I couldn’t afford cable, so I watched my roommate’s when he was gone. On his bed. With a pizza. With no shirt.
“When my first roommate moved back home, I moved in with a random friend of a friend -- a neat-freak who had a bizarre hatred of mayonnaise and had cable in his room, but hadn't hooked it up in the living room. I couldn't even afford a TV, much less to contribute to the cable bill, so I just watched basic shows on this tiny, old, toaster-size, antenna-powered TV set he left by the window. One night when he was supposed to be out of town I got funny-headed, bought a large pizza, and sat on his bed in nothing but my boxers watching Swept Away, the worst movie Guy Ritchie ever made, and maybe even the worst movie Madonna ever made. Apparently some people arrive home from out of town early the same way they arrive home from dinner early. At around 5am he showed up with his girlfriend as I'm mashing Famous Ray's into my pie-hole. The shock on his face was absolutely worth the shitstorm. All I could say was, 'Sorry man, I just really miss cable TV.'" - Evan
I rollerbladed and went to studio tapings of Donahue
“In my early 20s, I shared a studio apartment on the Upper West Side at 79th between Broadway and Amsterdam with another flight attendant and a traveling sales professional. We had two illegal loft bunks and one multitasking daybed underneath that also served as our couch. We each had our own rotating pillows and blankets and whoever got home first in time for bed had their choice of sleeping accommodations. We were so broke that we would go to H&H Bagels to fill ourselves up for the days we were not traveling and actually living in NYC. We spent our days in Central Park with our bagel-and-Thermos-coffee picnics and rollerbladed for free entertainment. We also signed up for free show tapings like Phil Donahue at NBC Studios. At night we hung out at Jake’s Dilemma and Gentleman Jack’s on Amsterdam Avenue’s barley row hoping to score free drinks. I still remind myself that I once survived in NYC on an annual $12,500 flight attendant salary and was as happy as could be.” - Tara
I had a bathtub in my kitchen
“I lived with my two older brothers on the corner of Manhattan’s 50th Street and 11th Avenue in a sagging six-story walkup that was once a seamen’s boarding house. It was $270 a month split three ways and entitled us to a bathtub in the kitchen and an overhead tank pull-chain toilet. Every window was enhanced by looping razor wire. We all drove horse-drawn carriages for a living. 11th Avenue was the nearly naked hooker-on-crack boulevard. Those were some of my best times in NYC.” - Bruce