My Encounter With the Creepy Craigslist Doctor
"...Gawker linked to the best Craigslist ad ever , posted by a Dr. Emil Chynn , a surgical ophthalmologist whose Web site proudly proclaims that he is "the only laser surgeon in NYC who is a [Mensa] Certified Genius." Dr. Chynn has an empty studio in his office building on Park Avenue, and heíll let his personal assistant live there for free if she (has to be a she) is willing to walk on his back for an hour a day, troll match.com to find him a girlfriend, and stock his office fridge with all her leftover food. Plus, if he marries the woman she helps him find, his immigrant parents will pay the assistant $10,000 in cash.
As Gawker acknowledges, this isnít the first time that Dr. Chynn has offered up an unconventional living situation on Craiglist. They donít know this: Back in the spring of 2005, when I was doing a book-publishing internship and looking for summer housing, I responded to a Craigslist ad offering an insane deal on an entire floor of a townhouse in the West Village . The guy wrote back and said that before we could talk about the particulars, I had to send him a picture of myself. Alarm bells definitely went off, but I had already emotionally invested a little too hard in my fantasy West Village apartment and I wasnít quite willing to let the dream die. I sent him a picture of myself standing in front of the Ljubljanica River in Slovenia, one that I thought made me look worldly, mature, and chaste. I got a response quickly, an enthusiastic e-mail explaining that the heavily subsidized rent would be in return for cooking, cleaning, and other unspecified favors. He never asked for sex outright, but the insinuation, I felt, was there. Shamed to have nearly fallen prey to a Craigslist creep, I never responded, and went on to spend the summer sleeping on a futon in the living room of a one-bedroom apartment in Kipís Bay. I did, however, Google the guyís e-mail address and was somewhat surprised to discover that he was a prominent eye doctor."