During all of our apartment hopping since coming to The City, we had a very brief stay in a little two-bedroom in East Harlem.
"Apartment Five" had its perks and detriments, like all the places we'd stayed.
It was a third-floor walk up. Let me tell you, Henry gets MIGHTY heavy after all those stairs when you're also dragging a very reluctant 2-year-old and coaching a distracted 4-year-old up the stairs. Nevermind the stroller.
But, it had a washer and dryer IN the unit! It was such a pleasure to open that little closet and see that little stacker-machine ready to turn my dirties into nice crisp piles all in ONE PLACE. Sigh.
But, there seemed to be an endless supply of cockroaches. And there weren't enough beds for everyone, so we had to get REALLY creative.
But...there were lots of super cool toys for the kids to play with. It was such a joy to hear them using their imaginations with each other, and they never got bored (unlike the place we are, now).
So we're learning that nothing is ever truly ideal, and everything is a series of compromises. You just have to find something that has the kind of benefits that make you look more gently on the detriments.
I am happy to haul the weekly laundry to the basement in favor of the safety of barred windows, that sort of thing.
So the third-floor walk-up was a compromise, but sure beat sleeping on the subway.
Two days into our stay, I walked into the bathroom to find a flood. It looked like an over-sized water-balloon filled with yellow sludge-water had exploded and coated everything.
And on the ceiling were suspicious paint-bubble-water-pods. You've seen 'em before, you know what I mean.
I immediately contacted the apartment owners (who were on vacation) to tell them what happened and get the name of their super.
They told me that leaks happen all the time, and not to worry about it, and they'd take care of it when they got back.
I told them it was yellow water, that there were pods in the ceiling, are you suuure?
They were sure.
So I put bowls beneath the places that were still dripping, and resolved to "watch it".
Returning home late that evening after picking Lizzie up from the airport (yay!), I told the kids to go brush their teeth. I ran ahead to make sure another water bomb hadn't happened (I sanitized the dickens out of that bathroom, and STILL didn't feel like it was clean enough. I even bought everyone new toothbrushes, just in case) - I still felt squidgy about the whole thing, but I certainly wasn't expecting this:
I couldn't even open the door, the floor was covered in rubble.
So I did what any rational woman would do in this situation. I screamed for Bill.
What ensued was a very exciting 24 hours. Happily, the Land-lady was the good kind, and the entire thing was fixed by the next evening.
I scrubbed that bathroom 4 times (our lovely hosts are expecting their second, and I was determined they would come home to a problem-free home), but I STILL don't feel like it's completely clean. Even the walls were coated by the dust of ceiling-debris.
But there's only so many times one can swiffer a floor (I love swiffer).
And that is the story of the shortest and most hazardous of our sublets.