I looked at a bunch of apartments with a bunch of real estate brokers this summer because I thought I was going to move out my place (where I’ve been living for the past 13 years).
This was a studio in an elevator/doorman building on 86th and Broadway—the Upper Westside! A place where they actually have bookstores instead of just restaurants! And it was the same price as my one bedroom railroad in a Hell’s Kitchen tenement with cruddy, slanted floors.
What was so strange about this place was that someone was still living there. Her things were on display. Her dishes and five rolls of paper towels stacked above the cupboards in the tiny kitchen; her plug-in Vanilla-Holiday air freshener in the bathroom; her light pink Victoria’s Secret bras hanging on hooks in the closet. And her neatly made single bed with a teddy bear on the pillow.
It was a nice enough place. I liked the tiny kitchen since I never cook. And I kind of liked the idea of a new neighborhood, but the teddy bear creeped me out. If I’d moved in, I’d always think about it and I think it would depress me. The teddy bear would remain there long after the girl moved out. And only because I’d seen it.