The Apartment Scramble
My building is like New York. My specific apartment is very like New York. It is one room about 15 or 20 feet square. My kitchen is in what used to be a closet and consists of a dorm-room fridge, a hot plate, and a toaster oven. There are larger apartments in the building, and my landlord told me when I moved in I could move up in the future.
It's a pre-war building, it's very cool. The exterior is stone up to the second floor, yellow brick from there up, and then a stone cornice at the top. It has steam heat. My apartment has a telephone jack that takes a cord as big as co-axial cable.
My landlord is an enigma. I really can't figure him out. He seems to forget things - I don't think he's malicious, but it is annoying. For the past six months I have been reminding him about getting me into a larger apartment. He got it into his head that I wanted a specific sort of larger apartment, and so he has leased two in the past month to other people. One of these is at the end of my hall and I would have only had to move about thirty feet. I was pissed.
Then, on Tuesday, the guy who lives in the apartment next to that one was in here. To make small talk I commented that he had new neighbors, and that I had wanted that apartment but the landlord leased it someone else.
The guy said, "You want mine? I'm leaving at the end of July."
O generous fortune, that smiling benefits those who wait.
I haven't seen the apartment in question, but I want it. The guy said it has two rooms plus a kitchen, and those apartments have real kitchens. Plus it's on the side of the building that faces the street, and in the living room it has a huge metal-framed casement window.
I realised this is what getting a different apartment in the building, or even getting into the building to begin with at all, takes. Networking. It had crossed my mind to post a notice in the lobby, asking if anyone was leaving, and could I have their apartment. Just like New York.