Friday, November 25, 2011


I will blog about Thanksgiving, but just at the moment you all absolutely have to read the comment on my previous post about getting my apartment.  It's hilarious!

Love, Wendy

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I got an apartment!  I'm totally amazed, after the hoops they made me jump through.  Do you know that it just cost me a total of $13,999 to rent an apartment whose rent is $2695 per month?

We had two checks for $2695, of course, for rent and security.  Then we had a check for $4851 for the broker's fee.  Then we had a check for $2758 to the insurance company that let me pay them to insure that I would pay my rent.

So yesterday I went over, signed the lease, and I've got my apartment.  Or I thought I did. As soon as I got to Sarah's bar, Joe from my new building called me and told me he had forgotten to tell me to get yet ANOTHER damn check for pet deposit.  To the tune of $1000.

This last one almost killed me.  Pet deposit?  For CATS?  Cats only destroy their owners' things...not apartments.  Dogs will scratch the hell out of doors if they want to go out, but not cats, for God's sake.  What I really wanted to do at this point was go home, empty the cat litter box, and bring him its contents.  "You want pet deposits?  These are pet deposits."

But I am now the proud renter of a one-bedroom apartment in the East Village, with an excellent kitchen (that even has an ice-maker in the icebox)'s an open kitchen  with a breakfast bar, so I have tons of counter space and storage space...yay!  The bedroom is big, it's got good closet space, and altogether I am thrilled.

We have not mentioned the smoking question.  I'm sure that if I use my nice air purifiers I should be fine.  There's a laundry in this building with a nice garden outside it, and said garden has benches...AND OUTDOOR ASHTRAYS.  This gives me hope.

Oh, and I found out at the lease signing that this place even has a free concierge service, for heaven's sake.  And they'll be perfectly happy to help me get a mover and all kinds of good stuff.  For free!  Wow.

Meanwhile, my turkey is defrosting in cold water in the kitchen sink,and I'm probably going to have way too much food tomorrow because there's only about six of us...and I've finally managed to get all the shopping done without ONCE obsessing about the green beans!  I think that's progress.  Of course, now I'm obsessing about what on EARTH I'm going to do with what's bound to be a mountain of leftovers...

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Love, Wendy

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Apartment Hunt - Day Three Million Or So

You know, I'm not the best person to go apartment hunting in Manhattan in this day and age.

When I moved back here in 1972 (we lived here at the tail end of the know, the one back there in the 40's), I lived with my aunt in Brooklyn  Heights for a couple of months.  Then she had friends who were looking to sublease their West Village apartment on Jane and Hudson, which I promptly jumped on, followed by getting my own (non-sublet) apartment in the same building.  Not too long after that, one of the original subletters (my pal Charles) moved in on West 11th Street with his new lady Casey, and they discovered that I could get a better apartment in THEIR building, so I moved.  I lived there for years, and then we bought the Charles Street house after my father died and I had some money.

Now, the way I got my three apartments was that I signed my name to the lease and paid them one month's security and the first month's rent.  THAT WAS IT.  That was all I did.  And then we lived in the Charles Street house for 18 years.

I am here to tell you that things have gotten very strange out there in apartment land.  Their requirements are horrendous.  They want you to have 40 times the monthly rent sitting in your bank account.  They do not believe in trust funds...a landlord remarked to my realtor that "Oh, a trust fund.  Well, they come and go."  Um, no, they don't.  That's why they're called TRUST funds.  Mine, for instance, is backed by a very large bank.  It doesn't go much of anywhere.

And then comes the part that utterly fascinates me...the credit rating.  You have to understand that I tend to be a complette innocent about money, and have learned about it through extremely painful trial and error.  My father brought me up to never touch the stuff.  I never had an allowance; any time I wanted something I was told to simply sign Daddy's name.  Which I did.  It never occurred to me to ask how the bills got paid, because it certainly wasn't encouraged.  To this day, Bill the trustee keeps up the same nonsense...I have absolutely no idea how much is in my trust (in excess, at the moment, of $500,000, I know).  I have never been allowed (by Daddy's wishes) to see an accounting or get regular financial statements.

Of course, this ended me up in a hell of a mess when I got credit cards...somehow I missed the point about how you were supposed to PAY the bills.  Somehow in the back of my addled little head was the notion that you signed your name and the bills got paid...well, they always had, right? 

I finally got all the credit cards paid off and haven't had one in years.  These days, I work entirely in cash, and if I can't afford something, I either save up for it or talk myself out of getting it.

Which brings me to the credit rating problem.  It seems that in order to have good credit and be seen as a good risk, you have to be in debt to a credit card company.  I cannot be the only person on earth to whom this makes no sense whatsoever.  I pay my bills (electricity, cable, cell phone) on time, and I have no debt whatsoever.  Wouldn't you think this would qualify you as a prudent member of society?  Nope.  It seems to mark you as a deadbeat. 

So I've just been accepted by something called Insurent, whereby you have to pay them 102% of a month's rent so that they will insure that you pay the rent.  This, when we were perfectly willing to pay them six damn months of rent in advance! 

I am left deeply confused by all of this. 

The bright side is that there is something I've seen and things are moving, but I'm damned if I'm going to mention it until everything is in place.  Everybody cross your fingers at the top of your lungs!

And to all parents of children out there...TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT MONEY!  You may feel free to use me as a cautionary tale.

Love, Wendy

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Apartment Hunt - Day 1

I have just been shown (by a very nice lady named Joanna), three identical apartments on one floor in one building.  Why on earth I should have looked at all three of them is somewhat beyond me, since they were identical.  They were also all tiny studios...even if I WANTED to swing the cats (which sounds dangerous, since most cats of my acquaintance don't want to be swung), I couldn't.  Not to mention no storage space in the kitchen and no closet space...and they don't want smokers.  And what is the matter with that floor in that building that there are THREE apartments available simultaneously?  Mice? Rats? Dragons?

Onward and upwards...

Love, Wendy

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


In case you've been wondering, I have been missing in action because I have been cleaning my house.

This is because, of course, my year of exile in Chelsea is just about over and I am moving, moving, moving, back below 14th Street where I damn well belong.  In an apartment where I can friggin' SMOKE.  The front stoop here is charming, and I have many good friends among the dogs in the neighborhood, many of whom want to sit in my lap.  Well, you know, I'm OUT there all the damn time.  And I'm an easy mark for any friendly dog that wanders by...I love dogs and would have one, except for my wonky hours (you really can't leave a dog alone for a possible eighteen know, by the time I go out, hit a location bus, and then go out and have a couple of beers at the end of the day).  Not to mention the fact that I distinctly remember the days when we DID have a dog, and despite all promises to the contrary, guess who was out there with the dog at 6 AM in subzero temperatures?  Yeah.  Anyway, Dweezil and Moon Unit (otherwise known as the Insane Cat Posse) keep me busy enough.

So.  The house.  It really is a perfectly nice apartment (now that I can see it), presuming I A. wanted to be in Chelsea to begin with, which I don't, and B. that I could smoke in it.  And Maria, the odd gal from whom I sublet this, actually wanted to know why I didn't want to renew my lease.  She seemed quite shocked when I told her I wanted to smoke indoors.  But it is now painfully clean, which means I really have to find a new place soon before I get a chance to filth it up track record on keeping ANY apartment clean isn't the best.  Although when I get going, I do quite a good job...really, you could eat off the floor, except that you'd have to fight the cats for anything that was down there.

And we still have to have Thanksgiving here...oy.

Tomorrow I am meeting with a nice lady named Joanna who is going to show me apartments.  Watch this space for the hunt details! 

And cross your fingers that I can manage to keep this apartment together long enough for Maria to rent it again and, importantly, NOT to retain my security deposit.

Love, Wendy