36 Hours In: My Apartment

(after the New York Times Sunday Travel Section feature)

Taking a weekend vacation need not be a complicated, expensive hassle that’s ultimately unsatisfying and only makes you feel more stressed. It can also be an affordable, easy-to-arrange hassle that’s ultimately unsatisfying and only makes you feel more stressed. If you’re looking for a quick getaway that offers peace and quiet without any of those pesky “amenities,” why not try my apartment?

FRIDAY   4 p.m.
Welcome to my apartment! Prepare yourself for 36 hours of the kind of luxury only a poorly lit, construction-site-adjacent alcove studio can provide. Settle in and relax, and don’t forget the first rule of traveling: respect the local customs, which in this case means nobody but the apartment’s primary resident (me) is allowed to sit on the toilet. Public restrooms are available at the Barnes &  Noble, conveniently located 15 minutes away by subway.

7 p.m.
As the evening cools and the threat of being accosted by shopping cart-pushing lunatics grows less serious, it’s the perfect time to take a restorative stroll around my apartment. Known for its impressive natural formations of dust, hair, and food particles, my apartment is habitat to a variety of indigenous creatures specially evolved to thrive in an environment lacking in sunlight, fresh air, and hope. While you dodge the skittering insects, take a moment to admire the large sofa cushion crater, formed by hours of my lying on the couch in a fetal position. 

SATURDAY   2 p.m.
Rise and shine! While it’s tempting to lounge away the afternoon in bed, don’t forget that Xbox isn’t going to play itself! If you’re itching for a more outdoorsy experience, convince yourself that you’re being productive by taking a walk down the block to the local café, which offers free wi-fi, as well as an exotic selection of day-old pastries. The feeling of staring into space while drinking enough coffee to make your heart explode is one you will not soon forget.

6:30 p.m.

Satisfy the cravings brought on by an afternoon of inactivity with a hearty, authentic meal of whatever can be scrounged up from my kitchen. Dried foods and canned goods are always a safe choice, but more adventurous gourmands will steer towards those items with bygone expiration dates, a thrilling experience some have compared to sampling the potentially lethal Japanese fugu. Diners lucky enough to score prime seats near the window are afforded a stunning view of the sunset over downtown Brooklyn, or would be, if I ever opened my window shades.

1 a.m.
No visit to my apartment would be complete without sampling the area’s active nightlife. Who needs fancy mixologists when you can pour the cheap off-brand whiskey directly from the bottle into your mouth? Pace yourself, night owls, because the paralyzing anxiety doesn’t really get going until the wee hours. Worry the night away obsessing over your stagnant career, or spend some time in the romantic glow of the laptop, comparing your unusual birthmarks to photos of terrible diseases on disreputable medical websites.


Your weekend is almost at an end, but before you go, refresh yourself with one more bracing dip in the apartment’s famous “Arctic Shower,” so named because of the superintendent’s negligence in repairing the water heater. You’ll bid a fond farewell to my apartment, knowing you’ll be taking with you a trove of memories and a musty odor in your clothes that will resist even the most vigorous of Febreezings. And as you wait for the unreliable elevator to carry you back down to the outside world, you’ll surely want to take one last look around, because if you leave anything behind I’m keeping it. 

Jason Reich is a television writer whose credits include The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and VH1’s Best Week Ever.