Wednesday, November 22, 2006

And Then I Had To Find a New Apartment

Curiously, I don’t want to talk about this either, but for completely different reasons – like “the nightmares” and “the all-engulfing animosity which renders me nearly immobile.” I’m no novice at apartment hunting, but the first settlers of America were no novices at sleeping with their cousins in order to propagate a nation. That doesn’t mean they enjoyed it.

The whole experience can be summed up in this one story:

I find an ad off Craigslist that seems promising. I call the number. It is for Manhattan Apartments. Let’s just say my history with Manhattan Apartments includes lots of cursing and maybe some threats. But it seems like a great apartment, so I call.

I am around the corner from their offices, just coming from a meeting with a different broker. The person I speak with at Manhattan Apartments says:

“That apartment is still available. How quickly can you be here? These apartments go fast!”

I say, “Very soon, I am in the neighborhood,” and hang up. In reality, I am not only in the neighborhood, but literally right in front of their office. When I get upstairs, I ask for the woman I had spoken to on the phone. She comes out of her office, shakes my hand and sits me down in front of her computer. We have this conversation:

Me: “So that apartment on East 81st . . .”

Her: “Yeah, that one has been rented.”

Me: (sideways glancing confused face) “The one I called you about before?”

Her: “Yeah, they go quick.”

Me: “I hung up the phone with you and got on the elevator. It was rented while I was on the elevator? You’re on the fourth floor . . .”

Her: “What can I say, that’s Manhattan real estate for you!”

Rule #1 when talking to me: Never say “that’s Manhattan real estate for you.” I know what Manhattan real estate is. I live in Manhattan real estate. I carry boxes full or crap and boxes full of friends’ crap up flights and flights of stairs in Manhattan real estate. I once had sex in a stairwell in Manhattan real estate. I know what it is. And I also know when you are lying to me about an apartment that never existed in the first place.

The broker went on to say that she had a number of other apartments to show me in that price range. I know, in my heart of hearts, that these apartments will be heaps of trash. If I am lucky, one of them will have a closet. I know this. Yet there are few things more alluring than the possibility (be it 0.01%) of finding a good apartment. So I concede – take the bait, take the switch, bend over.

I spend the next two hours traveling around town with a tall, middle-aged, distinguished black woman looking at apartments that wouldn’t even be used as crack-houses in “Law and Order.” She is from the south, and every movement she makes, every word she says, is aimed at making the people around her understand that WE NORTHERNERS MOVE TOO FAST. In these two hours together, mostly spent on a bus in cross-town traffic, because that’s not awkward, I learn about her husband, her dog, her first bike, her first car, the last movie she saw, the movie she saw before that, and her dreams to attend medical school. All the while we are walking endless city blocks, peeking our heads into bombed out apartments, her never breaking her rhythmic southern drawl, as though me asking, “Are they going to put a faucet on the sink?” was a rude interruption of her waxing nostalgic about Christmas dinners long ago.

In the end, I did find a place. Actually, I found a great place. So great that right up until they put the keys in my hand I was sure that it was some sort of boiler-room scam and my security deposit was lost forever in a Cayman Islands bank account. And despite the fact that I lived in a pseudo-crack den for weeks with only an air mattress and a big screen TV, at least it was my pseudo-crack den.

Coming soon:
“And Then I Went on a Blind Date”
“And Then Things Got Back To Normal”
“And Then I Decided To Accept Jesus as My Personal Savior”

23 Comments:

Blogger birdie said...

I feel like a comment virgin today.

Please be kind to us friendly internet stalkers and give us pictures of the new place. We would love you.

November 22, 2006 at 11:28:00 AM EST  
Blogger nikki jean said...

congrats on finding your appartment. . as you say "I know Manhattan real estate."

November 22, 2006 at 11:35:00 AM EST  
Blogger HomeImprovementNinja said...

It's good to see that you are back. No offense, but I'm not updating your link on my blog. Part of this reason is because I'm too lazy. Actually, that's the rest of the reason too.

Is this place secret? Or can we tell others about it? Can I charge admission? Can I hang out by the bathrooms and try to sell the bridge and tunnel people some X?

November 22, 2006 at 11:48:00 AM EST  
Blogger t. said...

i know you don't want us to, but i may have to go back and read your old blog while you're away.

November 22, 2006 at 12:01:00 PM EST  
Blogger Dakota said...

Oh my god, I used to work for Manhattan Apartments. For about 2 weeks when I got sick of all the scams and shady dealings. I showed this one apartment that was billed as a 2 bedroom. Sure, it had 2 "bedrooms" but no living room or kitchen. And the hallways reeked of cat piss. You could still smell it inside the apartment.

November 22, 2006 at 12:05:00 PM EST  
Blogger [Cherry] Ride said...

Dan, I'm waiting for the entry called "And then I woke up in a pool of my own blood and someone else's vomit with my pants around my ankles" because that's what usually happens to me after getting dumped and having to find my own place.

November 22, 2006 at 12:24:00 PM EST  
Blogger Mood Indigo said...

Definitely want to see pics - I'm assuming you got to take your bathroom sign with you? Can't wait to see it in its new home.

November 22, 2006 at 12:27:00 PM EST  
Blogger Green said...

Please send some of your apartment-finding-luck out west, to me in San Francisco (I'm a hometown girl, who knows ... Long Island real estate?). The market here is so tight that there are 15 minute showings and if an apartment is being rented for $3200, that's considered a starting point for negotiations and will really be rented for $3500 instead.

Mazel tov on your new digs!

November 22, 2006 at 12:54:00 PM EST  
Blogger Beechball * said...

Congratulations on finding a great place to live, I wish you the best of luck and hope that things are just as they seem! Unlike the house my MOM bought - fake walls and imitation doors *yikes* don't ask, just be happy! Fresh starts are always great!

November 22, 2006 at 2:08:00 PM EST  
Blogger DevilsHeaven said...

Thanks to The Company Bitch's Blog I've found you, and can now completely understand her blog crush.
I can't wait to read your blogs from, um, "before."

November 22, 2006 at 2:43:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus as your personal savior???You've got to be kidding!

November 22, 2006 at 2:49:00 PM EST  
Blogger Dan said...

I don't make jokes.

November 22, 2006 at 2:54:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Katie said...

Finding a new apartment in NYC blows. Putting down a deposit, first/last month's rent, and maybe a broker's fee blows. Moving your shit from one apartment to another blows. But having all that over and done with (especially if you find a great place) is an awesome feat and really damn satisfying. Just think, you won't have to move again for at least another year. Or until your crazy landlady asks you to help her left the radiator cover off your radiator and then proceeds to drop it on your face with the result being a big effing gash on the bridge of your nose. Yeah, that shit scarred. Christ.

November 22, 2006 at 2:56:00 PM EST  
Blogger Sexy Lexi said...

Dan, I especially love that your new profile pic displays a tease of chest hair. It's just so "bachelor" of you.

Welcome back. You've been missed.

November 22, 2006 at 3:12:00 PM EST  
Anonymous kathy said...

4 bedrooms, 3 baths, kitchen, dining, family room, fireplace, deck and 13 acres for $1700 a month. You NY renters are f'ing crazy. I'll take the midwest anydayoftheweek over that crap.

Funny stuff though, coworkers wonder why I giggle everyday after lunch again. Glad you are back

November 22, 2006 at 3:40:00 PM EST  
Anonymous NinjaDude said...

Haha...this has me rolling.

I'm surprised it turned out well.

November 22, 2006 at 8:11:00 PM EST  
Anonymous badkitty said...

I gotta say...yer gorgeous. And since I've been a widow now for over 4 years, that means there'd be nothin' wrong with me askin' ya for a date.

But I'm old enough to be your mother. And the very fact that I think you're hot - creeps me out.

November 23, 2006 at 11:43:00 AM EST  
Blogger Sean P. Farley said...

Um, you're kind of hot. Is that horrible for me to say? I'm gay, you're not, but I still think you're hot. If you live in Manhattan you must have some knowledge of gay men and their existence on this planet. But I still think you're hot. I'm sorry, not hot in a porn movie kind of way, but hot in that I'm-going-to-watch-you-across-the-deli-while-we-eat-our-respective-sandwiches kind of way. Just thought I'd share.

November 23, 2006 at 3:49:00 PM EST  
Blogger Slaney said...

I used to work at Manhattan Apartments. The only way to avoid killing yourself in the bathroom is to go to your happy place - hence the Christmas memories. Just thought I'd explain.

November 23, 2006 at 6:59:00 PM EST  
Anonymous orangeparties said...

I missed you. Welcome home!

November 24, 2006 at 2:28:00 PM EST  
Blogger Cupcake said...

Wait, didn't I tell you that you should move to Brooklyn? I guarantee no one has ever said, "Well, that's Brooklyn real estate for you," without getting a knuckle sandwich.

Yes, yes, we're all glad Dan is back. But this stubborn desire to want to live in Manhattan, on the Upper East Side, for God's sake Carrie Bradshaw, well, it feels like we've just plunged our collective foot into a puddle of bathos on the march to the Brand New Dan.

November 26, 2006 at 1:03:00 PM EST  
Blogger greener said...

Congrats! Praying that good things continue to happen for you!

November 27, 2006 at 10:12:00 AM EST  
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December 11, 2008 at 2:30:00 AM EST  

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