Tuesday, June 17, 2008

the noisiest building on the block

at about 8 am, the front door of my apartment building is propped open and the workers begin jackhammering everything. at least, that's the way it sounds. right now, the jackhammering is on the 2nd floor but for awhile, it was in the apartment above mine. when they were upstairs, every so often, it sounded like someone bodyslammed a baby elephant onto every flat surface up there. it shook loose the heavy glass fixture over the lights on the ceiling, shattering all over the living room. when i came home, it looked like the rug was caked in glass.

basically, as tenants vacate the apartments, the building owners renovate them and turn them into luxury digs. the other day, i stepped outside and realized that although they're doing construction on all of the empty apartments on my side of the street, my building seems to be taking it the hardest.

how nice were these newly renovated apartments? i was very curious.

the same hardworking guys have been coming in and out of the building for months. the africans and the west indians and the black folk always speak to me. the russians and the polish guys, not so much. when i new that they were working on an apartment down the hall, i whipped out a few glasses and some paul newman lemonade (my favorite!) and paid them a visit. of course, they let me roam around -- it's the best lemonade in the world. the apartment mirrored mine, but it seemed bigger -- probably because it was empty. they gave me all sorts of inside scoopage, though. in the end, they could flip the building if they get enough vacancies. new york city real estate is ruthless.

i'm not sure what my game plan should be, but one thing is for sure -- i'd better get one.

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