Monday, January 30, 2006

Countdown to Blast -off


Well, I begin this post with a heavy-heart. Although I have been awaiting this day for oh, I don't know, YEARS maybe? - now that it is upon the horizon I reflect on what I am about to leave behind.

Five days until we leave Brooklyn.

I love Brooklyn.

I have lived in Brooklyn since May 1997. I moved into my sister's lopsided 17th Street apartment with two duffel bags and about $200. I had a job in Greenwich, CT. I commuted backwards for 2 hours each way. I did this for about 2 months before I told my employer that I had moved out of CT and couldn't do the commute any longer. And besides, I couldn't afford the commute any longer.

I put my beloved 1993 Toyota Celica CONVERTIBLE for sale in my grandfather's front yard. It sat there for 6 months before we got an offer. Luckily for me my grandfather was a sweetheart and continued to pay my car payments until it sold because I was broke.

Remind my again why I moved to Brooklyn?

Oh yeah, to be an actress. And, apparently, to go broke.

Eventually my sister's lease was up and she and her roommates went their separate ways. I took over the lopsided apartment and began the hunt for roommates. This consisted of putting posters up at the SAG/AFTRA/Equity offices in Manhattan. I got plenty of calls - from crazy people. Eventually I found Lorna - who was OK except for a few eccentricities.

Lorna was an actress and was about 5 year older than me. She had a clinical case of acne and was hopelessly single. She grew up in a trailer park and was very protective of that.

Every night Lorna took a bath for 30 minutes. Every night.

Every month Lorna stuck a Q-tip up her cat's hoo-ha. Every month. She thought this kept her from whining every time she went into heat. Gross.

Lorna was a temp somewhere in Manhattan. She had a co-worker named Kevin who ended up being our 3rd roommate. His girlfriend became our freeloading 4th roommate. Boy - it was a blast.

So, blah, blah, blah. Time passed. I went on auditions and took more acting classes. I did some weird Shakespearean adaptation at the Angel Orensanz Foundation on the Lower East Side.

I did another show on the upper West Side where I played a dead person who pushed around a coffin.

I did a more conventional play; Our Town with the father of Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ( the original one). This was at some weird, old fashioned men's social club. No, not that kind of men's social club. The kind where there is a women's auxiliary and they do community service, have potluck dinners and black tie fund raisers and put on semi-professional theater four times a year. They also had a professional choir which was combined with the women's club. I don't honestly know how I got involved in this one. This place was located in Murray Hill - I think. Like 34th Street between Park and Lex. I got to meet Charlie. He looks exactly the same, but bigger.

I did some extra work in a bunch of movies. Some that I don't even remember the name of. Some I do: Summer of Sam, The Cradle Will Rock. There was also that TV show about firemen.

Eventually I went on a US tour as the Wicked Witch in a children's theater production of the Wizard of Oz. It was a three month van tour. It was awesome.

I met Ernie just before I went away and when I returned we went on our first date. The rest is history.

Brooklyn was the supporting character in all of this. I ran in Prospect Park. I shopped for cheap clothes on 5th Avenue. I ate $1.25 pizza from Lenny's every night between pay checks. I shopped at the store front produce market and got a week's worth of produce for $4. I bought homemade sauerkraut and mushroom pierogies from the Polish Market on 5th Ave. for $3 (this was all before Park Slope became FANCY). I walked to the Farmer's Market at Grand army Plaza. I met Emily who became my running partner.

I moved out of the lopsided apartment and into Ernie's place where he was renting a room from a friend. Saxaphone player Kevin. Kevin also happened to be a classmate of my sister's from college. We slept on one of those foam chairs that flattens out to a bed(?). It was only wide enough for one person so Ernie let me have the foam and he slept next to me on the floor. It was very sweet. We had nothing.

I followed Ernie to countless jazz gigs arouns Manhattan both before and after we got married in November 1998.

We began our Real Estate obsession when we only had a few thousand dollars that Ernie's parents gave us.

We bought our first place on 5th Ave when it was still inhabited by crack heads. Our little studio with a backyard was our haven for more than 4 years. We sold when the block turned into Hipster central and we could no longer afford to eat at the restaurants or shop in the shops.

OK. I need to reflect a bit more.

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