Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I'm Gonna Be a Part of It...

Most of you know the saga, what has transpired since we've arrived here in NYC. And through it all, I've resented my landlord. I see him as a ganuf, (thanks Super Churchlady.), which is a Yiddish term meaning "thief, dishonest person, scoundrel." In my mind, all of this has been his fault. And really, it is. But after reading yesterday's article, I realized a few things. Now what I realize is probably common sense to either those who've lived here for a certain amount of time, or to those who are just older and wiser, or just wiser.

#1) There's really no such thing as NORMAL is New York City, except if you have a whole heck of alot of money. Then you just buy normal. But if you don't have a lot of money, you are basically S.O.L. Either you are at the mercy of those who have a lot of money, or live outside of Manhattan and then you can have close to normal again. But here in Manhattan, it helps to be rich.

#2) I think this going around the permits and C.O. thing happens often in the city. The Brooklyn building had been happily inhabited for ten years, and not once did anyone raise objection, until this past week, when for some reason the Department of Buildings chose that day out of all days to evict the tenants. So if our building had been completed when we moved in, no one would have filed complaints with the DOB, and we would have been happy neighbors...for a while at least. Buildings are inspected once a year, it seems, so our eviction might have happened eventually.

#3) Who's really the bad guy in these situations? Did the DOB really have to evict those tenants? On the coldest day we've had. (And it really was the coldest. I had to stand in a line outside for an audition. It was painful.) They give everyone one day to get out? And the tenants weren't at fault. They did nothing. Why couldn't the DOB just work with whoever to fix the problems?

#4) My landlord may be a ganuf, but maybe he's not the bastard that I've thought him to be. For one, he did allow us to stay down the hall, a bigger apartment for the same price. Two, if it's common to take shortcuts, then he did a common thing, and had a run of bad luck at it. Or made a bad decision to move people in too soon, because he's a ganuf. Still, he knew our line of apartments did not meet fire code. That's a big deal. That's not something that a man who owns 8 buildings in Manhattan doesn't know.

All in all, for some reason that article made me forgive my landlord. There must be a war that goes on between landlords and government officials, and sometimes the tenants get the brunt of it. It's unfair. But my story doesn't seem that bad after I read their story. And unfair might just be what we have to endure for a while. It's alright.

If you can MAKE it here, you can make it..(Bum Bum) ANYWHERE, its up to YOU....New York, Ne-ew YORK!!!!


Chaotic Hammer said...

Well, your initial reaction to being wronged by somebody who knew full well what he was doing seems normal to me.

But your willingness to forgive and look beyond the wrong is a reflection of the One whose child you are.

Super Churchlady said...

I agree whole-heartedly with chaotic hammer. That is to say....AMEN, Brother.

However, since you've started your building your Yiddish vocabulary, I must add one more word to your repertoire....Mensch. You, my dear, are a mensch.

Here's the definition:
mensch or mensh (Yiddish from German)
A person having admirable characteristics, such as fortitude and firmness of purpose.

majorsteve said...

I have a slightly different take; the building owner is supposed to pay off the local officials on a regular basis to keep everything cool. He missed one too many payments.