I took this place in February. Jon came three weeks later. I couldn't afford this by myself. I've lived in every borough except Staten Island. I was on the road managing Eminem for a year. I came back, needed quick, cheap housing.
You've got that club thing going hereblue walls, low lights.
[Jon] Yo! And this neighborhood, yo. They got machines on the street that cut mangos like a rose. The café con leche. [Dee Tee] Seventy-five cents will buy you an orgasm. I'm lactose intolerant, but I drink it anyway. [Jon] This is a real neighborhood. I was in a doorman building on Mercer and Broadway, paying the same price for half a room. Look at all this space. There's a lot of cop action up here. Cop comes up, Hey what'ya doing. I'm walking out of the deli with a bag of milk. [Dee Tee] We had a note on our door from the cops. A guy Frisco was killed. They wanted information, Crime Stopper thing. [Jon] This is a major cocaine block, literally on a weekend you can't walk 10 feet without someone whispering in your ear. [Dee Tee] Lot less than in the '80s. There was that club on 158th and Broadway, girls, fights, guns. [Jon] I'm from before that era, I'm Palladium, Ritz. [Dee Tee] I went there. [Jon] I'm going to be 40 next week. I'm ancient. [Dee Tee] I'm 28. Our landlord, Mr. Ratner, wears an orange baseball cap, beady glasses. My rent check has bounced every time except twice, but he's nice.
What are you holding?
[Jon] My pet mouse. Pokey. [Dee Tee] Jon, put it away. [Jon] Here's my room. This photo is my ex-wife, she's English. I was a young married, now I'm an old divorced guy. I was in London '86 to '99. I was one of the five Yanks who started MTV Europe. [Dee Tee] I found this street sign, Broadway and West 57th, lying in the intersection. I stole this one from the South Street Seaport. [Jon] What does she care? [Dee Tee] Yes, she does care. I got this couch, Salvation Army, 200 bucks. [Jon] You're the man. This other couch was my late grandma's, Ethel Horowitz. She just died, '98. She was the last white woman in Flatbush. I'm from Tenafly, New Jersey. [Dee Tee] Kind of place where you have sex with your sister. [Jon] But not me. My father was a hematologist. So, Dee Tee and me, we're a couple of guys who work in the music industry. We chose to live outside of the trendy matrix. [Dee Tee] I like to be around struggle. [Jon] It's more real. [Dee Tee] You see struggle on people's faces here. It keeps my creative juices flowing. I grew up in Queens. There was struggle in my house. My area was very mixed, Rego Park. But it wasn't a sucker neighborhood. Though Queens is not the Bronx. Killers don't come from Queens. Queens is where you grow old. Manhattan gives you the edge. [Jon] I remember when we moved in here. Now this sounds a bit hippie, but I told Dee Tee, I can feel people living here, people have been living here for 80 years. [Dee Tee] The street in the morningpeople are bringing cars to have their oil changed, spark plugs. It's all old men. At night, the kids, the nephews, they rulecar alarms, guns, music. [Jon] Salsa, man. [Dee Tee] No, merengue. This neighborhood has a lotof soul. Think it's a good investment for me to buy around here?
Yo! Want to?
[Dee Tee] I'm still bouncing rent checks, but sure.