I bought my current apartment, a co-op studio just off the 8th Street N/R station, three years ago after renting on 14th Street and 2nd Avenue. Being closer to NYU was part of the plan. The apartment is small, but its proximity to NYU made it a good investment. If I ever wanted to leave the apartment, I could easily find someone to rent it.
In many ways, the location’s great. I’m four blocks from Union Square and smack in the middle of the East and West Village. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Except for the NYU kids.
Every August and September, a new batch moves in, and things start going downhill after a somewhat more peaceful summer. There’s more sidewalk traffic, campus tour groups, and hordes of kids going out and being obnoxious. You can always tell the out-of-towner NYU students from the New Yorkers. There’s this way they dress in skanked-out polyester clothes, looking around like they’re lost and hobbling on heels.
The neighborhood’s noisy beyond the typical sirens and traffic that all New Yorkers deal with. Not all New Yorkers have to deal with drunken drama students screaming show tunes at the top of their lungs at 4 a.m. It makes me want to open a window and throw a bucket of water on them. I want to kill their dreams of stardom and watch them move back home to Montana or wherever they come from.
And then there’s the vomit. It’s more of a weekend phenomenon, especially around the bars in Washington Square. I dodge puddles a few days a week. I can’t know this for sure, but I like to blame underage NYU students. I assume it’s them. Maybe even the same ones singing show tunes.
Maybe this is some guy’s dream – being 33 and living among all these college students – but it makes me feel like a grandpa. In most neighborhoods, I’d be in the median age group. Not here.
I'm getting used to it though. And if I had to do it again, I’d buy in the same area, but a larger space--with a quiet, windowless bedroom.
Living Next to a.... is a recurring series exploring the good, the bad, and the memorable of living near someplace others would rather not.