The World In Six / Travel

The Highs And Lows Of My New Home

For anyone keeping track (is there anyone keeping track?), I am not homeless! A mere 36 hours before the move-in, we got the Certificate of Occupancy, and I was able to get into my new place on schedule. As with any new home, there are quirks. However, because this is new construction that was rushed at the last minute, there are some definite negatives to the new place. Fortunately, these are few and the pluses are many. Here’s the run down…

First off, some of the dis/advantages have nothing to do with my landlord. Some are only partially due to the landlord. Some are directly the fault of the landlord. I’ll leave it to dear reader to figure out which is which.

Let’s begin with the MTA (hint: nothing to do with the landlord). Apparently, the MTA (that’s Metropolitan Transit Authority for those not in the know) thinks there is no reason why the main artery in and out of northern Brooklyn needs to be functioning on the weekends. Were it not for the fact that I have to go to Union Square tomorrow to pick up my Frolic Farm CSA share (not to mention picking up my son from his dad’s), I probably wouldn’t care a whole lot. It’s a lovely autumn day and as soon as I finish up this blog post, I’m heading over to Smorgasburg for brunch. Even if the L were working, I would walk. One of the things I truly love about living in NYC is that I can walk miles and miles and miles (I’ve done the Great Saunter twice!). I don’t have to get into a subway until my feet (or, more likely, shoulders [from carrying too much stuff]) give out. Thus, I will not miss the L line today. However, last weekend was a nightmare, having to get in and out of Manhattan three times. This weekend, I wised up and dropped my son on Friday so that I will have only one trip to make over the weekend. Nevertheless, an absence of direct transit into Manhattan is a downfall of my present locale.

As for the apartment itself, it appears that the construction team wanted to “wrap things up,” so they didn’t install window fixtures or shower curtain rods. They also want to will grass to grow on gravel (I guess they never heard of topsoil). I’ve dealt with the annoyance of the windows/showers and will complain about the backyard gravel pit in weeks to come (perhaps they can just put down stone, so we can hang out in a mud-free zone… oops! inadvertent poetry!). Of grave concern is the lack of Internet. I have pointed out to the landlord’s rep that, just as you would expect to move into a home with indoor plumbing 50 years ago, you expect a level of 21st Century technology in a newly constructed building. Neither FIOS nor cable is available in our building. Fortunately, the latter is regulated by the Public Service Commission, so after weeks of wrangling with Time Warner Cable and getting nowhere, I sent a detailed complaint to the PSC. Time Warner is sending someone out on Monday (I hope!!! We’ve been sold this bridge a dozen times in the last month!) to put us on the grid.

Finally, there is the amazing neighborhood school (which I will not name, as it reveals a bit TMI). My son is a bright kid who really needs discipline and challenge. He has really struggled at his old school (also considered excellent, but with a “touchy feely” quality to pedagogy). His new school has embraced him, and I am cautiously optimistic that this will be his best year ever. Along with a middle-class neighborhood that is quiet at night (I’m sleeping again, for the first time in four years!) with tons of cheap nightspots (daughter and I had dinner for $40 last night; it would have run us $100 in Manhattan), I feel like I’m coming home.

Still some details to iron out, but maybe it will be my best year ever, too.

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