LOCATION Clinton Hill
RENT $2,000 [market]
SQUARE FEET 1,200 [three-bedroom apartment in new three-story building]
OCCUPANTS Adam Heintz, Erin Dunn, Lais Washington [NYU law students]
Good, you’ve got the shorts. Was the handoff in the Jay Street station? [Adam] No, Upper West Side—we had a burrito together.
I’ll fill in Erin, Lais, and any new readers. Adam had the burrito with his ex-boyfriend Eric Pliner, who was in last week’s Shelter wearing the orange-and-white boxer shorts that were an inspiration for the wall that was in the apartment of the people in the “Abominable Snowman” column [September 1–7]. Adam and Eric used to live in that apartment. They painted the wall, then they went their separate ways. When they saw the picture in the Voice, they almost fainted with happiness. [Erin] I used to spend hours in that living room studying. We all met in law school that year. The wall is incredible.
I have to ask, Adam: Why did you and Eric break up? Eric kept saying, “We had to go our separate ways. But it’s so wonderful seeing each other again and talking about the wall . . . ” [Adam] He’s such a spinster—putting a spin, I mean.
Where are you from? [All] California.
What do you study? [All] Public interest law.
When I got off at the Clinton stop, I passed Joloff Traditional West African Cuisine. [Adam] Great food. Big portions.
And the store with the sign “We Buy Houses—All Cash—Any Condition—Any Location—We Stop Foreclosure—Finder Will Reward.” Inside is a big map of the world. And then there’s Met Food. That grocery is so much cheaper than in other neighborhoods. [Lais] I used to live in Queens and our grocery would routinely run out of chicken breasts.
The Humble Do-Jung of Martial Arts with the seashells in the window and the sparkling silver trophies and the photo of Wesley Snipes. [Erin looks excited.] [Erin] It’s awesome. I go three times a week to study with Master Sabu. He moved from Park Slope a few years ago. Everyone who goes is from the neighborhood. It’s basically an all-black dojo. [Adam] And Erin. [Erin] The higher belts teach the lower belts. There’s white, yellow, green, blue, then black. I’m white. Right now I’m just sore all the time.
Clean Rite Laundry. [All] The best.
But not as great as the Lavanderia in Bushwick. That’s really big, like a casino, with mega- and bonzo-load machines and television screens. I was walking around and the gentrification here is kind of subtle. You can see the pots of flowers outside some of the brownstones, attractive gates on the first-story windows, newly painted trim, but on Fulton Street there are no yuppie restaurants to feed this new society. [Adam] The further you go toward Fort Greene, the fancier it gets.
Who lives in this building? [Lais] Young people, right out of college. One has a foosball table. You can hear it.
You said this building’s new but look at that old ceiling fixture. [Adam] It’s fake. [Lais] It’s all hollow. [Erin] This is made to look pre-war but it’s actually a cardboard box. I put a coat hook on the wall. I put my coat on it and the hook fell off. [We discuss what happened after Eric moved out and Adam was still in Boerum Hill.] [Adam] I wanted us [he and Lais] to get an apartment in the East Village. I’d been in Brooklyn four years. I thought Manhattan would be a nice change. [Lais] I was getting gouged in the dorms—$1,200 to live in a shoe box with a stranger. The total was $2,400. [Adam] They charge more for the law students. They figure most go work for firms. [Erin] I have to tell you Adam’s definition of law school. “It’s an extended hazing ritual for upper-middle-class white kids so that they feel like they deserve the . . . ” [Adam] . . . $130,000 a year they’ll earn when they’re 25. [Adam] We’re geezers for law school. I’m 27.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 21, 2004