Thursday, April 05, 2007

An ad, a hand on a shoulder, and a mid-spring freeze

I started going to open houses. I think I'm going to like trolling through the online ads, imagining what the apartments actually look like from their tiny oddly-angled photographs. One thing is clear: Everything looks more grimy in reality. (Or is it just the places I can afford?) So far there are enough interesting options out there - apartments with just one or two things wrong with them, decent enough that I can have passing fantasies of living in them, but not so perfect that I am obsessed with having them as my own.

I found an ad on Craigslist yesterday and emailed, and received a reply about an open house tonight. I had a moment of "Is this for real?" about it, as of course there is no way of telling if I am one of many he bcc'd about this or the single recipient of his "meet me in the apartment at so-and-so a time" message. I went on the NYC Housing Dept webiste, and the guy is a bona fide landlord in NYC, is registered with the city as the managing agent of the building, and has indeed just gotten approval to convert it to coop. Of course he could still be a mad killer, and I can hear the reaction to my abduction and grisly death: "What fool goes by herself to meet a strange man in an empty apartment late at night?" But I think I'll go with my gut and assume this is on the up-and-up. Or I'll linger on the block until another person goes to ring the doorbell and walk in with them.

Apartment-hunting as a single person is lonely. It's nice to have someone to point things out to (or someone to show to you things you might have missed.) I took a friend this past weekend. But the harder part is seeing couples there as well, knowing they more than likely have two incomes and twice as much opportunity to accumulate savings. There was a "Sex in the City" episode where Miranda was faced with statements like "When is your husband coming to see the place?" when she shopped for an apartment on her own; I thought then that it was manufactured drama (who thinks like that anymore? is this the 50's?) and I still think so. The only impediment I have in this process is my inability to draw two salaries.

* * *

Ha! The local morning news is featuring yet another lawsuit on Atlantic Yards, the massive construction project that is just starting (residential, commercial, retail, and a new basketball arena.) I need to find a good map of where it's supposed to go (in the chance that none of the lawsuits manage to hamper its development.) I think the apartment I'm seeing tonight is within a handful of blocks, which wouldn't be ideal, especially during the years of construction and upheavel.

* * *

Last night I dreamed again that I was walking down the sidewalk, when a man dashed across the street, not seeing the large truck bearing down on him. The trucker landed on his horn, screeched on his brakes, and managed to avoid the pedestrian. Sigh of relief, but then I saw that the man was still lying in the street, that with all the focus on avoiding the truck, he'd not noticed he was darting in front of a small vehicle (like one of those little mail trucks you see that look like tin boxes on a moped.) I ran up to find him out cold, blood across his forehead. Another person went up to the driver, and I stood by the victim, then reached for my cell phone and said, "I'll call 911," but a third person waved her cell phone and said, "I have them already." So I stood by the guy, not sure what to do, and then he came to and started to stand. I told him not to, that he should stay put until help arrived, and he said, "Are you kidding me?" like I was reading dialogue from a cheesey TV movie and not real life. "I'm fine," he said. But he had blood on his head and I tried to tell him that, but he just looked at me puzzled. He stood and wavered a bit, seemed surprised to be dizzy. He started getting upset them, but not because of the blood, but because he saw that the back of his leather jacket had scraped along the pavement. I said something again about maybe sitting down, but he just glared at me.

A crowd was gathering, and I stepped back, thinking there wasn't more I could do, but not wanting to leave without seeing this through. As I stood there, a man next to me reached over and put an arm across my shoulders, although I wasn't sure if he were thanking me or comforting me. He started squeezing my shoulders, and it was weird, but I let him, because it felt good. I turned and he just smiled at me, arm still around me.

After the police came, the crowd dispersed, and my new friend disappeared down the sidewalk. I wanted to follow him, to find out who he was. Why did he act as if he knew me? Was he someone I was supposed to meet? Why had his hand felt so familiar? How could I find him again?

* * *
I am a Craigslist virgin. I have friends and relatives who have completed many transactions through the site, but I've only skimmed it a few times. I am curious to see the turnout for this open house tonight - it's just a half hour, but there are four apartments to see. The price is great, but the caveat is that they need work (some more than others.) I'm also not well versed on the pros and cons of getting into a coop from the start. This will require some more research.

* * *

A cold spell. My fault, for putting away the winter clothes. Told you I'd jinx it. Luckily I held off on taking my winter coats to the dry cleaner.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a map for you showing the location of Atlantic Yards:

7:53 AM  
Blogger medusa said...

Wow, thank you! That's an impressive map. What's startling is how close it is to where I currently live.

And it's only 3 blocks from the apt. I'm looking at tonight.

12:40 PM  
Blogger BklynSteve said...

You're welcome.

Perhaps you (and your readers) would like to catch up on the issues around the Atlantic Yards Development and consider contributing to Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn's Legal Fund. Take a look at:

6:50 PM  

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