UPDATE: I think the abandoned building by my apartment is being renovated, but that doesn’t take away from the creepiness of the situation.
Up until a half hour ago, I considered staying in my temporary Bed-Stuy apartment for a long period of time. It’s right by the subway, inexpensive, and charming in a “lived in” sort of way. My last apartment, which I spent an absurd amount of money on, was new but sterile and uninspiring, so it was nice to relocate to a place with character.
My Broolyn apartment definitely isn’t lacking in character. It actually has too much. As I chatted with my mom on the phone an hour ago, I noticed a new addition to the junkyard outside my window: A toilet. Unfortunately I have a perfect view of the bottom of it. You all know what that means. Thankfully, I can only see the toilet from my kitchen and not my bedroom (aren’t I lucky?), but I now have to refrain from staring out the kitchen window on the rare occasions that I cook. Soiled mattresses, torn up suitcases and duffel bags, empty milk jugs that resemble Halloween horror masks, and broken lamps I can handle looking at in my living space, but not human waste. You have to draw the line somewhere.
Anyway, as I talked with my mom about thirty minutes ago, I gazed at the abandoned building beside my bedroom window and noticed someone inside. Suddenly, a man with a braided beard stuck his head out the window and appeared to be surveying the junkyard and his surroundings. He scanned the area for a solid five minutes. Meanwhile, I froze up in bed and made the mistake of telling my mother that a strange man had just shown up in the abandoned house, which stands just a few feet away from my apartment building. You know that horrifying phone call scene at the beginning of ‘Taken”? It felt like that. Though my face was blocked by a portion of my bedroom curtain, I am confident that the fellow saw me. Here’s to hoping my bedroom window is bullet-proof like many of the windows in Bed-Stuy.
I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve come to terms with feeling on edge and nervous in my own neighborhood. That has become the new normal for me, but feeling unsettled in my own bedroom is just wrong.
Just skimming a Bernie’s Glass Shop ad is enough to send potential Bed-Stuy residents running for the hills:
Bernie’s Glass Shop, which opened on May 12, 1954, is a family-owned business that has provided mirrors and glass to the neighborhood of Bed-Stuy for more than half a century. It offers repairs, replacement windows, screens, skylights, bullet resistant glass…
And why is “bullet resistant glass” even on the market? Because there’s a demand for it. I don’t have to tell you why. All I know is that I hope my apartment contains such windows.
With that, I’m going to actively begin searching for another place to live. The whole “living in Bed-Stuy” thing used to be funny and even an ego boost because of all the money I poured into my last dig, but I think it’s time for me to get out of here.