Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Construction In NY

So we live in this building on the edge of a great neighborhood. Other buildings around us are pretty, well-maintained. Ours? Not so much.

When we moved in, over a year ago, the landlord was in the middle of renovating the store downstairs as well as the first floor apartment. A couple of weeks later, construction stopped suddenly. Then restarted a month or so later. Then stopped. Until Monday.

Then they built this big scaffolding that blocks our fire escape. Groups of men knocked on my door, trying to gain access to our roof. (One of them, his lazy eye keening to the right, just grunted, "I need to get on the roof." and pushed past me.) One of them, perched on a makeshift platform that seriously looked like it was going to splinter apart in two seconds, painted some kind of noxious chemical onto the outside of the building so all afternoon and evening all we could smell was this horrific mixture of gas and terpentine.

How long are they going to be working on the building? They don't know. Who can you call with complaints? The number listed on the billboard? Ah. No. That just goes to me, the guys laughingly called out as my husband plugged the digits into his cell phone.

We called 311--the city's nonemergency help line--and reported them. An hour later the appropriate building permits were posted but the fire escape is still blocked.

So apprently we're in for a seige.

And, yes, the downstairs apartment is still empty. A two bedroom one path with outdoor patio a stone's throw from the Brooklyn Bridge. Granted the bathroom and kitchen are in shambles, but still. Many would jump at the chance. At the price she's asking? Fuck.

Within eight hours of the scaffolding going up, people started tethering their bikes to the post. Damn. New Yorkers are quick. In Charlottesville weeks woulda gone by before someone'd thought that hey, maybe I can tie my bike there.


Blogger Red said...

Is it true what you always hear in films and TV shows about the extortionate cost of living in NY? I felt particularly bad for the Matthew Broderick character at the end of Election, in his poxy little basement flat for which he was paying, like, a brazillion dollars a month!

Eh, having lived in London for many years, I can assure you: it's not much different!

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Izzy said...

God! What a pain in the arse. We have the same crap in our neighborhood, even though it's houses w/ yards. The phone company is forever trashing something or shaking my whole house and waking the baby while they drill underground. It never ends.

But I really do love stories of city life! I'm stuck in a sad excuse for a "city" and would give up a digit to live somewhere more urban.

12:59 PM  

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