So, I’m not sure who made this image or where it came from–I saved it about three months ago because I thought it was hilarious. (Pretty much anything making fun of that Obama Hope poster is funny. Politicians and hope being totally incompatible things as far as I’m concerned.) Little did I realize the importance its message would have over our lives in the Big Apple. Here is the very brief synopsis of what happened in New York:
Got there day after Loganton, PA. Getting warm and muggy. Got turned around at Lincoln Tunnel because we have a small propane tank for the stove in our van. Not allowed! Back to George Washington Bridge. Took us an hour to get from Washington Heights to Park Slope in Brooklyn. Parked. Began intensive apartment hunt.
Spent week searching in nasty hot weather. Used brokers in Brooklyn and Jersey. Used Craigslist–turned out that all the ads for places in our price range were scams. All of them. Looked at a few nasty places that were out of our price range. Walked around a lot. Talked to strangers a lot. Tried talking a sketchy Indian mafia (!) landlord’s rent down in exchange for (very badly needed!) work repairing and cleaning nasty apartment. Walked all over. Saw Bed Stuy. Visited brokers office in the basement of an apt. building that smelled like weed. That was weird. Felt nervous having our kids there. Park slope was too pricey, and kind of had this snobby Roseville clique feel to it anyways. Felt like gypsies in New Jersey, living in our van in a parking lot near transit into the city. Got miserable.
My brother came and stayed with us a couple nights. With his concertina-playing, vest and cap-wearing ways, he added to the number of people who asked us, “where are you from?” with that look that suggested they expected us to answer “Romania” or “Ireland”. That’s right. We shipped our fat-ass diesel vanagon all the way across the Atlantic to live in a Jersey Wal Mart parking lot and play the concertina for you! Because we are gypsies–that’s just what we do! Hmm. That rhymed.
Other things happened. We got a flat tire in Hoboken, NJ, in front of a gym. We went to Central Park and played in the water to get some relief from the heat. We smuggled my brother and our dog into a hotel with us so that we could all sleep and shower out of the heat. Nothing was happening. There were no apartments we could afford anywhere near us. Nothing. A news report said the tempratures were about to go up–into the high 90’s.
We decided to flee to family in Georgia to escape the heat and keep looking for an apt. (online) from the comfort of their air-conditioned house. . .