By Sean Alday
1. Always have as few things as possible.
Are you a musician? Then you should have your instrument and a few clothes. At best, you need about four changes of shirts, two changes of pants and some shorts for the summer.
Apply this liberally to whatever your trade is and you’re golden.
In general, it’s a sound practice to periodically get rid of at least half of your things.
2. Food stamps, Ikea Bags and quarters. Everyone you know is utilizing them or has.
You have to eat and the chances are good that the freelance work has dried up (especially in the summer). Luckily, sleeping in a park, the hostel or on Coney Island are generally nice this time of year. Unluckily, hot dog stands are one dollar, Ramen is thirty-nine cents, and both have the same amount of nutritional value: Which is zero.
Food stamps are a good way to reacquaint ones self with Granny Smith Apples and can be redeemed at many farmer’s markets.
Ikea bags are worth their weight in platinum. Nearly anything can fit, from kitchen to art supplies, blankets, pillows, loosely folded suits, tools, Persian rugs… Use your imagination and then store your imagination in your Ikea bag.
Quarters are the go-to coin currency. Hoard them for emergency phone calls (25¢ for local calls), laundry, and Metrocards.
3. Friends with couches will turn you into a couch surfer.
This is practice for official couch surfing. However, until you get into the swing of washing all of the dishes in an apartment, practice with friends. They may buy you a drink and listen to the first week woes of being homeless. But wash the dishes.
The other important facet to couch surfing is a graceful exit, so don’t overstay your welcome.
However, if you find yourself with no money and no place to sleep. Take the late night/early morning A Train back and forth through Brooklyn. With the long interludes between stops, it’s Brooklyn’s most sleepable train.
4. Organizations will help.
The Wyckoff Heights Hospital, for all of its faults, runs a great program in a house on Stanhope and Wyckoff (342 Stanhope Street, next to a small coffee shop). This place can help you along with obtaining a little aid in your time of need. In addition the friendly staff will listen to you without judgment. Afterwards they will provide you with a huge list of resources to help yourself.
Before court proceedings even take place, one can sometimes get an audience with the lawyers at the Bushwick-Ridgewood Senior Citizens Council on Wyckoff Avenue. This is a free service, though they are admittedly unfamiliar with the loft law, for that, you’ll have to go to another office on Wyckoff Avenue.
Look, it’s kind of a pain in the ass to figure out and the same goes for explaining it. So just walk down Wyckoff and look for their signs.
5. Have a sense of humour.
This is your life. It’s going to be a mix of tragedy and comedy. Making up songs while walking from one place to the next gets you through the day.
Jump in the fire hydrant spray. Do that even if you haven’t been evicted. You have to stay cool out there.
Bonus: You can also save money, pay your rent on time, and behave like a responsible adult.
This is an option. Just saying.
At the heart of it, eviction isn’t the worst thing that can happen. It’s only another adventure