Thursday, September 10, 2009

Goodbye EV, Hello Fi-Di!

For many September 1st brings about an anxious feeling as it symbolized the pending school year. And for many of us twenty-somethings who have been unsuccessful at breaking the 12 month leasing cycle it still does. It is not the thought of homework we are dreading it is something much more painful…moving! Whether you are moving bedrooms, apartments, cities or countries; moving day is guaranteed to be the hottest, rainiest and windiest day of the year.

Our move started in mid July when my roommate and I informed our landlord we would not be renewing the lease to our quaint (i.e. small) and humble (i.e. run down) 4th floor-East-Village-walk-up. By the end of the following week two NYU undergrads had signed a lease for the upcoming year. I was fortunate enough to be home when they stopped by with their parent. [There is nothing I find more entertaining then watching out-of-towner’s reactions when they first see the place I called home for two years]

The parents entered the apartment looking exhausted. I would have offered them a seat but I had folded up all our furniture to make room for boxes. They asked questions like, “your going to pay how much for this place?” and “is it to late to get your money back?” Feeling the need to come to the defense of my home, I explained the perks of having floors that slope 15 degrees (easy clean up, if you spill something it all runs the same direction).

I was slowly warming up to the thought of no longer living above my favorite bar but after I spent a weekend trying to sell myself on the charm and history of a ‘former’ crack house with 6ft ceilings, the search was officially opened to new neighborhoods. And when I saw what our rent money could afford in other ‘hoods (who said there is no upside to this recession!), the Goodbye East Village Bar Tour was born!

On the phone our ‘no-fee realtor’ came across as a no-nonsense type of guy. But when my Facebook ‘research’ revealed that this 2007 JMU grad had ‘The Best F!@#$ Night Ever!’ the night before our meeting I was confident we could find some common ground.

Our common ground was found in 950sq ft apartment (with a roof deck!) in the financial district. It was a NYC anomaly with lots of windows, full size appliances, microwave, counterpace and…..a dishwasher!!! Only one minor flaw, it was built as a studio. As well as my roommate and I get along neither of us were ok with regressing back to days of sharing a bedroom. Luckily this is a common occurrence in New York City and there are quite a few companies that specialize in building short-term ‘temporary' walls and can turn a studio in to a two bedroom within a few hour$.

Over the next couple of weeks I worked on my moving mis en place . The daunting task of organizing movers, temporary wall builders, elevator times, old land lords and new land lords ws left to me while my roommate jaunts off to Tuscany for a little end of summer vaca.

Each person I spoke with started out with the same line, “Well you know, this is the business time of the year. Could we schedule you for September 23?”

"Umm...No and here’s why (1) Wednesdays don’t work for me (2) I don’t want to be homeless for 23 days me and (3) If wanted to move on September 23, I would have told you September 23!!!!”

Things finally came together and our moving day schedule was set…

6:00am Wake up!
7:30am Get keys to new apt
9:00am – 1:00pm Wall Guys install 2 'fake' walls
1:00pm – 3:00pm Movers load truck at old apt
5:30pm - 6:00pm Elevator reserved, Movers unload truck at new apt
6:00pm – 9:00pm Reassemble bed and begin unpacking
9:01pm Open bottle of wine
10:01 Finish bottle of wine
10:02pm Bed

T-minus 18 hours until the move commences and I get the following call from the Wall Guys.
“Hello, I’m afraid we may not be able to put up the wall for you tomorrow morning?
“Building management…..blah…blah…blah…contract bidding….blah…blah…blah.. but we’ll show up tomorrow and see if they let us in the building.
“Ok, is there anything I can do to make sure things go smoothly?”

That night I said my prayers and held my breath. I awoke the next morning with hurricane Bill moving up the New York/New Jersey coastline and received the follow email from my father.

From: DAD
To: joannE.
Subject: Move
Date: Saturday, 29 Aug 2009 07:14:19 -0700

Good luck on your move! We'll be playing golf with Andy and Chris so just call us if you need any
moral support. If you need physical support, call someone else.

We'll be thinking about you.


Whether it was the praying or compulsive planning things went pretty smooth and the movers were on the merry way by 6:15pm and last Friday we were raising a glass on our roofdeck. I’m still not ready to take Patti Stanger’s advices on moving out of New York but I am hopeful that this new neighborhood would be a more promising dating ground for the 2nd half of 2009.