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Dealbreaker

Here's what you do if you're a heterosexual male with an apartment: Go minimalist. Let her decorate. I recently upgraded from a cloying, dorm room-like studio apartment in a very nice building in Brooklyn Heights to a spacious, entertainment-friendly 1-bedroom … Read More

By / March 29, 2007
Jewcy loves trees! Please don't print!

Here's what you do if you're a heterosexual male with an apartment: Go minimalist. Let her decorate.

I recently upgraded from a cloying, dorm room-like studio apartment in a very nice building in Brooklyn Heights to a spacious, entertainment-friendly 1-bedroom in the same building. (You really know who your friends are when they start showing up unannounced with — but ALSO WITHOUT — drink.)

My philosophy is one self-abnegation when it comes to home furnishing. A couch, a few chairs (no more than three, though; a good fuck-off number for tagalongs and uninviteds) and enough book shelves to keep the autographed Kingsley in fit condition, and I'm fine. I like the cavernous feel of my own space. If there's no echo, you've been had by Ikea.

A few indulgences obtrude: There's a projection television in the corner (purchased on sale years ago), a Bose radio on top of that, and a very slim, skip-free DVD player of recent vintage that came courtesy of a year's worth of collected loose change and an overwhelmed CoinStar machine at Duane Reade.

Did I mention my bed is a pull-out couch (yes) from the studio era? This one minor drawback is being eliminated, as my sister has generously donated her bed, en route to casa as we speak, from her recently vacated Manhattan apartment. (Breakups hurt, sublets heal, brothers benefit.)

In my place you won't find any of the following:

1. Stuffed game (hunted, inherited or store-bought);

2. Paisley, plaid, psychedelic parsley-and-sage print sheets;

3. Fluorescent overhead lighting;

4. Figurines or Legos (there are Spinoza, Machiavelli, Trotsky and Jefferson fridge magnets from the Unemployed Philosopher's Guild, but the aw-shuck kitsch element is cancelled by the utility here);

5. Bad wall art (I have Whit Stillman movie posters in the closet, which is where they'll stay);

6. Powdered liquid substances in the pantry;

7. Shoes costing more than $100, or younger than 6-months

Do I have my own dealbreakers for running screaming from a woman's domicile?

1. Cats – plural (how frightfully unerring they are as a badge);

2. Framed photographs of ex-boyfriends because "we're still friends";

3. Ayn Rand novels prominently displayed (my heart's still recovering from hearing Anne Hathaway talk about The Fountainhead);

4. Crucifixes displayed anywhere but directly over the headboard that, when noticed, are not met with a knowing wink by the owner;

5. Shoes numbering more than 100 pairs.

Now, I'm not rich, and I don't write advice columns for match.com, but even I have enough savvy to know not to go telling the New York Times something like this:

“Ever hear the words ‘rent stabilized’?” says Mr. Podell, who’s paying $702 for a one bedroom in SoHo. “What do I need a fancy place for? A lot of people want to show off their wealth. It ain’t me, baby.”

Forget that he's 70, not only does this make Podell look insufferably cheap, but it makes every reader demonaically incensed about the price he's probably been paying since the Ford administration. And he's a millionaire.

Yet it's the trans-fats and cigarettes that are endangering public health in Gotham.

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