Friday, July 3, 2015

Apartment needed

A June supper

[Update: Apartment found!]

By now I have flower-bombed social media with this message and finally it comes to rest here:

SOS. Help needed:

The Frenchman and I have just learned that our landlord is not renewing the lease on our Harlem apartment. It expires at the end of August. He says he will be doing renovations in our apartment which will also involve ripping up part of the terrace.

While this apartment and location have come with problems, there are many things we like a lot (space, tall ceilings, terrace), and I am still stunned. We made it a home. The garden is looking very beautiful right now, lush, healthy and happy. I love sitting out there, and the thought of destroying it all at its peak is numbing.


To add to the bad timing,  I had just  booked a late-August, early-September trip to South Africa - to see my not-very-well parents, in their 80's. We had been planning this for a while. The Frenchman's ticket was to have been bought today. He needs a vacation. not a move. I have just booked and paid for a visit to the wonderful spring flowers on the West Coast of the country. That trip is probably toast.

Young sparrow

So. Dear New York City Universe, with matter-of-fact New York directness:

We are looking for a 1 bedroom apartment with a garden or terrace or roof deck (private outdoor space is essential), rent in the realm of $2,700 or less (we pay less currently, which might be a Harlem thing). To move in by, or before, September 1st. We are pretty open to neighborhoods, and know our rent will probably prescribe the hood. As tenants we are quiet, considerate, and leave the place better than we found it.

The jewelweed forest

If you know of a place or someone who might know, please get in touch using the Find/Follow tab, top right.

The tame mourning dove (the bravest of of six)

Hey. We may even move back to Brooklyn!

And then, after this, we will never rent again.

34 comments:

  1. How very frustrating. Since you had no advance warning of this, might your landlord agree to extend the lease for just a couple of months more for all the reasons given? - the trips, the plants etc? Best of luck finding a new place.

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    Replies
    1. He made it clear he would not. Thank you, Pam.

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  2. Having to move is just the pits!

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  3. WTF? Moving after a single year is just the shits. So sorry Marie. Your terrace IS looking absolutely magical right now and in spite of this hideous glitch I know you'll establish that magic wherever you go.
    You WILL find a more permanent home.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Shelley. We moved in mid October 2013 and were asked to sign a lease that lasted til August. So it's been almost two years - but of course the garden has come into its own.

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  4. Come to Philadelphia? :)

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  5. Breaks my heart. You have faced down all the problems to make a good home in Harlem, but know you ll do it again. The terrace looks wonderful ... maybe you can "foster out" plants to save more of them. Wish I could help with the relocation.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Win... The black raspberries have really taken off in their big pots, but they are so...heavy. Not sure what to do.

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  6. Renting can come with brutal surprises, especially for gardeners. Best of luck in finding somewhere you really can take root!

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  7. That's so sad! The terrace is looking beautiful. If you wanted to move to this side of the state, you could get a three bedroom house for less than half of that rent. But that's probably not an option.

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    Replies
    1. We are seriously considering everything.

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  8. Knowing nothing about living in that concrete jungle, I'm wondering if living outside the city and taking train in for jobs and business etc. is realistic, cheaper and less stressful. Perhaps commuting is a hassle and expensive. Sorry you guys have to go through this moving thing again.

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  9. Not again! This news made me sad, then angry - but then I thought that this just may, ought to, WILL lead to something much more fitting, a place which will do justice to the great little paradise you create wherever you go; a quiet, sunny island amid all the noise and stress. This I will "visualize" for you, and will be keeping my fingers crossed.

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  10. I was surprised to read your news yesterday. And, oh my, dismantling the lovely deck and moving in 2 months? *breathe* We will all put this out into the universe to bring you the right home. Take care.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Debo...I mean Donatella :-)

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  11. Leslie in OregonJuly 4, 2015 at 4:04 PM

    This is absolutely infuriating. By no decent person's decree would you be forced to dismantle your deck paradise until it has finished this season, yet from what you have said, nothing would entice your landlord to wait even one month. Each of your trips to South Africa to see your parents is important, and I hope that somehow you can proceed with the next one you have planned. I also hope (and in fact trust) that this onerous move (no pun intended) by your landlord will end up, when all is said and done, putting you and the Frenchman in a place where the two of you can create and nurture for as long as you wish the glorious sanctuary you so deserve. This post is going to my son and his Frenchman, who will spread the word about what you seek to the NYC communities of which they are part. In solidarity, Leslie

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  12. Oh god. So sorry to hear that. Can't help with housing but crossing my fingers and hoping you end up someplace wonderful. That lovely garden...

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  13. Heavens. I'm stunned for you (as if you weren't enough for yourself). Crossing my fingers that in the end, you come up better than ever -- but not minimizing the size of the task ahead of you. You right; the South African trip, for the moment, is probably toast. But one never knows how life will play out, so will hope for a little miracle there.

    I have a hard time imagining you away from NYC, with all that it has to offer, but you will know what is right. Sending good thoughts. Probably gin would be more helpful right now, but good thoughts are more useful in the long run. Mary

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  14. Have you had a look at the Ditmars Boulevard Greek area in Astoria?

    It´s worth having a look. If you get off the subway and you walk east towards the East River you will see houses with lots of flowers in their gardens.

    I bet you would love it!

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  15. I think the Universe is trying to tell you it`s time to get out of the city and find a nice place in the country where you can have a proper garden.......and still commute into the city.

    Just a thought.

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  16. I second above thought of "Anonymous 8:17 AM" - is it time for an adventure outside the city?

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  17. Those New York landlords don't seem to recognise a good thing when they have it! Onwards and upwards Marie and Vince to greater and greener pastures.

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  18. Best of luck! I hope something much better than this place turns up very soon. Heartbreaking to see the beautiful terrace garden go once again!

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  19. Washington Heights,
    Inwood,
    Riverdale,
    Staten Island
    Queens, echoing above. Lots of Italians
    and Greeks; we are usually gardeners!
    Best of luck and may I say,
    This came as a shocker!
    What the Helliotrope is wrong with your
    landlord??
    Good luck, dearest kind & generous
    Marie. You two deserve so much better!

    Hugs,
    Diane in Denver
    A Washington Heights kid for my
    first eight years of life. Great sun exposures
    on the Hudson River side, btw

    ReplyDelete
  20. I've never met you and probably never will, but I feel so bad that this is happening to you. You had to move from your beloved 66 Sq Feet, and then the loss of Estrobo, but still you made a home. Now you're loosing the sustaining garden and that seems so wrong to me. I hope for you both an even better place, a garden that sustains and a cat that makes you laugh. Be well.

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  21. Really sad to hear about this!. Have you considered buying/renting something like this place:

    http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/pmf,pf_pt/2101971382_zpid/days_sort/40.883077,-73.906397,40.876141,-73.920345_rect/16_zm/?view=map

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  22. Or how about this place which is pretty close to your current location:
    http://streeteasy.com/building/lenox-terrace-10-west-135-street-new_york/11f

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  23. you've surely thought of this, but what about asking the landlord about going on a month to month basis so that the garden can finish out its season?

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  24. I don't think I like your landlord.

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  25. Sorry to hear about you having to move! The landlord sounds like a fairly unlikable character. All the best with finding a new place for all you and all your plants

    The photo of the dove drinking from the little pond is pretty nice. The timing of the shot must have been pretty hard to get right I presume.


    On the topic of watering, what do you think about this? It's something I've used myself for watering urban indoor plants while I am away on vacation

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1455309408/waterassistant-indoor-potted-plant-watering?utm_source=66squarefeet&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=blog

    ReplyDelete

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