Block 665: May 19, 2015


Tuesday. Feels like Thursday. Or maybe I’m just delusional. Or hopeful.

Date: May 19, 2015

Crane: 665

Days Spent on Project: 819

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: I’ll continue to thank the brokers that I worked with in New York City. Not because I think NYC brokers are amazing people- mind you- but because they get you into some frustrating situations.

Why is finding an apartment so hard? Why is it so compounded and uber-frustrating to find a place to live in New York? Those are rhetorical questions with no spoken answers needed obviously.

When I decided I needed to move in 2012, out of my “glorious” one bedroom apartment on the UES, it was for a mix of reasons. One, the rent was too damn high. I was finally forced to realize that consistent work that paid wasn’t going to be my career path. As much as the Broadway and assisting did pay the bills, my apartment was sucking up most all that income. Two, the building was obviously gross, and I couldn’t ignore that the conditions of the “public” spaces weren’t ever going to be fixed. Third, the Second Avenue Subway line (which might never be finished) was starting to encroach on the building outside. Explosions from underground could be felt frequently. This also meant that rats were becoming more present in the building and on the street; forced out of their underground spaces, they were obviously making their new homes on the streets and near my apartment. Fourth, my new neighbors were… crazy? Fifth, my building had been bought, and the new owners weren’t renewing any of our leases.

(I just found out, via the Internet, that my old building on Second Avenue is being demolished to make room for a new “luxury condo high rise.” New York has moved on without me!)

As I started to look for my new place, I decided on either Astoria or Washington Heights. Astoria didn’t really thrill me, as I wanted to stay on the island, and Washington Heights seemed okay… the higher you went.

I finally found a broker named Jaymes G., who was more than happy to “work with me.” We eventually found my apartment, and I immediately said I was interested and would happy to start paperwork. The apartment was currently under construction/remodeling, so I would be lucky enough to benefit from new kitchen appliances, lighting, paint, bathroom fixtures. It was too good to be believed.

Unfortunately, my management company was the stereotypical “evil management company” and living in the building wasn’t always pleasant because of them, but that’s for later.

I think I was Jaymes’s first client. He seemed new to all of it; even walking me around Manhattan, I would have to lead him around, find the buildings, and show him where subway stops were… And, in the end, the apartment *he* found was just a matter of luck; I was scheduled to see the same apartment later the same day with a different broker. (Oddly, in true NYC style, he and I managed to “sneak” into the building and check out the space… before we were supposed to, if you catch my drift.)

I didn’t enjoy the process, but do any of us really? And, for what it’s worth, it was a great apartment and the building was much better, and the neighborhood- Washington Heights- did grow on me. If I could have afforded to stay in New York, I would have wanted to stay there. It fit the bill. Honestly, it did.

Music I listened to while sewing: Madonna apparently released remixes of her newest single- “Ghosttown” yesterday. That’s my jam today.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: So, today, I had a shop meeting with the people I *manage*.

And– among other things like using up all your paid personal time and vacation time before they go off contract this week (not too hard since we have nothing to do right now) and who’d be around to call for “emergency repairs” for the rest of our two productions– I started to talk about next season’s schedule. When did I think a good period would be to take vacations or time off. When did I think all hands HAD to be on deck. What did I surmise about the workload and the people we’d be working with.

It dawned on me, after an hour of sitting there and talking, that was my verbal way of saying, “I’m staying here next season.”

I don’t think I’ve ever confirmed that I’d be staying with any of the people I manage.

Not that I ever told them this was a temporary thing (even though I secretly tell myself it’s okay if this IS just a temporary gig for whatever reasons), but I’m sure the thought must have been in their minds.

So, let’s face it. I’m here in Portland for the next season. Even though I’m not 100% thrilled by the workload facing us, it’s my job and I have so much work to accomplish here… if they admit it or not, I have work to do here.

And maybe this work here will help me figure out the work I need to do elsewhere to keep my fires burning, you know? Maybe I’ll settle into this life and start to develop a routine? Maybe it will start to feel like a place for me? Maybe I’ll get my passion projects started? Maybe I’ll find something else?

It has been nice living with less anxiety- about money, about rent, about bills, about healthcare, etc.- here. It has been nice.

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