Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The Search, Abbreviated
On Friday evening, we saw our first apartment. On Monday afternoon, we called the landlord. Today we signed the lease.
With exactly one business day between first sighting and first signing, you may wonder whether Luke and I haven’t mentally succumbed to the dog days of summer. In fact, we remain the same fastidious pair who have discussed whose shower curtain and toaster belongs in the new apartment, which stereo will go in the kitchen and which in the living room.
And that is one big living room to fill.
The apartment bowled us over from the moment we stepped inside. We marveled over its three airy rooms separated by connecting hallways, its windowed kitchen and bathroom, its thick walls with crown mouldings and herringbone wood floors.
“Those are double walnut feature strips,” the apartment’s current tenant, Katie Wallace told us. Wallace, who is in the flooring business, also showed off her “high school quality” toilet (“you can flush anything down,” she said), and three good-sized closets.
Full disclosure: We know Katie. Our coworker’s friend, she has lived in the apartment on 29th St. for two years and seemed happy to see it pass into familiar hands when I e-mailed her this afternoon with the update.
The building’s landlord, Joe Mattina, also approved of our connection. “I prefer to have new tenants referred,” he said, after we’d introduced ourselves at this morning’s meeting.
The conversation lasted four minutes. I was not reminded of the March day two years ago when I sat in my current landlord’s Midtown office discussing my father’s occupation, missing hours of work. In fact, my blessedly truncated Astoria 1-BR search bore no resemblance to previous hunts for "Fab deals w/good lite" on Manhattan’s West Side, trailing brokers from one matchbox to the next, filling out application after application, getting calls days later that the no-fee-2 rm studio I’d hoped for had been filled by someone with a bigger salary.
Of course, there was one exception: the cashier’s check. I ate eggs for dinner tonight, as tradition has it for one who has just plundered her checking account for a security deposit.