Broke-Ass of the Week – Jamie Peck, Freelancer Extrodinaire

Every week we feature a different person from the community shedding a little light on their life of brokeitude.  Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something about the human spirit…probably not.

Wanna be a Broke-Ass of the Week?  Holler at us here and we’ll send you the questionnaire.

Jamie Peck looking like a grown up version of a Blind Melon song.

Jamie Peck looking like a grown up version of a Blind Melon song. She dresses like this all the time.

I read somewhere that the term “freelancer” came about during medieval times as term for mercenaries for hire.  It’s like, “Oi  lads.  Me lance hasn’t a skull to pierce dees days but ye kin hire it fer a price.”  Yeah I know when you read that it kinda sounds like an Irish pirate or something, but if I were a medieval freelancer, that’s how I’d talk.

Anyways, as you’ll see, Jamie Peck is a freelancer extraordinaire.  She contributes to more cool publications than you probably have time to read.  I had originally asked Adam Rathe from the New York Press to be Broke-Ass of the Week, but he declined saying that he was “the most boring person alive”.  Instead he recommended Jamie because she was the “brokest, funniest” writer he had.  He certainly made a good choice.  If you agree you can follow her on twitter and check out her writing here.

Name: Jamie Peck

Age: 24

Occupation: Freelance writer for The New York Press, Vice, Suicidegirls and others; production assistant for lastnightsparty; occasional pin-up model.

What neighborhood do you live in?: I live in Hassidburg, off the Lorimer JMZ and the Flushing G. I never know what to call it…it’s where Williamsburg, Bushwick and Bed-Stuy all converge in a mess of industrial lofts and weird Hassidic housing developments.

Best money saving tip: Cook at home with roommates, pooling your resources and eating all the leftovers. Food gets surprisingly cheap when you do this. I’m a big foodie, so I’d spend a ton on food if I didn’t know how to cook appetizing meals for myself. Mr. Kiwi, off the Myrtle stop, has produce that’s way better than what I’d get at Food Bazaar (the closest market to me) at about the same prices. Eating out is reserved for special occasions. I love making dinner with my roommates, so it’s not a hardship at all. It’s a nice chance to catch up and spend time together like the faux-family that we are.

What do you refuse to spend money on?: Cabs. The subway costs $2.25 and runs 24/7, and my line is surprisingly reliable. I used to live up in Harlem, so being able to take the JMZ a few stops home from the LES is a dream come true. I live pretty close to my stop and the Hassids are out and about at all hours so I feel pretty safe.

A few guys have tried to strong-arm me into taking cabs home late at night out of chivalry or whatever, but I always refuse. It’s not chivalrous to make a lady spend dough she doesn’t have. Once the guy trying to strong-arm me gave me $20 and that worked better, but I still felt pretty uncomfortable with the whole transaction.

Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought: My tattoos, by far. I don’t even want to think about how much cash I’ve pumped into my half-sleeve. I want it to be a full sleeve, but that has to wait until I can save up more money. I go to Elio at Fly Rite. He’s one of the best. He gives me a special rate of $150/hr (he charges most people $180). At the end of each session, he says “now’s the painful part, you gotta pay me!” Harr harr.

How’d that feel?: How do you think it felt? It fucking hurt. J/k, It’s totally worth it. I love my tattoos and they’ll be with me forever. Permanent body art is not the kind of thing with which you want to gamble on quality to get a deal.

Favorite cheap eat: When I don’t feel like cooking I’ll grab a slice or some type of fake meat roll at Vinnie’s pizza. Also good options for under $5: falafel and banh mi. Saigon Banh Mi and Paris Sandwich Shop in Chinatown are especially tasty. I’m not just talking about lunch either, that shit tastes just as good at dinner time.

Favorite dive bar: Clem’s or The Levee. The Levee has pints of Jim Beam and cream soda, plus cheap junky snacks. And Clem’s is like an extension of my house at this point. They’ve got a shot+beer deal for $4 or $5 depending on the time of day, Jeremy is the best bartender in the world, and I always run into friends there.

Best deal you’ve ever gotten: I got an awesome 80′s prom dress at the Goodwill for $5. I wore it last New Year’s Eve and it totally got me laid. I will treasure it forever.

Favorite free thing to do: Free concerts in the summertime take the cake, especially the Jelly NYC parties at McCarren Pool. I’m glad they’ve found a new place to have them this year. I also ride my bike a lot. It’s the only form of exercise I like besides the elliptical trainer, and I can’t afford to join a gym. I can’t wait until they build that greenway down the Brooklyn waterfront; it looks like it’s going to be a great place to ride.

If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?: Dinner at Candle 79 for all my friends and me, followed by a trip somewhere I’ve never been before. The only two downsides to being broke are that I don’t get to sample the city’s fine cuisine much, and I don’t get to travel like I want to. I do manage to take occasional road trips.

Despite not having money, do you still love your life?: Fuck yes.

Do you own my book?: No, send it on over!

Best hangover cure: Hangovers always make me nauseous, so I take two pepto bismol, drink a glass of water, and keep going back to sleep until I wake up non-pukey. I hate puking and try to avoid it whenever possible. I’m trying to stop giving myself so many hangovers. I should know my limits by now. It’s the shitty well liquor what does it.

Are you a hipster?: Hipsters don’t exist. They’re mythical beasts parents tell their kids about at bedtime in an attempt to scare them into growing up normal.

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About the author

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

I've been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle , "an SF cult hero": SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York, but to those familiar with my work, I'm just "that douchebag who writes books about cheap stuff and drinks a lot".

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