Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Obama Would Be Proud of You.

What's worse than realizing the people you're subletting from will be home at 9:30 a.m. on the morning you're moving out? Their plane coming in early (when does that happen?) and having them show up at 6:50 instead.

We moved on Saturday and when we realized the tenants were coming home in the morning, we orchestrated an impressive exit strategy to be out by about 8:30-ish.

Noah and I stayed up late Friday night packing as neatly as possible and cleaning every inch of the apartment. But that still didn't distract from the fact our packed stuff took up half the apartment and there were two free couches standing upright in the living room. Not "we've destroyed your home in your absence" type of stuff, but also not what you want people to come home to after being away from their home for a month.

We woke up at 6:30 so Noah could be on the subway by 7:00 to pick up the rental truck in Long Island City the minute Ryder opened its doors. Noah left around 6:45 and a minute or two later, I dragged myself out of bed and descended the ladder from the loft just as my phone started to ring. I answered to hear Noah explain he'd just received a call from the tenants. As he left the apartment, he noticed a cab pull up and two guys begin to unload luggage. Employing the always-successful "if I ignore it it's not true" mentality, Noah kept his course and picked up the pace toward the subway. But he received a call a moment later explaining they were home, ("oh really? I never even noticed you as I ran past trying to ignore you... :)") and waiting in the deli next door. They know they're early, don't worry about rushing, but could they please drop their stuff off in the apartment?

As Noah is briefing me on the situation, it was literally like one of those scenes from a movie where the camera zooms in on the person's face to convey panic and makes it feel like the walls are closing in (I mean uber-cheesy 1980s cult classics, of course). In that moment, no task seemed surmountable... "I have to put in my contacts!" "Wash the two glasses in the sink! They can't come home to dishes in the sink!" "Where is my bra?!" (Okay, the last one was viable.)

After the initial shock wore off, I scurried next door to the deli, introduced myself, welcomed them home and ran off to the laundromat to throw in a load. And it really was uphill from there. Noah came back just as our amazing friends, the Andersons, showed up to help us haul things out. The tenants came back from breakfast and helped with the last few bags and we were out the door and moved in to our new place before 10:00 a.m.

Tabbi and Kami were in town from D.C. and were so sweet to offer to help us move in. Because we ended up way ahead of schedule, they got there after our stuff was all in, but just in time for us to throw them into the back of a Ryder truck as we drove downtown to pick up a mattress. Ah, always the classy hostess.
Our mattress ended up costing an additional $115 when we had to factor in the cost of a parking ticket on Wall Street. Highway robbery! So I was feeling a little blue about our expensive escapade and turned to my favorite source of comfort - free stuff on Craigslist.
I figured we had the truck for the entire day, we'd better make that baby work! I hopped on Craigslist, ready to sift through the typical stuff, when I found something beautiful. I am not ashamed to admit I squealed. I replied to the seller and my hands were shaking a little bit as I typed, "I can literally pick this up right now. I have a truck and can be there in 20 minutes." (For this is how you win the free stuff game. Possession is 10/10ths of the law.) He called back and we were officially the proud new owners of a sage green microfiber chaise lounge and an awesome black/distressed armoire. To make the drive to the Upper East Side really worth our while, we decided to splurge a whole $100 for a solid wood sleigh bed (hey, big spender...) that was also for sale in the same neighborhood.

We drove our loot back to our place and just as we parked, this gentleman on the street (who probably would have made me nervous in a dark alley...) came over and asked if we needed a hand moving the stuff. My fierce independence usually impedes this type of behavior, but I knew Noah would probably like me a little less after having to move heavy furniture with me as a partner. So I accepted the man's kind offer and he helped us haul everything out of the truck, into the building and right up to the apartment.

We were so touched by his kindness - in fact, we were blown away by the kindness of so many people that day. It seems New Yorkers get a bit of a bad rap for being inconsiderate or flat-out rude, but it has not been our experience for one minute.

While he was helping us haul furniture from the truck, his friend noticed and came over to lend a hand. When he continued to help haul the stuff into the building, his friend said, "Hey... hey, man. You are a good citizen, man. Obama would be proud of you." Yes, yes - I believe he would.


Whitney said...

that is awesome! welcome home! i am so happy that you got all moved in. i can't wait to come see your place! loved the story. i am so impressed with your craig's list skills! seriously. i was on there last night and i couldn't find anything! a free black distressed armoire? what? seriously impressed. you look great! take some pics of the new place!

Jen said...

I love you :) Thanks for making my day again
I think New Englanders (New York included, yes I know it is not in New England) all get a bad rap but they are really the most genuine people in the world.

su-tang 3000 said...

I miss you guys. :( That's right, a frowny emoticon. Now you know I'm serious.

lauren said...

seriously a great story. i am loving that you're having so many inimitable and note-worthy experiences. what an adventure! please post pics of the new place soon. :)

melissa said... need to sell your services as a master craigs lister.

What a great show of humanity - just one guy offering to help a couple who looked like they may need help. Sorta makes me tear up a little.

Hilarye said...

all i can say is HA! Allison you are classic. I love the visual of the classic eighties movie. You rock!

Jessica said...

That is a classic line...I must remember to live so that Obama would be proud of me, too :) And how I love Craig's list..I'm glad its treating you well too.

sorensenpower said...

They really could make a movie out of your experience in NYC.

Tabbi said...

Kami and I are still waiting to see pictures of this amazing furniture! Hope you're doing well!