Name: Petur Magnusson
Occupation: Loan Processor/Fauxtographer
From: Iceland via The Bay Area
How long have you lived in New York: One year
Youre one of the rare breed of people whove moved to New York and admitted that everything wasnt all you imagined it to be and it took a while for things to fall into place. Knowing what you know now almost a year later, what are some things the newbie to NYC should be prepared for?
I have to admit, I totally fooled myself into believing that I could handle anything before I got here. The majority of my grievances were caused by my own lack of planning and foresight in coming. I would strongly recommend that anyone (albeit those with a healthy trust fund) considering the migration to this city put serious thought and planning into it. I showed up with no place to stay, and no idea of where to do so. I had an apartment within 48 hours, but I was limited to finding places in the neighborhood of my hotel (St. Marks Hotel, a beautiful place for a nice weekend getaway with the missus).
Additionally, it's well worth it to annihilate your vermin problem Armageddon style...even though you'll never get rid of every roach when you live in a 100 year old building, you can keep them away for the most part by roach bombing your house four times in two days and patching up that hole under the sink where they're bumrushing like it's backstage at Freaknik or some shit. And no matter how high you are off fumes at 5am the night you move in, don't stop cleaning until you get all the fecal matter and semen off the walls and floor. You'll be glad you did, it really helps the feng shui.
Even in your general pessimistic state, even youve got to admit that theres something good to be said about this town. Whats the best only in New York thing youve experienced so far?
The best only in New York thing Ive experienced has got to be Metronaps, that place with the sleep pods. It's like, no matter how hung over you are, the place makes you feel great. It's a little creepy, since they could totally steal your wallet or violate you while you're sleeping, but when they give you head phones with soothing sounds of loveliness, it just makes you feel like you're in heaven's waiting room. I imagine that's what lobotomies feel like. Do they still do those?
Youre based on the Lower East Side, supposedly the epicenter of whats cool, but until recently you could care less that there was life existing down there besides the distance between your apartment and the subway. Youve likened yourself to vermin as the first white guy in your building that made it safe to lead the deluge of gentrification to your building. Why do you hate on your pale peers so much?
Well, the problem is, Candice, white people suck the beauty and fun out of everything...period. It's as if I opened up this sorta sci-fi spacey black hole vortex with a reverse function. And how it works, see, is that it sucks out culture, and spits in white people. Okay that was a joke.
Well, the truth is, I feel like I ruined it for everybody in the building. I'm pretty good friends with one of my neighbors, and just the other day he told me that I was the first white guy to move in here in the twenty years he's lived in the building. And in the year since I've been here, rents are steadily on the rise, the old tenants are getting forced out, and a slew of trendy young white couples have moved in. They don't yell in the hallway, they don't cook anything that smells interesting, they don't play loud music; it's like all the fun is just getting sucked out. The point of living in the melting pot is the potential for exposure to new cultures, and because my building happens to be in a high demand, "hip" part of town, exposure becomes limited, and it's rapidly becoming very one-sided. It's amazing to see it in progress, and really just sad.
Five things that you wish you could find in New York:
1. Good weed
2. One single block that doesnt smell like fecal matter.
3. A rat smaller than a cat.
4. A good chiropractor for that 200-year old lady that lives in my hallway oh wait, I think she died the other day.
5. A horizon. Ive never seen one since I moved here.
Favorite subway line:
The F. Duh.
Whats your theme song on the streets? Every Rose Has Its Thorn, Poison
Please share a personal (and hopefully interesting) NYC taxi story:
The guy drove 12 blocks past my stop before I realized it and I told him to stop the meter and take me back. But he pulled over furiously and threw me out!
Best celebrity sighting: I saw Jessie Spano get into a cab on West Houston!
Best bargain to be found in the city? The Love You Long Time Massage Parlor. Its in the basement of my building.
Favorite bar or club: Sapphire Lounge. Because the bartender tries to kill me with alcohol poisoning every time I go in there.
- Interview by Candice Holmes