I met a girl on the street and asked her for a smoke. We chatted for a bit and then she invited me up to her apartment for a nightcap, like in the movies.
“Sorry, this place is such a shit hole. I hate it.”
“It looks nice to me,” I said, “In fact, it’s sort of great.” True, it was on the small side, not big enough to, say, raise a litter of pelicans in, or hold a jujitsu competition. But she was only 20 years old, and it was in the West Village – and how many 20 year-olds have their own apartments in the West Village?
A lot, apparently. According to Collegeprowler.com, 49% of the NYU student population lives off campus. That’s 10,000 undergrads, taking up prime New York real estate, driving rental prices up ever higher. Nobody can afford to live in Manhattan, not even people who have sold their children’s kidneys – but NYU pipsqueaks can? The Ying and the Yang of the universe, all thrown off.
The girl was a studio art major who hated studio art. Painting was boring. But it didn’t matter. She had interned at Gagosian for the year, which put her light years ahead of her peer group.
“All the other interns there, they’re like, 24. And it was funny, everybody else just kind of assumed that I was like, 24, too, you know? They were all going to go to a bar and they were like, Calla, are you coming? And I was like, sorry, guys, my birthday’s not until September? And they were just, like, stunned. Because they’re all, like, 24.”
“Don’t you have a fake ID?” I asked. She peered at me disdainfully.
“Well, yeah. I have two. I just didn’t want to hang out with them. For them, New York is all like, wow, this is amazing. But after four years, its just like I’ve done everything. I’m leaving next year. I’m over it. ”
She leaned back, a frown half-formed on her lips. She was thinking about how awesome she was. I took a big sip of wine. It tasted like ABG (Already Been Gargled) Listerine, but I wanted to drink quickly. I was over it.