Rooftops have been inspiring great art for years. Right after graduating from U.C.L.A. back in the 60s, Jim Morrison spent his summer living on the roof of his apartment building, dropping acid and penning some of music’s most lasting lyrics. Well I wouldn’t be surprised if 40 years from now they’re talking about me, who spent the summer on the roof of his apartment drinking Natty Light, living the stories and adventures that would eventually be recorded in the dopest blog this side of Fordham Road. But all good things must come to an end, and my time with the muse that is my roof was cut tragically short…
We discovered the roof access pretty early on. One of my roommates, known in these parts as “Sweater Kid,” had a closet with a ladder in it. I think we assumed it was blocked off at the top and ignored it for a bit, but it wasn’t long before curiosity and a night out led one of my roommates to try and break through the barrier. Surprisingly, it gave right away. And just like that our apartment became, pardon my lack of eloquence, way fucking cooler.
The roof, like the rest of our apartment, slants significantly to one side. Inside the place it doesn’t really matter, but the roof looks out over an empty lot with no barrier. In the interest of safety, we decided then and there that the roof would only be used by us to hang out and chill. The thought of an entire party of drunk idiots stumbling around 25 feet in the air over concrete was disconcerting. I think it was later that week that drunker heads prevailed, and we threw our first rooftop gathering. The golden era of The Roof at 2488 Hughes had begun.
Maybe someday these will blossom into their own posts, but for now I’ll list off just some of the many rooftop related stories, adventures, and musings:
- Of course, first spotting The Infamous Afro Baby of Hughes Avenue
- Cream Roommate loses a ton of money gambling at Arthur Ave street festival, retreats to roof with bottle of $10 whiskey
- Beer Can Homerun Derbies (Sorry neighbors)
- The tediousness of climbing down the ladder to use the bathroom (Again, sorry neighbors)
- The Most Epic No-Pants Party Ever
- Sunrises over the Bronx
- Hurricane Irene Preparations
Unfortunately, fate is cruel. Our time with The Roof only lasted that one magical summer. Following in the wake of Hurricane Irene, our Evil Landlord had his goons seal the roof up. (Sidenote: Our landlord is pretty much universally regarded as evil, and his wicked henchman patrol the streets of Hughes Avenue at all hours). I can’t even begin to explain how embittered we became. Sure, he had warned us several times not to go up there, and I’ll even concede that the quantity of beer cans and urine flying off of that roof was a tad unneighborly. But dammit all, we loved that roof. I know that there was talk of offering to sign a waiver accepting all liability for future rooftop shenanigans, but I guess we realized how ridiculous that sounded. Cream Roommate even went as far as injuring himself attempting to break it open. He was more bitter than anyone. He had haggled in Russian for a $3 flea market table which became part of our rooftop furniture set, but Evil Landlord and his goons ended up throwing all of our stuff away.
I think we all learned something from the entire experience. First, that most good things must eventually come to an end. But more importantly: shit is just better when you’re doing it on a roof.