june 2005 – moving back to the city after a 2 year adventure in san diego and several long months in westfield, nj.
9:00 am: Robert (the real estate broker) met me at the door of 1573 York Avenue. The first floor of the building is home to Pintalle’s pizza and although I think Pintaile’s is New York’s finest, I am wondering if the apartment is directly above the pizzeria and I start to look around for any evidence of mice. Inside the door is a hallway that leads directly up a flight of stairs. This very small narrow hallway must be 85 degrees and is home to four 30-gallon garbage bins that Robert and I squeeze by to make our way up the stairs. I follow Robert up one flight and another flight and two more flights in my business suit and four inch heels. By the time we reach the fifth floor I am wiping sweat from my forehead and trying to hide the shortness in my breath with a sort of forced smile. I can’t tell if my pantyhose have melted and I don’t want to look down to check because I know that the sweat will fall off my face and leave a puddle on the floor. I console myself with the thought that there is no way a rat or even a small city mouse could possibly make it up this high, which will alleviate the rodent problem I had while living on East 55th Street.
I enter the apartment and it’s huge! And it does have an office! It’s renovated, as much as a 100 year old building can be renovated, has exposed brick in the kitchen and a fireplace in the bedroom! I inspect the three closets fully expecting Jaime Kennedy to pop out every time I open a door. . . can this be true? All of this for only $1495.00 a month? What’s the catch? And then I remembered the stairs . . . I quickly decided that’s a small price to pay for the freedom I will enjoy in my new home back in the city. I smiled at Robert and told him “I’ll take it!”
Although I do not need to arrive at my brother’s house until 11:00 I must give myself plenty of time to prepare. I have three giant, very heavy bags full of gifts for my parents, two brothers, their wives and five children, which I must get into the car.
Translation: Make one trip down five flights with first bag, walk 4 blocks to get my car from the garage, drive back home, park illegally in front of the fire hydrant outside my door and hope the ticket police have Christmas off. Go up five flights for second bag and return to stairwell. Stowe bag in car and turn right around and ascend 64 stairs for the final bag, and 64 stairs back down to the car, only to realize I forgot my phone. Any other day I would have just left it, but it is Christmas after all, and I will be gone all day, with between 3 and 4 hours of total drive time ahead of me depending on traffic. Four blocks, no ticket and 256 stairs later, I am on my way, soaked in my own sweat.