Rent $1,600 (market)
Square feet 720 (floor of three-story house)
Occupants Andrea Dudrow (production editor, Penguin Group USA); Jay Colvin (graphic designer, American Photo and Popular Photography)
You both have dark-rimmed eyeglasses, sort of a gothic double thing. [Andrea] We’re getting married in October. He’s designing the invitation. [Jay] There will be two eyeglasses intertwined. [Andrea] We just got back from Baltimore, where I’m from. Our parents met for the first time. Both our mothers lost their keys. Otherwise it went well. We’re getting married at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.
What’s this “Little Miss Muffet” poem on the floor? The whole thing is a big painted board. [Andrea] It came from a play room. The last tenant brought it. But the landlord wants to keep it.
Enough with the nursery—let’s go back to the media room. All homes today have a media room. Though you don’t have cable. [Jay] We have Netflix. They send you three DVDs at a time.
Andrea, you have a collection of globes which immediately makes me think of Magellan. I happened to be at a dinner yesterday where they served chocolate rabbit and on this table was a 1956 Life magazine book called The World We Live In. There was this page with a lot of globes on it. It read: “The wonder of it all . . . perhaps half a million years ago, a man raised his eyes to the sky and wondered. In that moment, mankind became human . . . and left the other animals behind . . . ” It goes on: “So the earth does seem to stretch flat around us. . . . Yet we know it is a round ball. . . . We know because we have been told. But is it not amazing that man ever figured it out?” What freelancer wrote this? So many globes sitting in a tiny corner of the world—in little Williamsburg. O Williamsburg, where there’s a basilica, then a convenience store, a Romanesque church, then a convenience store, a . . . [Jay] Our landlord bought the building in ’95. He’s a prison guard. He said before it was owned by an old Italian couple. The two top floors were unoccupied for 100 years, except for during the world wars. [Andrea] When all the men would go off and all the wives would move in here. [Jay] The apartment came with the piano. [Andrea] The bench is filled with old sheet music.
“From the Vine Came the Grape,” “Music of Today,” arranged by Wilma Moore, and “I Left My Hat In Haiti.” Can’t you just see the girls, I mean the gals, tapping their platform shoes and wrapping their sateen robes around themselves, with their hair in curlers. In our recent war, the gals were watching CNN together, though it was only for a few weeks. How did you find the apartment? [Andrea] You tell. [Jay] We were . . . [Andrea] We used to live on Havemeyer and South 2nd, where gentrification had not quite gotten to yet, dudes hanging out on the corner, tiny two-bedroom with a roommate. So we were walking down the street . . . [Jay] We were meeting Jasmine. [Andrea] There was a sign for an apartment. This guy came up and said, “I’m the super,” an old Latino guy. [Jay] He said, “My son-in-law has a bigger place, three bedrooms.” [Andrea] Would you call this a three-bedroom? It turned out our landlord only rents to couples because it’s more stable. I can see that. [Jay] He can’t stand up very long ’cause he got attacked by a prisoner. He’s so nice. [Andrea] He’s a National Guardsman. Right after September 11, he was working 26 hours a day. He likes couples. He said he wants to create a positive atmosphere. He and his wife were also married on the 18th. We’re getting married on the 18th. No, we decided our wedding date before that. He said he once had a couple break up on him. He really wants us to have children. The people downstairs said he tried that on them. He has another building he’s trying to fix up.
Another breeding farm!