The article, A Sublet in Washington Heights, by Angie Cruz, is a short personal essay about a lady who lives alone and works as a freelance writer. The lady returned from college upstate in 1997 to study at New York University. She found a one-bedroom rental house in her old neighborhood, Washington Heights, where she could see her long-time neighbors across her window since all the houses faced the courtyard. This house looked old, so she decided to paint the house to hide the defects. She gave various paint colors to various rooms, with the bedroom having an oceanic blue color. The living room was painted with a mango color and the bathroom with a leafy green color. Inside the house, the structures were now getting old, the dumbwaiter had been turned into a pantry, and the kitchen cabinets did not close well. The floor looked rugged, and the toilet flush was not effective as it flushed randomly. The kitchen sinks were permanently blocked and filled up from the wastewater by the people living upstairs.
She would wake up early every morning, and from her window, she could always see her grandmother, who lived in the next apartment. Her grandmother was curious about her studies and often asked her if she was studying. She insisted on studying and used this as an excuse even when her relatives questioned the number of men visiting her house. Even though her room was small and with books all over, it could accommodate many of her friends, especially writers who needed a place to stay. She had a fridge with fresh ice for the guests and an answering machine that helped her receive calls. There were moments when this neighborhood was quiet, especially with kids at school and people at work. This condition provided an efficient way to work as a freelancer, and with a few relatives visiting her, she enjoyed staying in the house. This environment and the spirit of all collective activities in this house pushed her to do her first novel.