Our neighborS (plural) have dogS (plural) and it's kind of funny and kind of sad to see how alert Zelda gets when she hears the scuffling or barking. The ones that live behind us might just get an anonymous gift package including, but not limited to: a Gentle Leader collar, a Barker Breaker, and some Doggy Downers. Other suggestions are welcome. Little yippy buggers back there.
There's also a guy in the house next door whom we have lovingly nicknamed T-Pain, given his resemblance to the rapper. Each afternoon he brings a big rubbermaid table and wooden dining chair out onto his front porch and sets up with his macbook, a plate of food and a glass of orange soda. It looks like he is studying something, but we haven't struck up any conversations yet, so I'm not making any assumptions.
When we visited in June, we were told that this apartment (and the whole building) was being totally renovated. Refinished hardwood floors, new appliances, fresh paint, new duct work and heating systems, nearly new (repurposed) cabinetry and closets, and secure storage in the basement were promised.
A few new Definitions I have learned since we moved into this apartment.
"Refinished Hardwood Floors" = Hardwood floors that once were new and lovely, and that could be salvaged by a good sanding and stain job are instead coated with a thick, shiny, oily brown paint(?) that is peeling up already. The flooring in the kitchen actually looks new, but is made up of two different kinds of boards that don't really match. Not bad, just strange, I suppose. I could just be being picky.
"New Heating System" = Exposed vents and ductwork (that we were sort of warned about) that look like afterthoughts in some rooms. One of the closets (that looks like it used to be a walk-in utility closet) was cut in half to house the heating unit. Other accessories include irregular holes in floors approx 2 inches around from where the old radiators were pulled up. One such hole was found to be plugged up with a piece of cardboard that had been filled with caulk and then painted over into the hole.
Which, on a side note, leads me to a certain clause in our lease that states that "mice are inevitable". Well, sure they are, when you leave perfect little mousy sized holes all over the place that practically scream "come on in, it's nice and warm in here!" Idiots.
"All New Windows" * except for the two big awkward square ones in the living room and the strange wee tiny one in the bathroom. Those can stay old, dirty, and heat-seeping. Let's see how well that new Heating System holds up....
"Recycled/Repurposed Cabinetry" = 2 hanging and one standing cabinet in the kitchen that came from Goodwill, were not repainted or cleaned at all, and the standing one has a counter with a backsplash attached crooked and sideways. In the middle of the kitchen. With the drawers facing the hallway. Also includes One Large Cabinet in the living room that would make a really great coat closet except that it still had the wierd racks in it that look like it was used for cafeteria trays or science lab trays or something. Jake has since fixed that (read: removed the stupid racks and hung a closet pole), so that particular piece is actually rather useful now.
"New Appliances in Kitchen" = hmm. ok, no this one's ok. Totally brand new fridge and gas stove (WOO HOO GAS STOVE!!!!)
"Storage and Coin-Op Washer/Dryer in Basement" = Well, yes, they are there, just not in any sort of working order.... There is one washer and two dryers (for 6 apartments) and the washer looks older than me and dirty, and the dryers have what looks like engine oil puddled in them, and no coin slot, therefore no way of turning them on. I've found a less-than-shady laundromat a few blocks down from the restaurant where I work. The storage units are in fact there - made from what looks like doors and shutters that have no doubt been pulled from this very building over the last few months - but they, unfortunately, are not securable due to gigungous holes in the framework and missing slats. That's Jake's project for this week, since we told the rental agency about it a week ago and they have ignored our requests.
"Freshly Painted" = Yes, indeed, it was done recently, but either with such old paint, or by such a heavy hand that the doors to the built-in cabinets in the living room and the door to the bathroom don't close. Yes, the door to the BATHROOM doesn't close. There's also tons of drops of this lovely thick paint all over the floor under the oil-slick of a treatment, which makes for some really pretty texture.....
A few minor notes, though no less frustrating:
~ Half of the outlets are installed upside down.
~ The security system for the entire building is in our living room, and chirps wildly starting around 8am.
~ Nothing in this apartment is level, square, plumb, or straight. All of our furniture leans. Wildly. Drunkenly.
Not all is lost. The place has really cool high ceilings, lots of natural light, a bigger kitchen than our last place - with a GAS STOVE!! (have I mentioned that yet? I'm really happy about that), and room for a dining table! We haven't had a dining table since Bristol! The build-in cabinets in the living room are pretty neat (now that Jake has scraped enough paint out of the hinges for them to close), and there's a nook that's the perfect size for the big hutch we just acquired from my aunts.
Look at that, 2 posts in a week. I'm on a roll!