Back in the USSR: A Mission Statement, of Sorts
It started out a funny joke. Gloria, we told everyone, was our ker-azy landlady. She was a hundred and eight years old and had been squired around by Stalin back in the old country. When we first visited our fairly big, fairly sunny two-bedroom, it was occupied by a pair of Russian grad students. They seemed unaccountably frightened of Gloria, but we took that as a result of their post-Soviet upbringings. After all, Gloria had hugged us when we signed the lease! She'd settled us in her kitchen and told us about the hardships of making a new life in America in 1952! Obviously, she was nothing but a sweet old lady with a cute, if vaguely menacing, Slavic accent.
Obviously. It's nine months later, which means it's March, which means it's regularly 30 degrees out in Brooklyn. Which means that an unheated brownstone hits 59 degrees in the sunlight. I know, there are much, much bigger housing violations in this city. We live in on a tree-lined street in a neighborhood full of lesbian moms whose three-year-olds want to grow up to be civil rights lawyers. Everybody in this building other than the landlady and her ancient husband is a young, urban professional; as indie rock or as relatively broke as some of us might be, we're technically all yuppies. But yuppies get cold just like anybody else.
Ultimately, though, the point of this blog isn't just to whine. There are other landladies who fail to adequately heat their apartments. But Gloria is unlike any landlady -- or any other old lady, period. She yells. She slams doors. She threatens heart attacks. She called the girls upstairs sluts and my roommate a "wild jungle beast." We once witnessed her assault the guy from the first floor.
As such, welcome to the Gloria T blog. Especially if you're in any way connected to the Brooklyn housing authorities.