Three years ago, I made a fateful decision to move into the strangest apartment building in New Haven, which also happens to be the old Chapel Square Mall:
Now. It looks like this:
Yep, that’s right. I live in an old mall. And it is weird.
In a month or so, I shall be leaving this weird place, but before I go, I’d like to take you on a little tour through New Haven’s Strangest Apartment building.
If you’ve ever walked downtown, you’ve almost certainly seen it:
Oooh that’s right, it’s a fancy-ass revolving door. So you know it’s gonna be a pretty fancy building, right? Er… sort of?
So what is the first thing you see in the lobby? Is it the plethora of Amazon boxes or the weird smell from the garbage? Nope.
It’s this monstrosity:
That’s right, the one thing a lobby absolutely does not need: A giant, curved video screen which only plays CNN all day, every day.
Did you stop thinking about Donald Trump for a bit?! Have no fear, this giant, oppressive video screen is a constant reminder of the living Hell that is your country.
Okay, okay. So the lobby isn’t any good. But what about once you get into the interior? Surely that’s pretty nice in this fancy, downtown apartment building?
The only thing this hallway’s missing is two dead girls and a tricycle. All work and no play make for… surprisingly high rent, I guess.
You haven’t truly lived until you’ve rode your bike down an apartment building hallway, knowing that at any moment, a neighbor may wander into the hall and be accidentally killed.
But what about its secrets… ?
900 Chapel isn’t just glamorous video screens and long, haunted hallways. It’s also got secrets.
All you need to find them is the right combination of alcohol and adventurousness. Which is where I come in.
It turns out, there’s some apartments which actually sit on the top of the lower roof:
Nothing like a rooftop balcony staring directly into a brick wall.
Still, a nice little wander over to the edge and you can yell at people coming out of Five Guys!
To the Top
It took me a little bit of time to figure out how to get on top of the building. My first foray ended in disappointment, but I would not be denied.
I’m not going to tell you how, because I don’t want you weirdos wandering around my apartment building, getting yourselves killed, and then the next thing you know your parents are suing me, and honestly, I am not 100% convinced my lawyer is that good (sorry, man).
So don’t fucking do it.
That being said, check it out:
Yep. Pretty majestic, right?
It turns out there’s this wall which I guess is meant to stop you from plummeting to your death. Luckily, it never occurred to them that I might be able to crawl under a fence and snap this baby:
Not bad at all.
(Please don’t die ok?)
And if you’re extra sneaky, you can find something truly magical:
That’s right, does your apartment building come with a bottomless pit?
It’s great for hurling in Bad Guys, old love letters, and of course, Powerful Rings Which Must Be Destroyed.
It’s not a bad place to live. Assuming you don’t like natural sunlight:
Lemme tell you, though, that 40 minutes of sunshine you get a day are glorious.
Living in an old mall has its advantages. You can pretend you have a little patio that barely reminds you of Lady Foot Locker.
This whole time it’s been there and you didn’t even know it! Unless you know me. Or someone else here. Or just wandered in somehow.
It’s all hiding right behind this lovely little door where people mostly smoke cigarettes.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at New Haven’s Weirdest Apartment Building (As Far As I know — if you know somewhere better, please get me in.)
Edit: A bunch of people complained I didn’t provide pics of the apartments, well I’m not letting you weirdos judge my living room, so here’s a pic from the PMC website showing one of the nicer apartments:
If you’ve enjoyed this blog, you may enjoy my comedy! Next week I’m hosting at show at Anna Liffey’s, so if you want, come down and say hi! And have a few laughs and a few beers.
So what should I write about next time?
Until we meet again!
I used to walk thru that mall every day after high school (R.C. Lee) back in the 1970’s. I remember Cracker Barrel, Chess King and Orange Julius. I even got mugged in there once!
Not to be too nosey, but what are rents like in this gem of a building?
Haha no worries, I kind of invited the nosiness! They start at like 1350 or so, I think, and I have no idea where they end up. They probably go up to 2K or so? I don’t know for sure, but PMC manages them, so just check out http://pmcpropertygroup.com/location/connecticut/new-haven and you can see.
The article was great, as per usual, very informative and entertaining. I suggest introducing yourself to, and adventuring about, the old Taft Hotel. Notice, I did not say the Taft apartments. There is a truly amazing space a few floors below the lobby of the building that would be a magnificent speak easy. Do yourself a favor, at the very least, and venture down into the delves of what can only be described as creepily awesome.
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