Tag Archives: apartment

A Renewal Reception

12 Jul

Vintage-New-YearSo amazingly, it’s been about a year and a half since I moved into my apartment in the city, and for the most part, it’s been great! Aside from a few blips on the radar–the drug addict neighbor next door, my alcoholic neighbor downstairs, and the general vibe that I’m living in a half-way house/an AA meeting site– there are a lot of things I love about my apartment and the surrounding neighborhood. Of course, number one is still the proximity to the subway, followed in close second by my non-working fireplace and crown moldings. Aesthetics are important to me!

My lease was running out at the beginning of the month, so a few weeks ago I sent my landlord an email asking him about the possibility of renewing. I’ve heard horror stories of rents being raised through the roof and was dreading the possibility that I’d be hunting for another apartment. I finally finished decorating this place…I was loathe to think about packing up all my throw pillows and decorative pottery for a new one! So when my landlord got back to me and asked me to call him later that night, I spent the rest of the day coming up with a list of reasons why he shouldn’t be asking for more rent. Two reasons, “Everyone that lives here is an alcoholic and nobody ever takes the trash out!” may have been near the top….

But not even 30 seconds into our conversation, my landlord said he’d be happy to have me renew and would only be raising the rent a mere $25! I was so relieved that it wasn’t $500, I said yes immediately and was off the phone in less than five minutes! So another year in the city it is! To celebrate, I think I’ll pour myself a drink! I’m fitting in here after all!

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Casa de Critter

13 Sep

There are a lot of great things about living on my own. The independence, the privacy, the bragging rights…but one thing I don’t like is having to deal with the growing presence of little critters in my apartment. When I was living at home, my dad was master exterminator. He was the one who would suck up the disgusting clusters of lady bugs that freaked me out, or pluck an enormous daddy-long-legs from the shower curtain. Now these delightful tasks have fallen to me! Just this week, there was a giant bug lurking in my magazine stack, and an ant colony under my sink! But last night, it all culminated into quite possibly the most traumatic thing to happen to an apartment dweller: There was a MOUSE in my apartment! Insert screeching, shrieking, and terrified hopping at your own discretion.

The giant bug and the ant problem were easily solved with an overly enthusiastic spraying of half a can of Raid and more shrieking, but the mouse?! Ewwwwarggggggguhhhhhheeeeekkkk! There I was, peacefully lounging on my bed with a book, when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a movement which sat me up so quickly, my neck is still sore! And there, at the base of a chair I will now never sit in again, was a mouse! A tiny, cute little brown mouse…WHAT? NO. RODENTS. UGH.

Of course, maturely, I immediately started screaming, which surprised the mouse. But instead of running towards whatever hole in came in, it ran closer to my couch! So I shrieked, dropped my book on the floor, and shouted “Get out mouse!” until it ran back under the chair! I then cautiously got down on the floor to see if it was still there, and then started freaking out some more before realizing it was just the chair leg! Regardless, I spent the rest of the night tip-toeing across the floor, running past the “mouse area” and ripping the covers off my bed, thinking there would be another one snuggled up!

I just got back from the store, where I purchased six boxes worth of traps. Although thinking about it now, the only thing worse than seeing a mouse is having to dispose of one! Let’s hope he went home…or at least started living at my annoying neighbor’s place! Ah, adulthood!

A Breath of…Air

9 Jul

Finally, sweet relief! This was the first day in over a week I haven’t been slumped over my desk, drained from the heat. I managed to get through the New York heat wave alive, but was completely exhausted everyday! Not only was I barely sleeping, but my five-block walk to work zapped any left over energy I had, leaving me lethargic and sweaty. It’s been awesome and extremely attractive.

When I moved to New York last November, I conveniently forgot that summer around here is pretty sweltering. But looking back, how could I have blocked out such hellish humidity? When I first started working, I was commuting during the hottest part of the day. I was also broke, and didn’t want to waste my gas, so I used to ride to and from the parking lot sans AC! The only saving grace from that hellish experience was the frigid temps of my office and the constant tears to cool my cheeks! Then, last summer, I sublet an apartment during August and spent the month with permanently wind-blown hair from the box fan I put an inch from my head! Heck, even when I first moved, my broken radiator was churning out enough heat to keep me sweating through the coldest months of the year! How quickly we forget!

But none of these served as a learning lesson on how to beat the heat this time around. I neglected to buy an air conditioner when they were on sale, and my one little fan spun its three little blades until the thing was practically smoking! But I’ve been too exhausted to do anything but fill a Ziploc bag with ice and stick it down my back before bed, which invariably melts, pops, and soaks my bed. And I wonder why I’m always in such a bad mood in the mornings!

Fortunately, it’s cooled off considerably since last week, and even though my apartment is stuffy, I actually slept with a sheet over my body for the first time in two weeks! It was nice to put my makeup on without throwing my liner on the floor and running for the fan before the sweat droplets exposed themselves across my brow! Ah, city living.

Night Music

21 May

Last night was the perfect sleeping weather–cool, with the pleasant pattering of rain. After a busy weekend enjoying the outdoors and perfect weather, I was exhausted and went to bed early, excited to get some solid zzzs in before the work week.  But instead of being lulled to sleep by the elements and the pleasant chirping of crickets, I was rudely awakened by the constant noise of my neighborhood.

When I first moved into my place, perhaps because it was winter and people were in hibernation mode, I was surprised at how quiet it was! My apartment is in the back of the building and faces a courtyard, so the only sounds I heard for those first few months were the rustling of leaves coming off the trees! It was like living in the country! I thought I’d be battling honking horns and plugging my ears closed, but it was surprisingly docile. However, for the past few weeks, the sounds of the neighborhood have progressed from birds chirping to the constant barking of a dog the owners refuse to bring inside, a newborn baby who cries all night, and the bi-weekly psychopathic rants of both my next-door and downstairs neighbors! No longer the quiet oasis I moved into, my apartment has turned into a thoroughfare of noise pollution!

So despite my best intentions for a restful night’s sleep, I was woken up several times by howls, cries, and deranged tirades. Needless to say, I’m a bit groggy today. It’s taken a cold shower and three cups of coffee for my eyes to even open fully! Fortunately, work has been quiet, so I’ve been able to wallow in my exhaustion and hide my eye-bags for most of it. Maybe it’s time to invest in those earplugs after all!

Taste Test

29 Nov

I am still in the decorating stages of apartment living, and have become absolutely OBSESSED with finding the perfect over-stuffed easy chair for the corner of my apartment in front of my window. The only thing currently populating that area is a cable cord, which is obviously not being used, so there is some room for improvement. I just visualize curling up in this cozy chair with a book on snowy Saturdays, and this pictorial has naturally propelled me to spend an obscene amount of time searching on Craigslist.

There is a great line in one of my all-time favorite movies, When Harry Met Sally, when Marie and Jess move into their swoon-worthy, drool-inducing Upper West Side brownstone and are bickering over a tacky wagon wheel table. Marie tells Jess, “Everybody thinks they have good taste and a sense of humor but they couldn’t possibly all have good taste.” That’s basically what I’ve deduced from furniture hunting on Craigslist. Every post is peppered with superlatives that are quickly shattered when you open the post and see the corresponding photo.

Examples:

  • “Classic vintage distressed farm chair,” really means: “Unpainted, falling apart kitchen chair I happened to leave outside for the better part of a decade and am now trying to sell online.”
  • “Post-modern overstuffed lounger” really means “One part of a 1980s sectional sofa that I took apart and am now trying to sell online.”
  •  “Absolutely gorgeous armchair for sale!” really means “Ugly, ugly, unbelievably ugly. I hope you won’t notice because I’m trying to sell this piece of crap that I no longer want in my home online.”

Needless to say, I have not found a chair that I really like yet. It’s not like I have superior taste in furniture, but I know what I like, and a 1972 replica wing-back chair with crushed velvet upholstery is definitely NOT it.