Home again

Welcome Home Sign with Flowers & Butterflies.  Started as traditional art then completed and faux metallic textures, wood background and pussy willow frame added using Adobe Photoshop CS2.

Welcome Home Sign with Flowers & Butterflies. Started as traditional art then completed and faux metallic textures, wood background and pussy willow frame added using Adobe Photoshop CS2.

One of the things that separates cities like NYC or San Francisco from many other major metropolises (is that a real word?) is how goddamn expensive they are to live in. For children raised in those places, spreading your wings and leaving the nest isn’t easy. You can’t just get a low level entry job somewhere and support yourself, eating top ramen every day yet living in a somewhat decent home. You either move to another city/town, make enough money to afford a place, get 5 or 6 roommates and begin to gentrify a neighborhood that hates you or you embrace nepotism. For people who are natives, that last choice is a saving grace. Yes, it’s an unfair advantage and very entitled but, let’s be honest, it’s pretty awesome if you have the option.

I was very lucky in that case. My father bought the building I grew up in , in the early 1960’s for an absurdly low price. I mean, I know inflation changes how those things look but paying 80,000 for an entire building in greenwich village is obscene, even if it was 50 plus years ago. So, when it was time for me to leave the home I grew up in, I was extremely fortunate. I had already dropped out of college and I was working bullshit jobs just to make money. Sure, this was the mid-90’s in NYc and I could have moved to Brooklyn right then, like so many of my friends did but I didn’t have to. My parents let me move into an apartment in the building I grew up in for a very low rent. Now, I’m not alone in the treatment. I know many friends that simply didn’t leave their childhood home. Funny thing about that is that, while that may be frowned upon in most places, it’s not crazy in NYC. Like I said, shit is expensive here and people simply have to make it work. If that means living at home till you’re 30, so be it. It’s a bargain that’s only an issue if you have too much pride or annoying parents. Another thing I’ve seen happen a lot is children taking over their parents place as they age. Meaning, the parents no longer need all the space they once had and they section off their large, rent controlled or owned apartment to create a new apartment for their kids (and , ultimately, the family those kids are raising). It’s something no outsider who is apartment hunting in NYC will ever find and it’s a shrinking occurrence , as the city seems to be working hard to stop people from getting any sort of breaks. But being grandfathered into homes is an NYC tradition. It’s the worlds greatest hand me down.

After about 4 or 5 years of living for what might as well have been free, my mom finally told me to get out of the building. Wise move as she was losing thousands of dollars in rent every month just to have me sit in that apartment, ripping bong hits with my friends and making beats. I found a great place about 10 blocks away and I’ve lived there ever since. Got that post 9/11 bargain too so it was actually a steal for what it is.
Anyway, I say all that to say this. About 6 months ago, my toilet vomited gallons of sewage into my apartment. You can read about that HERE. Because of this toxic waste spill, my floors needed to be redone. This means my girlfriend and I have to get out while they tear my place apart. I’m fortunate to have a place to go. That’s my moms house. The house I grew up in. So, as of last weekend, I’m living at home again. It’s been almost 20 years since I actually lived here. I gotta say…it’s kinda weird. Sure, this isn’t really moving back home. It’s not permanent. But it definitely made me think of all those friends of mine who , for some reason or another, were forced to move back in with their parents after a long time on their own.
While the accommodations are nice, it’s hard not to feel like a refugee. Living out of a bag and folding your bed up every morning so people can sit on that couch during the day. The first day back, I immediately came down with a flu/allergy attack which I’m assuming means I’m allergic to memories. But, as the days have passed, I’ve gotten more used to it and realized that there are actually a lot of good things about moving back home. I figure, I’d be a positive guy for once in my life and list them.
These are the perks of moving back home (assuming you like your parents):
1)Food…so much food.
Now, as a bachelor, my fridge contained mixers for booze, mayo and soy sauce. That’s it. I might have had some cans of chef boyaredee stashed away in case of an emergency. When my girl moved in, my fridge was immediately upgraded. Simply by the fact there was all of a sudden stuff in it at all. Thing is, there’s nothing like a stocked fridge at the home you grew up in. You forget all those little things that you used to snack on. Things you would never buy on your own but get legit excited to see every time you cracked open the fridge. Like, holy shit, I forgot how good triscuits are. Or cheeses…bricks of them. Everywhere. Also, my mom has the best honey ever. And so much ice cream. The 2-4 weeks I will be here will be decedent and full of weight gain. I forgot how easy it is to never stop eating when there is always food around. At my home, I’m cut off by the food simply running out.

If you have your own place in NYC, you know space is limited. If you live within your means, you’re lucky to have 3 rooms. But parent houses? They got space. Sure, you feel like a guest but it’s still roomy as fuck. Like, there are two bathrooms here. One that’s great for privacy the other that’s more central. That’s living.

3)This shower
This is particular to my moms house only, but goddamn if she doesn’t have the best water pressure on earth. This one shower if like being in front of a fire hose…in a good way.

4)New neighborhood
This house is only ten or so blocks from where I live but it’s a whole different world of options. Specifically, restaurants. I feel like I’m on vacation. Every day is me venturing out and trying somewhere new. I grew up here but so much changes yearly. I feel like I’m rediscovering an entire neighborhood. Also, getting fatter by the second.

5)(hopefully) Your parents are cool
When you’re young, you bump heads with your parents. Maybe they’re at fault but, let’s be honest, it’s probably you. As you get older and your relationship with them changes , many people find a comfort zone. They’re still your parents but they’re also your friends. You see them as people. You speak to them like you would anyone else. I think it may be the best selling point for having kids…fuck all the “raising them” and “teaching them” stuff. To be able to sit and shoot the shit with a person you created like an adult must be awesome. Well, it works both ways. As a kid, you get to evolve into a person who can actually appreciate your parents as people. Not just suck off their teat and complain towards them. So, as corny as it seems, the perk of spending quality time with your parents as adults is not to be overlooked.

6)It’s free
Is there a better way to save money that living with your parents? Aside from being homeless, no. People move back home specifically to stack their money so they can finally REALLY leave the nest. Also, it seems engrained in most parents to always pay for the meals. I don’t think this is fair as, most likely, you owe them, but you can eat for free forever if you move back home.

7)Parents have liquor cabinets
I mean, so do lots of adults but the average reader of this blog is in their mid 20’s so access to free booze is still a big deal to you heathens. Can’t overlook that.

I’m sure there are more great things about moving home again but, I’ve only been here 3 days so far. Gimmie time to discover the rest. To all of you out there contemplating a move back home. I know it’s not ideal but, hey, it could be way worse. You could have a shitty roommate with like 15 cats. Imagine that hell.

You and your kids

Man, I like kids. I swear. Granted, I feel strange holding small babies out of fear I might drop them or accidentally throw them but, overall, I think babies are cool.
But this isn’t about that. This is about other peoples kids and the expectations they have towards the people around them. I don’t know if it’s my age or where I live or how people have decided to raise children in 2012/13 but I’ve never felt more like I’m living in a world for children. It’s subtle, but it’s there. I imagine few things have actually changed and that I’m just more acutely aware of kids and their parents now but it doesn’t feel that way. It just feels as if , now more than ever, the world is one big safe guarded living room being imposed by the judging eyes of young parents. I guess what I’m trying to say is: Be a good parent to your kids but don’t expect me , a stranger who lives on the same planet as you, to give a shit. Maybe that’s a touch harsh. Lemme explain.

As a man who has no kids, I realize I’m in no place to say anything about the subject. What do I know? All i know is what I see my friends with kids go through. A mixture of joy, hardship, profound love and many sleepless nights. For someone like myself, it is a daunting prospect as, not only am I generally selfish, but I’ve never been a fan of putting in a ton of work into anything (we call that “Lazy” in the biz). Most of the time, I barely feel like starting a new album, let alone a human life so it’s very much a “from the outside looking in” type deal for me. At least at the moment.
The other day, I was walking down the street. I came to a red light on 16th street and no cars were coming, so I crossed. I noticed a woman with two young children waiting for the light to change. She was doing the right thing. Aside from teaching her kids when to cross, she was also being very conscious of their safety. However, she shot me a shitty look like I just offered her 3 year old daughter an ecstasy pill at a rave. This is my issue. It’s YOUR job as a parent to raise your kids right. Lord knows that shit isn’t easy. Like I said, I can’t even fathom how hard it is. But it’s not my job to stop what I’ m doing at any time of my day to make your life easier. As n adult, in most situations, I have the right of way. You may get to board a plane first, but, at the same time, I can freely go about my life as if that kid you’re pushing in a stroller is not in the room. That’s not to say I wouldn’t help a mom with her hands full carry her groceries or help her carry a stroller down subway stairs. That’s just common decency. But the second you think, because you opted to bring a child into this world, that anyone else owes you anything beyond common decency, you can blow me.
I liken it to athletes being held up as role models by the media. That’s bullshit. They’re just some dudes that are gifted at a sport. It would be better if they didn’t snort lines off hookers tits and smoke crack but the bottom line is their only job is to be good at that sport. As a non-child haver, my only job is to not harm your child. That’s a pretty easy job for someone who’s not a complete psychopath.
A while back I wrote about how the over protective and entitled parents of the world were taking over. I spoke about playing in a game of 3 on 3 at a park and having a mother come ask us (6 grown adults) to stop playing so her 3 year old son could shoot on that hoop. She got laughed off the court but still…what parents have to understand is that , as adults, we get first pick. We are the ones who run things. The safety and well being of a child is of the upmost importance, but beyond that, everything is YOUR (the parents) issue to deal with. Your baby shit his pants and you need to change him? I’ll gladly let you cut in my line for the bathroom. But If you over hear me say a curse word in a restaurant during dinner and shoot me a dirty look? Eat shit , bro. This is grown ups talking. You wanna shelter your kid from that, throw him in a sound proof, germ proof hamster ball and feed him through tubes until he’s 12. Otherwise, just accept that this world doesn’t revolve around your child. Your life does, but not ours. ACCEPT IT. The same way we, as people without children, have to accept that kids on planes are just gonna be awful. It’s not their parents faults it’s just how it is. The same way, we as people without children, accept that when a friend’s baby is anywhere social, it is officially “The baby show” and all eyes , conversation and attention is to be paid to that baby the entire time. I have no problem with that cause, like i said before, I like babies. They are cute and them doing inane bullshit is actually entertaining sometimes. I just ask, as a trade off, that when it comes to raising your child you (the parents of the world) just realize that, on a larger scale, your baby should never be MY problem. That’s all. Is that crazy to assume? I dunno…Maybe I just need to go get a Vasectomy and live in an igloo or something.