That word came to mind yesterday when someone mentioned my websites to me. I update this one but few people know of it. The payphone site, though, that’s become a thingamabob. I don’t know where websites fit in to the spectrum of things anymore. I imagine what an empire I could build if I only had money. $100k for a year could have employed a handful of part timers, I guess. I don’t know money at the moment. I mean, I know how to manage it and I know how to manage people and projects. I just don’t know how to get money, how to raise capital, how to pass the hat and beg. Can’t sell myself. It feels vulgar. I see reference at times to creative types who seem to be magnets for capital, magnates for magnates with millions of dollars to burn on worthy-seeming causes. I remember someone talking about the caste of people on crowdfunding sites who will throw $50 at just about anything. I’d be that person if I had $50.

I talked to someone yesterday who pays $100/month rent. It is a studio in Bk. He’s lived there 50 years, since his mother died. The only amenity is a bathtub, which was put in recently on account of a medical condition. Other than that the landlord is, not surprisingly, unwilling to perform any maintenance or provide new appliances to replace the old. $2500, the estimated costs of replacing appliances and performing other necessary maintenance, is money lost against an annual income of $1200. There may also be housing court costs, it seems, since the renter is taking the landlord to court for negligence. The landlord intends to defend himself vigorously. But the life one lives in an apartment like that is one of carry-out food and washing whatever dishes you have in the bathtub. The renter is most comfortable in the bathtub, which is designed to accommodate his medical condition. It is a hobo life but it is a roof over his head. Roaches have infested the kitchen, if you can call a room without a stove or a refrigerator a kitchen. The toilet seat is 60 years old. That must be a piece of work. Would it not just have deteriorated into dirt by now?

I remember a listing for a room in Rockaway, just a room, for $100/month. This was early 1990s, but even then the verdict on that rental was “That’s a little too cheap.” I never saw the place but figured it was not really a room but a converted storage closet or just a fucking drawer to sleep in. This dude gets a decent amount of space but on SSI income even the $100/month can be hard to come up with when all food is purchased from restaurants and can be quite costly.

I seem to remember paying approximately $100/month for a room on Main Street in the small Ohio town where I went to college. The apartment was a dump but I liked it. The owner knew it was not a glamour property and she charged rent according to its real worth. But $100/month in a small Ohio town was not unknown in the late 1980s. In New York it was considered suspect.

I did actually pay $240/month for a room in Washington Heights. In the early 1990s that was considered obscenely cheap, but it came with compromises, mostly involving the roommates and the noise from the GWB.