Saturday, January 8, 2011

Greetings From Chelsea

Well, that was a short sharp honeymoon period in my nice new apartment.

So we all know I moved in and had Christmas. Then I had New Year's by going over to Sarah's bar and spending it sagely and reasonably sanely.

However, the rot set in on New Year's Eve Day. I got a call from one of the two people who seem to manage the building in terms of repairs and such things, informing me that I was not allowed to smoke in the apartment - under threat of eviction. Imagine my surprise. This was, let us remember, December 31st. I moved in 10 days earlier.

Now at no time in any negotiations for this apartment, from my first sight of it to my meeting with the Board, to my taking possession of the keys, was this charming little detail EVER mentioned. In the meeting with the Board, I was told (and believe me, smokers can quote this sort of thing VERY accurately) that if I was going to smoke, I should smoke "considerately." This to me means not in the halls, not in the elevators, and things like that. It does NOT mean no smoking. No one EVER said no smoking to me until after a year's rent was paid IN ADVANCE and the lease was signed. The lease, by the way, also says nothing specific about smoking, although there is a paragraph that can be construed that way. Somehow I think this is vaguely illegal. Not outlawing smoking - that's perfectly legal, even if I hate the idea. But never mentioning it until a lease has been signed AND PAID FOR...there's something wrong about that.

Meanwhile, I was getting a barrage of noise from the building and the Board about the couch and chair that had been put out with the garbage, and not yet picked up. Why anyone continued to annoy me about this after our 20" blizzard on the Sunday after Christmas was somewhat beyond me, since NO city garbage was picked up until this past week, a fact that building management seemed quite startled about when I told them. Perhaps they don't have garbage. At any rate, the Sanitation Department, who are all terribly red faced about the lousy job they did with the blizzard, took it all away this morning, so THAT'S fine.

This leaves us with three problems...the smoking one I think I may have solved far enough to get away with. One of the Board members, the President, I think, suggested an air purifier, which seems to be working just fine as long as I sit right on top of it. Then I quickly empty the ashtray, spray the trash can with Lysol, and wash the ashtray out. So far, so good, although an unholy nuisance. But at least I don't have to go down 6 flights of stairs (in an elevator...for a while, anyway...see below).

And I don't seem to have any heat. I kept being assured that this was the hottest apartment in the building, and what I've got are cold radiators and cold pipes. I got them to come and look at that this afternoon, and I'm told I'm not crazy and it IS colder than a witches' tit in here. So that's being worked on.

And now for the absolutely best part of all. As of 9 am on January 18, until 4:30 pm on January 20, there will be no elevator in the building, because they are going to renovate it.

Let's go over this again, shall we? I moved to an elevator building because stairs are getting difficult for me. I am paying more than I can really afford for an apartment in an elevator building....because, you know, the stairs. And what is practically the first thing with which I am presented? That's right. NO ELEVATOR.

This means that for three solid days I will be locked into my apartment unable to get groceries, cigarettes, the morning papers, or any other thing you care to name, not because I can't get OUT of the building (I'm fine with down), but because it would take me at least an hour to climb six flights of stairs to get back IN (and about a day to recover).

I suppose moving is rather liker a love affair...that first period of mad infatuation when the lover can do no wrong, followed by that period where every wart and ear hair seems monstrously magnified, finally settling down to a comfortable happy's to the happy medium (and some goddamn heat).

Love, Wendy


Kat said...

I'm so glad you're back! I so enjoy reading your blog but am sorry to hear about your apartment troubles. I hope it all works out for you soon.

Kathryn O.

Anonymous said...

My lap top crapped out about a month ago... and, I've missed you terribly. My husband and son just gave me an ebay MacBook Pro... really SWEET!
Being a 59 year old smoker... the whole elevator/no smoking debacle tugs at my heartstrings... seriously. A girl's gotta have some control over her nest!
Does the apt have a fireplace... that's where I smoke... just a candle will allow the smoke to rise up and out.
Can't wait to continue my playing catch-up with WFE... and congrats on BE getting picked up for another season!! I loved it.
Texas Beth