Going To Hell with Gasoline Drawers On

Night Fires 3

Night Fires 3 (Photo credit: Jean-Michel Reed)

In keeping with my summer of death theme, I left my building yesterday morning to find a cluster of neighbors talking.  A neighbor had died in his apartment, estimated three days earlier, and was found yesterday morning when others on his floor complained about the smell.

This was another fringe character, though not a friend.  If not for the “low” rent apartment, I’m guessing he would have been homeless.  This is purely conjecture, for all I know he had three million dollars in the bank. I don’t know his story, maybe he was a veteran, maybe he was sick, maybe he had been deserted by a cheating wife and ingrate children.  He was a hard and serious drinker, who could be spotted regularly parked in one of three neighborhood restaurants, drinking for hours until his cash ran out or the manager of the restaurant got enough complaints from other customers.

Naturally, as I walked Big Senile Dog and Little Incredibly Dumb Dog, I was thinking about all of this. Now I may not be happy here in New York, may not want to live here anymore, but I am a New Yorker.  Therefore, after tallying how many people I know who have died this summer, I had the traditional New York mourning thought.

Apartment for Rent on E 61st St, NYC

Apartment for Rent on E 61st St, NYC (Photo credit: cathleenritt)

Really, it isn’t just something made up for a Seinfeld episode.  Combing obituaries is a time honored way to find a rent controlled apartment. Much trickier than it used to be, as rent control laws have changed, but still valid.

I brought the dogs back and immediately stopped one of the workers in my building to ask him what size apartment the man had lived in. He laughed at me and told me I’m going to Hell with gasoline drawers on.  I had never heard that saying before, but it’s now my new favorite.

And if you’re wondering, no.  This didn’t turn out to be an opportunity for me and mine.  His apartment is the same size as ours.


Seinfeld (Photo credit: T Hoffarth)


the rent is too damn high

the rent is too damn high (Photo credit: CathrynDC)


  1. Haha! I live in Queens, but I hope someday to live in Manhattan. And I’ll peruse the obituaries as tastefully as possible.
    P.S. What are gasoline drawers? And why would you take them with you on the all-important hell trip?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi bharat. NY is crazy expensive, even the outer boroughs can be a stretch. 🙂

      lol, drawers is an old fashioned expression for undies (bloomers, tightie whities, knickers, etc) 😉


    1. Tee hee, it’s true, we all think these things, but it can be tricky to explain to those who don’t and have never lived in NY. 🙂

      PS: I’m sure I have an extra pair somewhere, after all, they’re non-returnable. 😉


  2. Thank you for letting me read this.
    I wonder, how much appartements in New York cost.
    I heard, one has to pay approx 3000 dollars per month for a very small flat. Last not least, this might be the reason why New York never sleep… everyone has to work day and night for the rent of her/his appartement 🙂
    Cheers, Michel


    1. Hi Michel,
      Thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, rents in NY, particularly Manhattan, are very pricey. Without a rent controlled apartment, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1600-2500 for a small one bedroom, depending on the neighborhood.

      I definitely think you’re onto something re the city that never sleeps, lol! 😀


      1. Thank you for your reply. An fb-friend of mine lives at Seaman Ave. Some time ago, he wrote me, where he was going this day by car. So I had the idea to follow his discription on google street view. This was quite an interesting journey. I could pass traffic jams, watch up and down the buildings, and whereever I was going, the sun was shining and it seemed to be summer. Regrettable, I could not visit Guggenheim museum, or do a walk through Central Park or the Wall Street. Google should invent some add-ons on this. Some street noise, possibility to go into (by then virtual) public libraries and read something aso. Furthermore they could add a historic New York, so one could walk through a New York of 1861 or 1974. — Best regards, Michel


        1. Wow, what an excellent idea you had to follow along through Google. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone implements your other ideas, adding optional (maybe premium?) features to Google Street Maps.

          I hope one day you find yourself inside the Guggenheim, it’s pretty awesome!


          1. Thanks for your reply. In that film, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_International_(film) there was a scene, where the prot went through 5th Avenue, to enter the museum. And I had the strong feeling, to know that part of the 5th Ave, eventhough I only visited it by streetview. btw: they could eventually change the season, daytime and whether, or not ? :-)) Cheers, Michel


  3. Funny – my grandfather (from Tennessee) used to say going to hell in a handbasket… but I have never heard “with gasoline drawers”. Hilarious.


  4. I love this! It made for a much needed laugh while I was sitting in yet another waiting room the other day. Where’s the “gasoline drawers” tag? You know you’ll be using that again. 😀


  5. With my luck, the bus to hell would break down, and I’d get one hell of a skin rash from the gasoline over the 5 days it took to fix the bus.

    They think of everything in hell !!

    Come to think of it, there’s a cartoon of the devil in one of my cartoons in my blog.

    Maybe I should delete it ?


  6. Ref: Gasoline Drawers.

    Hell is hot and fiery – guess what happens when you turn up with your drawers full of gasoline?



  7. Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my
    4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear
    and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell


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