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Metropolitan Diary

Dear Diary,
A Friend of mine recently told me how much fun she had looking for an apartment on Long island. “Was apartment hunting fun for you in Manhattan?” she said.
            Fun? Was she kidding? It took me three years, thousands of dollars and the search for a really good therapist to get me through the horrible ordeal.
            I looked at apartments with the tub in the kitchen, the bathroom in the hall, the shower in the closet. I encountered doormen who were drunk, landladies who were considering marital infidelity and neighborhood pets who attached themselves to my cordovan penny loafers.
            Fun never came to mind. I must have trudged through every offbeat neighborhood from the meat-packing district to the Cloisters with the brokers’ credo firmly planted in my mind, “This is an up-and-coming area, you know.” I still was not using the word fun.
            When at last I found my fourth-floor studio walkup in Hell’s Kitchen, overlooking the remains of an XXX-rated movie house I was ecstatic. Now, of course I’m considering moving to Long Island. For the fun of it.
Barry Dougherty