Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Room With A View

I just, this morning, seriously considered the idea of listing my place on a Craig's List type of website; or something; as a room to rent for 7 to 10 days in New Orleans.

The "going rate" among people on the street, like Jay The Really Loud Singer, who move around and crash at different places, is $100 per week.
That is about the same price as the India House hostel around the corner, which offers the advantage/disadvantage of close quarters, shared with diverse strangers in a dormitory setting. I might even find someone willing to pay more than the India House rate in order to only have one other roommate to deal with.

The matter of having to kick a freeloader out when his time is up is made simple by the 10 day per month guest policy enforced by building security.

A traveler, who would only have a suitcase or two would be ideal, rather than someone like Jay who might show up with a lot of baggage, both literally and figuratively. Any kind of "official" ID suffices to get past security, but I will have to check upon whether a passport is good enough, or not.

I might even get an "exchange student" type of experience out of the deal, as, people from all over the world could potentially see the ad, and I might be able to host, and learn from, someone of another culture like Nepali or Maltese, or South Chicago. 
I could even tailor the ad to appeal to musicians; maybe even ones who would like to try busking for a week or so in the French Quarter. That would give me someone to jam with and maybe even collaborate with on my CD. One month of renting out would furnish enough money to replace my fried laptop and get back to recording music. 
It has been suggested to me that my apartment can be such a resource, and that I should treat it and guard it, as such. This advice came after I had inquired about putting Louise (see yesterday's post) on my lease, so that she could stay more than 10 days. That's how well Louise and I were getting along, at first.
"Once she is on the lease then she has equal status to you; and it would be easier for her to kick you out onto the the street than vice versa," was all I had to hear from Tim, my caseworker, on that subject.

I would just have to make sure the guest understands the nature of the arrangement here, and advise them not to pay me by check and then declare it on their tax form as a business expense, for example.

Tuesday Night, 8 PM

As far as the here and now, I will be flat broke on a Tuesday night, after I buy batteries for my spotlight. I have brand new strings on the guitar and will be brightly lit. Perhaps by the end of tonight, I'll be ready to get up first thing in the morning and post that ad on Craig's List.

To Alex In California, blog reader. This post began as an answer to your comment on yesterday's post and grew into a post itself.
If, after reading this blog, you would still stay at my place, then I guess you are always welcome here, pay what you can; I won't throw you to the skeezers.


alex carter said...

Don't you worry about your case worker kicking you out if you're renting your room out? It's probably better to just keep it word-of-mouth.

I guess I'd better get working on my trumpet playing because Ebay is getting so s-l-o-w and intermittent that it's taking me far more than 8 hours to get 8 hours' work done, and I'm getting really sick of the electronic surplus game. So then it becomes a matter of whether I want to be homeless here or homeless there.

alex carter said...

I commented before reading the whole post. It would certainly be interesting to visit there. I'm pretty sure I can fly for free, so all I'd have to come up with is the expenses like food and say $20/day for your place. But I'd want to be a hell of a lot better on the trumpet before visiting, because I'd want to try the busking waters.

Daniel McKenna said...

The truth is that the skinny black guy who comes out and plays spastic random notes on a sax, holding them for as long as he can makes a certain amount of money; perhaps because he plays on Canal Street at 1 AM for people who only have to cross the street and they are at their hotel; and so they empty their pockets of small change; and perhaps because tipping a street musician is one of the traditional things that you've gotta do when in NOLA; and perhaps because they liken it to throwing coins in a fountain or wishing well; he could be a better musician and not make any more, because people would recognize the song that he was not quite playing right; in order to get a raise over the "at least he's trying; at least he's out here doing something and not begging; how else is he going to get better if he doesn't make an effort" amount of tips, you would have to ascend to the Tanya and Dorise level; so, everyone from the guy playing garbage (but with incredible energy) to the guy who has practiced hard for a year and can play the Rocky theme is at the same level of earning power. If you play by the casino, then the "coins in a wishing well" phenomenon, I have found, is worth about 15 bucks an hour...virtuosity is lost on a lot of people; the "Pee Wee Herman" saxophone melody thing on repeat would be money in the bank; whereas if you try to get more fancy you are just going to whet people's appetites for something by one of the Greats, or at least Chuck Mangione (sp?) Get a hold of a Barney costume and play "I Love You, You Love Me" over and over by the aquarium/insect-arium and you will out-earn 80% of the other buskers...

alex carter said...

Tipping a street musician *is* one of those "required things" to do in New Orleans, but it kind of has to be a black musician playing the type of instrument you'd find in a band in the year 1900, so sax, trumpet, clarinet, etc.

All of your points are very good though and all honed from years or real experience. It's much more profitable to play something easy to recognize like the Rocky theme than some obscure highbrow Scott Joplin number.

However, I have taken down my page so if you want something about a busker to put in it's place, I suggest www.diaryofabusker.com it's about a guy in England who busks with a guitar and used to be in a band etc. He's been busking for years and has even put some of his first year or so's experiences into a book that's for sale. I've been reading his stuff for years and he's a nice guy.