Sunday, April 19, 2009

march 2

so now i'm back in my plush pad on central park west and have a couple weeks to conduct a search for the right place to live.  it's always difficult to find the balance you want of space, price, and location in new york city apartments.  basically, pick any two.  you might be able to get the space you want at the price you'd like but the location sucks.  or you could find a great location in midtown for a low price but your room is about size of your bed...and it's a twin on stilts with a hot plate under the headboard and a toilet down the hall.  yeah...pick any two.  

when i placed the "emergency" ad on craigslist the night of the 13th, there were a number of responses that showed the friendly side of new yorkers wanting to help someone in need.  certainly there was the place i stayed, but there were others who had apartments they thought would be good for me.  i went to look at one the following sunday afternoon and found myself pretty excited about the space.  in fact, i loved the space so much that i was willing to overlook the fact that there was no kitchen.  except for that, it seemed to have space, price, and a pretty good location.  triple threat as they say in new york.  

the woman i spoke with was acting as the property manager for the owner of the space.  we had a great conversation and talked about meeting the owner soon.  she said that he was going through a few things and he didn't want to meet too many people.  this was fine with me.  don't need to be pushy.  after a couple curious time delays in responding to my email questions about the place and where we were, she mentioned that he was at the beginning of dealing with alzheimer's which meant she was having trouble getting clarity from him about the space and a new tenant.  he seemed to change his mind a lot.  

it's now getting closer to the end of the month and things are sounding very good with the property manager.  i was thinking about being in my own place and the culinary delights i could cook in a microwave.  there really are a lot of options and they're not all cheese related...even though that's a great use of a microwave.   i was scheduled to visit with the owner on a sunday afternoon but just before heading up to harlem where the apartment was located, she called to say that it wasn't a good time for him.  while disappointing, she seemed to indicate that it was okay.  he trusted her to make the decision and she felt good about me moving in.  we would do it on wednesday morning.

because of all that was happening on wednesday, i rented the van on tuesday night.  not just the move was on my mind for the following day, but i was acting in a one-act with friends at the slipper room in the east village that evening and needed to get everything done and the van back to u-haul in time to get ready and meet my co-actors for a run through.  i drove over to the place tuesday night in the van and saw the property manager and talked through the details of the next morning.  i would bring the cash and she would have a key for me.  everything was set...

...set for another disaster!  wednesday morning i had the van by the building and was able to load it pretty easily, especially with the help of another friend.  we arrived in harlem about 10:00 am, found a place to park, walked up the steps of my new brownstone home and rang the doorbell.  no answer.  on the way over i called the phone number i had for the lady i had been speaking with but didn't reach her.  i kept calling the number and eventually the owner himself answered wondering who i was and what i wanted.  he didn't seem to know anything about it.  since i'd been through this a couple weeks earlier i didn't panic...but i thought about it.  the owner made it sound like someone else had rented the place the day before which made no sense to me since i thought i was the guy!  either way, there was no budging him.  and the property manager never came to the door.  i still don't know what really happened.  

gratefully, my friend with me said that everyone has some crazy new york moving stories.  i just piled two of them up in two weeks.  but i find that when i start telling my story, someone has a more horrendous one to tell and i guess mine isn't that impressive after all.  probably most reading this have already stopped since they can one-up me too.  well...that's fine!  this is cathartic!  the other thing my friend did was invite me to stay on he and his wife's couch until i found a place to move to.  this was extremely gracious of both of them.  

the lesson learned this time is to sign a lease and/or have keys in hand before loading up a moving van for a second time in as many weeks.  and perhaps all the more if you have a potentially forgetful landlord. 

1 comment:

Kim Wentzel said...

That is a CRAZY story! It really is interesting what you learn when it comes time to move. James and I are in the middle of learning all kinds of real estate lessons ourselves. Glad to hear you found a good place and that you're able to look back on those hard times with a smile.