(ribbit)

They say that if you put a frog in a pot of water, and slowly bring the water to a boil, the frog will not jump out, but will stay in the water and boil to death.

Aside from wondering what sick sadist thought this was a good idea for a science experiment, I have to appreciate this as a metaphor for renting an apartment in NYC.

I got my renewal notice for my current apartment about a week ago. As i had expected/feared, they are raising my rent another $125 (not quite a 10%-per-year increase, but close enough). So the process that my realtor two years ago referred to as “The Hunger Games” will begin again.

Ah yes, the realtor. I paid my last realtor 12% of a year’s rent to find me my current place. Well, my dear, backstabbing former employer actually paid, but that’s besides the point.

I think I got a better apartment with a realtor than I would have on my own (if my attempts at finding something are any indication). And as I look at apartments, it seems like the better the price, the more likely there is a broker’s fee involved.

BUT if I had to pay a broker’s fee, even if it was just one month’s rent, it would cost me as much as it would cost me to stay here for another year.

I’m going to keep looking…I need to keep my options open…but I am suddenly realizing that the water isn’t burning my skin too badly…

(to be continued…)

The lady in 3J

On the day I picked up my keys to move in to my current apartment, the landlord looked at me and said, “Oh, and the woman downstairs has a habit of knocking on the ceiling with a broom handle if you make noise.” He then proceeded to inform me that the last three people who lived in my unit moved out because of this.

When I posted this on Facebook, one of my friends who knows me very well summed it up perfectly:

“Shit.”

As those of you who know me are aware, I am not the most light-footed walker, nor am I capable of maintaining an “inside voice” on a regular basis. I did not see this ending well.

I moved in and was on high alert, listening for the thumping to begin. As it turns out, however, the pounding has been quite tame and not at all consistent. At times, it has felt like kind of a reverse Tell-Tale Heart, where I am struggling to figure out whether this really IS what I am hearing. It took me a few months to realize that one of the thumping sounds I was hearing was actually the elevator (the elevator itself is a whole ‘nother blog post).

But over time, I have indeed noticed a pattern. A friend came over, and we were talking, and there were a few thumps (me: “Did you hear that too?”). I drop an empty can of seltzer or the remote, or break a plate in the kitchen, and there it is again. Thump, thump, thump. Sometimes just one or two for emphasis, sometimes in a cluster of three, occasionally a half dozen staccato taps in a row. She has even done it when I have let the end of my charger cord drop to the floor…I am bewildered as to how she can hear something that light falling to the ground, but such is the life of a thumping broom lady, I suppose.

I am very careful to walk gingerly around my apartment. I don’t talk on the phone, so that isn’t a concern. As far as dropping things? I’m a klutz. That’s not going to change anytime soon. But the thumping is limited, and not unbearable.

(I will say that, because I might have a TEENY TINY problem with authority, it has crossed my mind more than once that I ought to get some tap shoes and give her a show every time she thumps on the ceiling. I don’t dare, of course, but the temptation is always there.)
Continue reading