Block 668: May 22, 2015


Today we open our eleventh and final play of the season.

And they didn’t break me; despite their best efforts I am still standing. HA!

Date: May 22, 2015

Crane: 668

Days Spent on Project: 822

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: When I first saw what would be my last (for now) apartment in New York- in the upper reaches of Washington Heights- my skilled broker Jaymes said that getting the paperwork started would be a simple and straightforward process.

It never is. When you’re freelance and not rich, getting approved for an apartment lease is usually a terrifying and anxiety-ridden process.

Jaymes took me back to his broker’s “firm” on 23rd Street, and the paper signing began. Contracts and forms and signatures and releases and so much information all at one. Sign a check for a broker’s fee. Then, because I’m freelance, start all the paperwork again but using a guarantor’s information (Thanks Mom and Dad!).

Then, because brokers are sometimes awesome, you get a phone call saying that for “some reason” you filled out the paperwork incorrectly and have to do it again.

Clarification: New York real estate can sometimes feel like trying to diffuse a ticking time bomb. You want an apartment? State it immediately when you see it. Sign the paperwork THERE. By the time you take a subway ride back to an office, someone else might have already turned in their paperwork. Each time a step in the “approval process” is delayed, you’re left feeling helpless and angry and worried that someone else has beat you to it and that you’ll have to start the hunt all over again. Further Clarification: I thought Portland’s real estate market would be easier. It wasn’t and isn’t. There’s seemingly less than a 1% vacancy rate here, and it’s not uncommon to get into bidding wars… even on rental apartments. Sigh.

Anyway, the second time I filled out ALL the paperwork, I must have done it all *correctly.* I was approved. I was then taken to the Management Company’s office, where I was introduced to Val, who led me through a literal PILE OF PAPERWORK that needed my signature frequently to secure the rental.

Shoulda known then… that company was trouble.

As I’ve said before, that building had recently been bought by this company and I was the first “new” person to lease a place under their ownership. All the long-term tenants were pretty wary of me at first (my dog helped break the ice), as they believed (rightfully perhaps) that they’d be pushed out soon.

I only ever dealt with Val once, when I was signing those papers. Unlike Adam, the guy who replaced him, Val was minimally seen in the building and rarely helpful. It seems weird to send a Crane to Val therefore, don’t you think?

So, instead, I’ll just send this to the Management Company… Newcastle. They were my last (for now?) New York City Real Estate Empire to deal with, and I’m not too sure how I feel about them. My old neighbors, Ben and Ola, continue to post updates about the company and the building on Facebook, so I know they’re keeping it classy out there.

I’m also watching the Netflix series Daredevil right now. That the EVIL PERSON is a corrupt real estate magnate is giving me all sorts of angry PTSD flashbacks at night.

Not that Portland’s scene is any better, but maybe it is…

Music I Listened to while sewing: No music today, just the soft purring of my dog while he snores in his bed next to my desk.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: It feels like such a tease, this day.

It’s the last day for my shop to be on contract. We’re opening our last play of the season tonight, so the four employees (two drapers, one firsthand, and one craftsperson) are going off contract until the beginning of August. They have two months “off,” deservedly so, now. I’ll still be working over the summer- getting a headstart on the next season’s plays and work, cleaning the shop, painting the shop (!), etc. But, I am finally going to be able to take my two weeks of vacation time that is written into my contract.

I cannot wait.

I cannot wait to have things SLOW down again. I cannot wait not to have to juggle schedules of different people and needs all day. I cannot wait for a breather. I cannot wait to take time off. I cannot wait to “slack off” a bit. I cannot wait to hopefully get out and see Portland, other than this theater and my apartment and the Starbucks next door. I cannot wait to hopefully get across the river to the east side. I cannot wait to have, hopefully, some adventures. I cannot to meet, hopefully, other people.

I cannot wait.

So, I know I need to go to tonight’s Opening. But I think I’ll be sneaky and skip the show… I might only show up for the free drink afterwards, say hello to people, and then go home.

(Because in typical work fashion, while the building is closed on Monday and no one is working [It’s Memorial Day!], I have to be here to help the dry cleaners get access to the clothes we need cleaned for the next day’s performance.)

I am so ready to slack off some over the summer.

Fingers crossed.

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