Thursday, June 17, 2010

What price a terrace?

From the dirty underbelly of renting a tiny 1 BDR apartment (with terrace) in sought-after Cobble Hill, Brooklyn we bring you...fringe benefits.

One of the major attractions of paying $1,700 in rent (low by our fair city's standards) for a space about the size of a ping pong table (with terrace), is the laundry in the basement. Two nice white washers, and two nice white dryers. Except that for over 6 months only one dryer has been functional, the other turning out damp clothes that have a whiff of the (pre-aerated) Gowanus about them. Emails and phone calls to landlord. Meanwhile lint from the one overworked dryer piles up to 6 inches high in laundry corners (next to the open boiler room), and one thinks thoughts about curating an emergency backpack with ID, cash, spare laptop and just how heavy is the cat anyway?

Comes the day when smoke fills the basement after the working dryer works so hard it forgets to stop and just keeps at it, for hours and hours, like Oprah. Emails, 'fire hazard', promises of action. Lousy workmanship, dryers still do not work, an inch reduction in the lint piles. More emails.

This afternoon, three fire trucks, the police, an ambulance, and crews of requisitely attractive, heavy-equipment-bearing fire persons descend on the brownstone. I approach this melee from the street carrying my Russ and Daughters bag wondering just how many ways I can split the smoked Irish salmon for the aforesaid, and walk into a brownstone filled with smoke.

The dryer. The lint. Le Fire. Small, but legitimate. Violations issued, heads shaken.

So we have no super. So the trash downstairs is bagged about every other week. So the roof leaks. So living in the apartment is like living in a Russian submarine with little hope of rescue.

(Pass wodka, Vladimir...)

Upstairs, cat, hater of smoke, and first responder whenever I cook anything that sizzles, glares at me from a corner.

But who's bitchin'? We have a terrace.
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