Casa del Rock


Location Ditmas Park

Rent $2,100 (market)

Square feet 2,200 (two floors of 1920s house)

Occupants Aaron Bleyaert (production assistant, Late Night With Conan O’Brien); Matthew Vermeulen (accounts receivable, Universal TV); Tony Zaret (production assistant, USA Network)

How was she? [Aaron] She was real mean. I got this apartment three years ago, six hours after I got off the plane. It was advertised in the paper. There was a girl here. She had no furniture. She had one mat we sat on. She was a baker. I don’t know where she worked. She kept getting fired. I hated her a lot. Once, when she got fired from one of her jobs, she went to Europe and brought back this Ger-man guy and he was using her and he was playing my video games and he said to me, “Now ve box for real.” He wanted to box with me. One day she said, “We’re finally getting a dining table.” It was Japanese-style, down on the ground. I would hit my shins on it every night. Was she trendy? I don’t know. I was so colored with hate for her. Tony and I were going to move into a place together on Beverly Road. We called it Murder Valley. [Tony] It was at the end of an alley and there was a burned-out van. [Aaron] Then she went away.

The Q train took forever to get here. There are a lot of Pakistani stores near the Cortelyou stop. Your street has so many Ionic columns, some are painted yellow on the top or maroon. One house has reindeer on the roof. Oh, that one blocks away that looks like a huge Chinese teahouse, pale green and melon-painted wood. All these tall old trees, kind of a sprucey look. But do you really need the pastoralism? You’re so young. [Aaron] It’s nice to get home and see trees.

You work until the middle of the night! [Aaron] Well, we hear the trees. [Tony] All our friends come over. Most are in Park Slope. They get the bus, it goes down Coney, then Cortelyou.

Matthew, Tony said he called you the Mule because your last name is Vermeulen and you are sort of quiet. [Matthew laughs.] Your chairs are all pointing one way. [Aaron] Toward the TV. Basically that’s all we use the Egyptian Room for. Nothing’s from Egypt. Everything’s from eBay—a little sarcophagus, some papyrus. [Tony] We have the Jungle Room. We saw this Elvis show on E!. [Aaron] True Hollywood Story. [Tony] Elvis had a jungle room. We thought it was pretty cool. He had this monkey. [Aaron is laughing.]

Aaron, you’re in the big chair. [Tony] Aaron always sits in the chair. Matthew and I sit on the couch. [Aaron] Here’s the patio. Every Sunday we have Chinese Thanksgiving, grill different meats. We drink all day starting at three. It’s purely a summer holiday. Tony and I grew up together in Michigan. [Tony] Our moms were best friends before we were born. We’re like from a family of social workers. [Pause] Me and Aaron are doing like a comedy thing.

Let’s see it. [Tony] Oh no, we’re not really comfortable doing it right now. [Aaron] Tony and Matt are the two best roommates I’ve ever had. There’s no pretense, no roody-do. [Matt] We’re all interested in a lot of the same things. [Aaron] We all help each other out. They say if you want to be a successful rock band, move in together. We drink all the time. I party more than in college. I’ll probably be dead soon. Casa del Rock. [Tony] We thought it’d be cool for the house to have a name. [Aaron] You have to put a name on something awesome. What do you guys think? [Matt] I think so. [Aaron] We had a great New Year’s Eve party. [Tony] We had a Best Underpants contest. [Aaron] I had jeweled underpants. We had Operation Chimps Unlimited one night and watched all these old monkey movies. We had a gorilla suit and scared people. What’s the point of being alive if you’re not living?