Caution: Your Precious New York Apartment Might Fall Apart
I have lived in New York my entire life, so I’m used to dodging dog shit on the sidewalk, homeless people asking me for money and I’ve come to the conclusion that only Jehovah’s Witnesses visit me on Saturday mornings. It comes with the territory. Still, there are some things I will never get used to, and that’s the fear of my ceiling one day collapsing on me.
After a long Saturday night of drinking gin & tonic at The Coal Yard in the Lower East Side, I somehow managed to make it home before 7am. I removed my sneakers and jeans, and just hit the bed. About an hour later I heard sounds of water falling from a distance. It just so happens that I was blessed with an indoor waterfall immediately outside of my bedroom. Boy, when that invisible guy in the sky answers a prayer he really comes through, doesn’t he? To top it all off, the ceiling caved in and my blind father was startled thinking that my mother had walked in on him reading his new book, “Feel This: A Braille Sex Manual.” (If you’re wondering, he recently became a member of George Carlin’s book club.) On Monday the water was cut off for a couple of hours. When it came back, I had to let the water faucet run for a while due to this brown liquid oozing out. That was pretty disgusting, and yet, the hole was still in my ceiling and water would still be dripping occasionally.
One would assume that with the high price of living in New York, that the city would provide some safer and robust building structures. Unfortunately, these buildings are old and many of these slumlords spend just enough money to make the apartments look aesthetically pleasing. I’m almost positive that if I sneeze hard enough I just might puncture a hole in my wall. There is really nothing you can do about it, except make complaints to someone who will pretend to care. Your building superintendent isn’t the person to constantly complain to, unless there is some obvious physical damage. You’re pretty much screwed until you move out and find a better place. Even if/when you do, you’ll still run into some minor problems. There will never be a perfect place to rest your head at, but take solace in knowing that if you run into any problems once a year, that you’ve found yourself an exceptional place to live in.
In the meanwhile, you can be like me and hope that the building remains intact as you sleep. I think I’ll sleep under a table tonight.
Photo Credit: Me