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Diary of a DJ: Mike Nouveau Sees More Rentals, Fights With Broker

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When he's not playing music in the Boom Boom Room, Tribeca Grand, Avenue or whatever exotic city that's currently in the throes of Fashion Week, DJ Mike Nouveau is ... frantically combing Craigslist for a cheap rental! The downtown scenester is hiking up his skirt and hunting for a new apartment before his East Village lease runs out on March 31. His journey began yesterday, and now continues...

I woke up to scattered showers and an e-mail from Jay from Century 21 confirming that we could meet at 7th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue at 11am. Yesterday I put in a low-ball $1,450/month offer on a one-bedroom apartment on Canal Street, but I'm feeling less confident about it as time goes by so the search continues. Jay showed me a $1,550-per-month studio apartment in a well taken care of building next to McSorley’s. Jay was kind and not at all and pushy and the apartment was nice and clean, but once again it was smaller than my current Avenue B studio. A better setup, but not worth the extra money. It's frustrating to think that my current apartment might be too good of a deal to let go of.

I picked up a bagel sandwich from a deli on 2nd Ave. to make sure I had enough energy to survive another day of apartment hunting, and then headed to my next appointment, an apartment for-rent-by-tenant on 6th Street between 1st and 2nd Ave. It turned out to be two 20-something girls looking to escape their lease by transferring it to some poor soul who wanted to pay $1,600 for a studio that couldn’t have been more than 225 square feet. One of them complimented my jacket, so for that I wish them good luck in their quest.

After a quick stop home to check Craigslist, I had the extreme misfortune to meet an unpleasant woman named Grace who was representing something called 123 Rent NYC. I arrived several minutes early at our meeting spot in front of the American Apparel on Orchard and Houston. Five minutes later, Grace calls me asking where I am. I am, of course, exactly where we agreed to meet. "Oh" she says, "walk to 177 Orchard Street." I walk into a one-bedroom apartment going for $1,625 and she has another client with her who she will also be showing this apartment to. Grace says she has to show us the apartment separately, for whatever reason.

After fumbling in her bag for several minutes, she declares that she in fact doesn't have the key to the apartment at all! Since obviously my time has no value and I have nothing else going on in my life, Grace suggests that I just come back tomorrow when she has the keys. "You have time tomorrow?" she asks. "Yes," I respond, "if you have the keys." Apparently she didn’t like the tone of my reply, because her reply to that was, "Oh, you know what, I'm not showing you this apartment at all! You can forget it!" The argument escalated, and we went back and forth while her other client watched. I was walking away, allowing her to have the last word when she said, "You're perfect? You never made a mistake in your life?" I countered. "I make plenty of mistakes, but never with my job, and certainly never with other people's time." It is events like these that make me extremely happy that the internet exists, so I can woarn others not to waste their time with Grace at 123 Rent NYC.

Tune in for the third installment of Mike Nouveau's frantic rental search tomorrow! For a refresher, here's Part I of the saga.