Two months ago, I found, got, and lost my dream apartment over the course of 24 hours. Since graduating college in May, I’d stayed in four places in New York City. First, there was a high school friend’s sublet on the Upper East Side, where I stayed for a week and woke up on the last day covered in bed bug bites; then, student housing at Columbia University, where I was taking a course about publishing, and which was my only real reason for being in the city.
There are a lot of things my friends make fun of me for. In my apartment alone, there's plenty of fodder: my enormous yarn collection, stacked on a bookshelf directly across from my bed; my hand-embroidered clock, which hangs above the doorway; my small tray of rocks covered in crocheted cotton cozies, which look for all the world as if they are wearing sweaters. "You made SWEATERS for ROCKS?"
My Amazon recommendations are not helpful. Amazon thinks I need a 20-gallon bag of organic kitty litter; Amazon thinks I need zip ties in every primary color; Amazon thinks I need a bizarrely sparkly fishing lure. Occasionally Amazon will serve me up something I do want — a memoir by a funny and self-conscious woman, a face mask popular among Korean skincare bloggers — but for the most part, my algorithm is irrevocably, comically busted.