Monday, August 18, 2008


Okay, okay I know you're reading this blog because I get emails from you telling me you're reading this here thing.

But, and you know, there's always a but, I wish you weren't so damn shy!

That's right, I'm asking, no I'm begging you, please write a comment. You can, it's open to anyone and I'd love to read them.

It just breaks my heart that I have zero comments.

Do you really want to make a blond cry? Wait, don't answer that!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The bunny

I get a call from a Columbia student who's interested in seeing the apartment. I have an appointment downtown and tell her I can show the place between x and x time. She assures me that she'll be there.

Nope she's not.

I grab my bag and am ready to head out the door, I should have left 20 minutes ago, but I waited. Just as my hand reaches the doorknob

Zzzzzzzzzzzt! Zzzzzzzzzzzt! That's my door buzzer. Zzzzzzzzzzzt!Zzzzzzzzzzzt!

"Hi, I called you earlier, I'm here to see the room."
"Come on up." I sigh, I'm going to be late.

I hear the knock on the door, open it up and in walks a short, rather chubby woman dressed ala Lolita. We're talking pig tails, knee highs, shorts and a top that wasn't picked for comfort. It's a super tight, too short tee that shows off her rolls of leftover baby fat and tons of college food fat.

She bounces in.

"I'm sorry but we're going to have to make this fast. As I told you on the phone, I had to leave at a certain time for a business appointment. If you want to come back another time or..."

She bounces into the apartment. Seriously. Bounces in, pig tails flying, fat jiggling, she moves like a toddler in a playground who really has to pee. Bad.

"Oh no, I can look now."

I briefly show her the place, fuming under my breath. She looks at the bedroom, looks at the apartment. Then she whirls and twirls around the living room over and over again.

"Hey, I gotta go."

"You know, " she looks at me and attempts to strike a lascivious pose. I fold my arms and stare at her. "I never pay for my rent."

"That's nice. Get out."


"C'mon, shoo."


"Take your act somewhere else."

I practically propel her and I out of the apartment. I lock up. She's still staring at me.

I keep moving towards the elevator. Slowly it enters into her head that I'm not buying her bs. She starts to do that toddler shuffle walk. As she sees me open the elevator door, and it's obvs by my actions that I'm not going to wait for her, she changes her walk to that of an adult, gets in and sulks all the way to the first floor.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Phone Call

Well I've been showing the place to some people, they were nice, but indecisive, so I'm still running the ad, showing the place etc., while they make their decisions.

This morning I get a phone call from a woman.

"I got your number from the website."

"Okay, how can I help you?"

"Well I'm in Atlanta now, and I'll be in New York on Sunday and only need a room until September 1st."

"I'm sorry, but if you'll notice in the ad, I'm renting by the month, not the day."

(shades of the screaming Columbia student).

"Well I just need it for two weeks."

"I understand that, but as I said, I'm not looking to rent the room by the night."

"There's no way someone will move into your place in the middle of the month."

"Look, I'm not going to argue with you. As a matter of fact, I've been showing it and have people who are interested in moving in now. If you want to stay here for two weeks, it would be $180 a night."

"No, no, no, that's too expensive. You need to come down in money."

"It's still cheaper than a hotel and no I don't. I said I don't want to rent it for the night."


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Just to clarify, this is part of what's stated in my ad

- sunny, furnished share in 2 bd, all incl, close to all.

- one bedroom, 11 X 13 in size, in a 2 bedroom apartment. The bedroom is fully furnished and has its own TV/Cable and AC unit. The bedroom also has two windows, two closets (big) and hardwood floors.

Um, like, y'know, like, um, yeah..pssh

Walking the dog this morning the phone rings.


"Like Hello?"


"Like Hi? I'm like y'know calling....."

I have not had coffee yet, is this a bad dream?


What does this woman want?

"Um, like yeah, like I'm calling about the ad?"

"How can I help you?"

"Well, like you know, I'm like calling like for more information?"

"Okay, and how can I help you?"

"Well like you know, it's like I'm calling for like me and my friend?"

"Yes, and how can I help you?"

"Like is this like a one bedroom?"

"It's a one bedroom in a two bedroom apartment"

"Like, you know, like how does the sub-lease work??"

"You'd rent the open bedroom in the two bedroom apartment"

"Oh, like you know, um, like it's not a one bedroom?"

"The ad states that it's a furnished one bedroom in a two bedroom apartment"

"Oh, like forget it, like we'll go down the list."

Like, y'know, like, um she like hung up.

Friday, August 8, 2008


The one thing I've not done with my apartment is decorate it well. Oh no, I don't live in a pit, but since I have had roommates for many years I decided not to try to make this place into a photo shoot for New York Magazine because I have people moving in for a few months to a year and don't want them to (a) take something as a souvenir or (b) destroy the place.

The apartment is comfy in look and feel, but that's about it. I can't see myself spending time and money on making it look like a showplace when I've got strangers trooping about.

Here are two experiences I've had with people and decor.

The phone call.

I get a call from a young gent who's doing an internship at the UN. Chatting with him on the phone, it becomes obvious that he has no clue about housing in the city, the city or reality itself. Oh to be a clueless naive college student again!

He asks me about the neighborhood, commuting and the usual things one asks. Then, for the first time I get this question

Guy: So what's the decor like?
Me (completely clueless): decor? What decor?
Guy: The decor of the apartment? How did you do it? Does the place look nice
Most renters are more concerned about location, location, location and budget, budget, budget than anything else.
Me: It's fine. Why?
Guy: Well, I want to live in a beautiful home.
Me; Look, I have people living here for anywhere from three months to two years; I don't know these people when they move in. This place is comfortably but not expensively done.
Guy: Why not? You live there?
Me: You want to pay for something you destroy? Would you like to spend time and energy on making a lovely home only to have someone either take pieces or wreck it?
Guy: Oh.

He saw it anyway but opted not to take it. Which is fine, if someone is more concerned with how something looks.....

Re-decorator number 2

A college student comes over to take a look at the apartment. As I'm showing him around, I'm giving him the spiel (I have it memorized), "So if you want to re-arrange the furniture in the bedroom you can. If you'd like to hang something up in the bedroom walls, you can. You'd live here, so I'd want you to feel that this is your home."

He looks around and walks through the kitchen.

"What about your stuff?" He looks at me expectantly.
"My stuff?
"Well I don't like anything of yours, where would you put your stuff?"
I take him gently by the arm and walk him to the front door.
"You know," I say, "I think you need to find your own place."
I open the door and shoo him out.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

This was scary

When placing and ad in Craigslist, you're bound to get voice mails. Most voice mails are benign, and then there are those that make you wonder about even calling the person back. Saturday I got one of those and I am so kicking myself in the butt for not saving it and transcribing it in all its glory here. I am going to do my best to transcribe it.

The phone rang at 7 pm, I don't know why I didn't hear the phone ring, I've got an AC/DC song as my ringer so you'd think I could hear that damn thing anywhere, but I missed it.

I notice that I have a message, I listen to it- please note all remarks made within the parens are mine

The message was from a woman with a super heavy Southern accent. What she said and how she said it made me think she was reading from a script.

"Hello and good evening. My name is Robin and I am sorry for calling you so late (late? It's barely 7 pm on a Saturday night), but I have been working very long hours every day this week and could not call you until now (this is New York City, we all work long hours). I saw your ad in Craigslist and did send you an email on July 30 but you never emailed me back (um, no, I checked). Your ad states the size of the bedroom, but I require the entire dimensions of the apartment. If you would be so kind as to call me at this number, 917-XXX-XXX, leave your name, your address, the dimensions of the entire apartment. I require the measurements of all the rooms in the apartment, i will call you back if your dwelling fits my needs (like I have nothing better to do then run around my place with a measuring tape). So please do leave me a voice mail with all of that information. Thank you so very much for your time. Once again, this is Robin and my number is 917-XXX-XXXX"

I would have replayed the message back, but she rambled close to three minutes and I just couldn't bear it again. I checked my missed call log and noticed that her call came in as "unknown." Why is she being so cloak and dagger? Why is she so freaking weird? My curiosity piqued, I called her back. Her call phone rang and rang and rang. Eventually the voice mail picked up. For someone who's desperate for a place to live, she's screening her calls.

Immediately red flags start flying at full mast. I start wondering what other problems she may be having in her life, besides the obvious one; she needs a place to live. If she's this long winded and demanding in a phone message, what the hell is she like in real life.

Sometimes my curiosity gets the best of me, so I leave her a quick voice mail with my phone number asking her to call me back.

I hear nothing back as the days go by; this is nothing new, I've had people make appointments to see the place and not show up.

Wednesday afternoon, I get off the subway and am walking home. It's been a long hot sticky day. I get the voice mail tone buzzing from cell phone. Whoo boy, it's Robin. What's more she's sounding pissed off. WTF? She's desperate for a place to live and she's pissed at me?

In a nutshell, her message states that I didn't leave my name, the address, the dimensions of the apartment, the square footage etc., etc., and I must immediately call her back with all that information or else. This is weird, this is very weird. I call back, and guess what, I get voice mail again. I simply tell her that her messages are disconcerting and please don't call me any more.

A few hours later my cell rings, caller ID says its "unknown," I pick it up and it's Robin.


"This is Robin, and you did not leave me any information about yourself or your apartment."

"Robin, I'm sorry but you didn't tell me how long you wanted to rent the room or any other information in your voicemail. "

"Well I need to know with whom I am speaking with before I divulge any information to the caller."

"Robin, to be honest with you, I'm not interested in showing you the apartment, to say the least. your messages are disconcerting and I'm not interested. I wish you the best of luck. Good bye."

I hang up.

The phone rings again, and yes it's Robin.

"You need need to..."

I cut her off, "Robin, I don't know you and don't have anything to say to you. Please don't call me again."

I hang up.

The phone rings again, and yes it's Robin. Again.

Before she can even speak, "Robin it's pretty obvious you have issues, please don't call me again."

I hang up.

The phone rings again, and yes it's Robin. Again.

I put the phone down on my desk, I vaguely hear her ranting and raving, I'm not listening. I figured if she got it all off her chest I wouldn't hear from her again.

So far I haven't.