Division and Sacramento, Chicago, IL: 2011-2012
Also known as “the apartment downstairs from where we live now.” The night we moved in, our downstairs neighbor knocked immediately and engaged us in a game of Twenty Questions. Where were we from? How long did we live there? Were we planning on continuing to wear shoes in the house, because he could hear every step we took? Were we aware of how dangerous the neighborhood was for out-of-towners? And we weren’t worried? Okay, cool. Then he talked to us about his career as a musician. He was about to leave on an international tour with R. Kelly, but at the last minute, R. Kelly’s visa didn’t go through. Something about pedophilia, I don’t know.
We stayed there for a year and a half. It’s where we hosted the inaugural Superbowl: Chopped and Screwed Party; Friendsgiving; and many many nights of smoking, beers, music and great fun. It was also where I endured my first Chicago winter, which wasn’t as bad as I imagined it would be.
The Jonathan: Cincinnati, Ohio: 2010
A two-room studio apartment I shared with Chris and Hachiko. Probably the only reason we didn’t kill each other was because I was working two jobs for the entire time I lived there. We did have three enormous closets, though, and that was a big selling point for me. The tininess of the place meant that we didn’t have guests often, but we did have folks over for a showing of “The Human Centipede” on Christmas night. [I didn't watch. I sat on the other side of the room and ate my Skyline and knitted.]
Taza Mahal: 2009-2010
Eight roommates in the space of a year, plus two cats and a little yard where they ran free. I lived in the attic room, and I had about eight square feet where I could stand up straight. I paid under $300 a month in rent and crafted a lot while watching great TV with Roommate Jacob. I used the hell out of the kitchen [and its luxurious dishwasher], making a batch of sweet potato soup almost weekly that winter. I also worked and slept a lot, to make up for the three years when I lived in New York and couldn’t get enough work or enough sleep.
Chris stayed over about 75% of the time, and when he wasn’t over, Hachi and I went to his place, an adorable two-bedroom he shared with our friend Erin. I’d wake up early and think about cooking breakfast; do a bunch of dishes; and then get annoyed and go eat at the diner around the corner.