I feel like “Moving Horror Stories” are to “Big City” as “twerking” is to Miley Cyrus. It doesn’t necessarily always happen, but it makes for a great tale later on. Before I relocated to Los Angeles, I had already lived in two “hub cities;” New York and Philadelphia. Therefore, I foolishly expected to be immune from the “L.A. Story.” There is a certain level of street smart acquired when inhabiting a big city, and I had my fair share of drama in New York City. To my surprise, I was being completely naïve because shit did go down. We weren’t swindled out of hundreds of dollars by a greedy landlord; nor were we forced to live in an illegal basement “apartment” (both of those were actual stories retold to me).
My first misstep was assuming my roommate and I would be able to secure a lease in six days. I arrived in Los Angeles on May 25th (a holiday weekend) and figured we would find something by May 31st. Nope. May 30, 2013 was spent on Airbnb looking for some semblance of temporary housing so we had a roof over our head. I was staying in a hotel in Culver City and my roommate was in a sublet in Long Beach; we needed to act quick. My roommate found a shared bedroom in a house (for $1,650) that we booked in desperation. I decided to ignore the fact that I paid $1,650 a month to live in a two-bedroom apartment in Queens, because it just wasn’t time to be picky. The listing looked fantastic: although we would have to share a bedroom with two single beds (and one bathroom with however many other guests came), it had “sweeping views of Downtown Los Angeles.”