Where did this summer go? Yesterday, I signed up for this meeting on 8-9-2007 thinking that I wouldn't be going to it for a month or so. When I went to add the date to my calender I realized that the meeting was starting in 6 hours. It's so bizarre that I totally blanked on the fact that we're in month 8 of 12. Meaning that the summer is closing. I had grand plans to make the most of this summer. Every previous summer I regretted that I didn't take advantage of all the free events that were happening in the city. This summer I was more prepared: I checked every free events list that I was sent, and signed up for multiple email listserves, and added dates to the calendar.
I didn't have plans to attend every single free event, just the few that interested me, but I'm kind of behind. I missed just about every free dance performance that happened this summer. I love dance, but most of those performances were clumped together in the past two weeks. Michael was visiting, so I just couldn't make them. Hopefully, I'll do some catch up this weekend. And I need to make my own list of free event resources for next year.
Anyway, summer was pretty good. Nothing truly exciting happened. I went to NC in the days I would have been in Costa Rica (no longer bitter about that), which was pretty dull, but it satisfied my curiosity about whether I would like to live there (I won't).
I'm still in a pseudo relationship with Kareem. By name, we are "broken up", "ex's" etc. I have no desire to get back in a relationship with him, but we're still doing all the stuff we're used to do as a couple. Except argue. We get along much better these days. I'm not gonna analyze this too much. It doesn't feel emotionally unhealthy, so I'm not gonna worry about it.
The bad news is that I'm having apartment issues. The water pressure is really weak sometimes, and sometimes cuts out entirely. I and other neighbors have complained about it, but nothing has improved. The landlord's secretary keeps insisting that it's DEP and the whole street is having this problem, but I actually had someone from DEP come out and look at it and they said it was a building problem. Even the plumber the landlord sent over said that it was a plumbing issue. I still haven't followed up with the city because that means I'll have to take a day off from work to let them into my building which I don't wanna do. But the whole business puts me in a very sour mood, so I should get this resolved as soon as possible.
I had a mouse visitor a couple weeks ago although the exterminator thinks that he found the hole it was getting in through and that I won't have a problem anymore. And then I've been seeing roaches with surprising frequency as opposed to rarely seeing any before a couple months ago. Neighbor Jane was having a problem which I attributed to the fact that her kitchen looks like she cleans it twice a year, and now I think they've spread to me. Kareem said that the Combat roach motels are really effective so I bought a bunch and he's going to help me distribute them all over the place.
I'm just really annoyed with the whole situation because, as Kareem pointed out, what the hell are the doing with my rent money? With the exception of the water problem, which comes and goes, the apartment is fairly livable, but its just so ugly. The building is pretty shabby, any repairs that have been done were done poorly and sloppily. Even if they just retiled the entryway, it would make a world of difference and not even cost that much for them. It's a little embarrassing to invite people over because the entrance looks so bad.
And in the past two buildings I lived in they sent over an exterminator every month. This place with a known roach and mouse problem only sends people over when tenants complain. There's no live-in super like my previous apartments had. In my last apartment the super cleaned the hallway floors every morning and came over immediately when you had a problem. He even accepted deliveries. In addition, ever since I moved in, I've been receiving notices from both Con Ed and Keyspan that the landlord hasn't been paying the buildings utility bills and it might affect utility services in public areas. Both Kareem and Jane say not to worry, Con Ed threatens, but won't actually cut out electricity to the building, but still...Where the hell does my rent payment go? They are fairly responsive with addressing my complaints, but always send over half-assed solutions. Inept exterminators, plumbers that look at my faucet when they know the plumbing is the problem, terrible carpenters that can't make a drawer that properly fits my kitchen cabinet. If they aren't paying any utility bills, setting up regular maintenance visits, and hiring competent service men, the least they could do is invest in proper plumbing. Otherwise what am I paying them for? I'm just waiting for them to give me cause enough to insist on rent abatement, just waiting. I could use the extra money.
My dissatisfaction with my apartment is increased because of the fact that I just discovered Nice Bed Stuy. Just a few blocks north and a few blocks east of my apartment is the good part of Bed Stuy. While my street is close to transportation and fairly safe due higher traffic, it is also very ugly commercial space filled with an insane amount of of hair salons, nail salons, beauty supply places, fast food joints, bodegas, and litter. On the other hand, Nice Bed Stuy is one of the nicest areas I've seen in the entire city. Macdonough between Lewis and Stuyvesant Ave's frequently places in the Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest. It was absolutely beautiful display of townhouses and gardening.
The area has businesses that aren't in the beauty or junk food industries. Like a bookstore, a gardening store, a tiny Saturday Summertime Green Market, and food establishments with waiters. And where's the litter? I even ran into a block party featuring a jazz band that was playing one of my favorite jazz songs, "Autumn Leaves". Nice Bed Stuy makes me happy. It's just a nice place to walk around. My area is simply functional. The price is right, and I appreciate being located near a full sized grocery store and reliable public transportation, but its just a place to live. Nice Bed Stuy is a place to hang out in. So I'll keep an eye out for affordable apartments in the area, though there probably isn't much, we saw a two bedroom condo selling for 500 grand. Rent probably isn't all that cheap and I certainly am not excited about going through the hassle and cost of moving just yet, but it doesn't hurt to look.
I picked up a freelance project in another department, which is over now. It kept me pretty busy for the past month+, which is probably why the time flew by, I spent at least half of July not doing much but working and keeping up with my two favorite summer shows: Hell's Kitchen and So You Think You Can Dance. I think in Sept (perhaps Oct) I'm starting another freelance project within my own department, which will take a bit of my time.
Once September comes, I'm gonna focus on other things: meeting new people, volunteering, learning more, and perhaps taking a couple classes at the 92nd street Y. I'm excited.