About Me

A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The $3000 shower

With business becoming more successful, my current 1BR has gotten more and more "cozy."  When Steve Mancino, Myke Cole and Peter V. Brett helped paint 2+ years ago in part of it and I threw out a lot of stuff in the process of moving things around and back into place, I'd guessed that gained me another 2 years of comfortable enjoyment.  With that 2-year clock ticking, I started looking at 2BR seriously last summer and came very close to buying a really nice one right in my own building.  But after having an accepted offer, another buyer came in a week later offering $4K more and 50% down, and my dreams were short-lived.  Nothing to be done about it really.  Even though I had a sense that True Blood would put more money in my pocket this spring, it's not a good idea to buy real estate with money you hope to have in eight months.

I picked up the search again several weeks ago when a quiet time for my JABberwocky existence gave me a little house-hunting time, and I had a contractor come around to do estimates on fixing up 2 possible new apartments and then fixing up this place for sale after I moved out.  And then after doing that, I got to thinking that I could fix up my bathroom and in particular replace my dreadful vintage 1930s shower box with something newer without having to uproot the business, and that if I was going to do that to fix up the apartment for the next people to come in, why not do it now so I could actually enjoy my shower for however many months I might be hanging around.

So we did that this week.

Wow!  Imagine taking a shower where you don't have to keep adjusting the hot water upward because it keeps cutting out, because the alternative of running it full out makes you sense the dwindling life expectancy of the shower with every gallon of water.  With a full rich spray.   I wish I'd done this years ago.    Not long after I moved in when we had an awful super I wasn't willing to trust even for replacing a washer, a plumber did that in the shower and suggested replacing the shower box, and I was like "yeah, come to do a washer and he wants to turn it inot this big thing."  In recent years I twice had to turn off the hot water in my apartment and wait on having a handyman come in to futz with the innards of my 70-year-old shower box.  Well, let's just hope the new one will still be making me happy in six weeks.

The contractor also stripped the old wallpaper and gave the upper half of the walls a nice paint job to match the tile work.

I'm still debating whether to move to a 2BR in a nice art deco building 10 blocks away, further from the PO, the bank and the walk into Manhattan (probably same by subway) and overlooking a firehouse.  I'm also toying with waiting just a bit longer and moving into the newer more expensive buildings in Long Island City that have been sprouting up in recent years.  It's possible with the housing market where it is that I might for the first time in my life be able to build a down payment faster than LIC/Sunnyside real estate prices could go up.

Brillig posts have been lacking in recent weeks.  But I'll try and put a few more up before heading off to London Book Fair.


I. M. Bitter said...

Good luck with the house hunting! I've read in the NY Times recently that the market is really softening in the City (and boroughs).

In the mean time, congrats on the new shower.

Lisa Iriarte said...

Hmm. Overlooking the firehouse, eh? That means you'll really hear the sirens every time there's a fire, right? Of course, you wouldn't need to worry much about your own building burning down.

On a completely unrelated note, I just finished Adam-Troy Castro's Third Claw of God. I review it here:


if you're curious, but I know how busy you must be, so I'll just say that I loved it. I also heard he won the Philip K. Dick award for the first book in that series. Awesome!

I'm actually going to meet him at a conference in May, but I've been chatting with him online. Seems like a great guy.

Congrats to you both!

Lisa Iriarte

The Brillig Blogger said...

glad you liked Third Claw of God! We're very excited about the Philip K. Dick Award!!

Tim Akers said...

Glad you got your shower resolved. Our's is *this* close to being finished. Now there's just the siding...the kitchen...the downstairs bath...my office...

Lynxswift said...

I would say I got used to the firehouse after a few months. The problem being is that sound in the neighborhood easily travels through my window air conditioner. But, the summer months are particularly grating, since there seem to be multiple emergency calls during the day and night. The new buildings sound awesome. New constructions have a lot of benefits. No bugs and pests (at least for a few years), everything works brand new, and no ghosts O.o'.

Myke Cole said...

Well, see, you shouldn't have gone advertising the new shower. Because now, the next time I'm in town I'm going ask to crash at your place.

That is, so long as the Bo Concept Clik-Clak couch we got you still folds out into a bed.