28 February 2005

Weekend recap

The apartment I saw Saturday was almost exactly what I was looking for. By almost, I mean the only flaw is that it's tiny. Really tiny. But it has one of those loft type beds which increases the useable space, and it's well laid out, making the most of each space.

Home late Saturday night, as the train stopped at Carle Place and just ... sat. Word came that there was a medical emergency east of us, updated with info that it was a pedestrian accident.

I went back in Sunday morning, and saw about 7 apartments. Some interesting places. At one place in Hell's Kitchen (aka Clinton), [how could you live in a neighborhood named Clinton?--ed] I got there at 2.15pm, the open house was from 2-4 pm, and the doorman had no idea what I was talking about. Called the cellphone of a Daniel Cohen, the listing broker, who said he was running late, was at 65th and Lexington, could I wait? Had some extra time, so I grabbed a coffee and chilled for a bit.

Daniel showed up with his colleague, we saw the place. I signed in at all of these places with my email address, and a secondary address at that. This set of brokers really pushed me to leave a phone number, so that they could call me with leads. They showed up 45 minutes late for their own open house. That doesn't inspire me.

Finally returned to the tiny apartment, and made an offer. This was a FSBO so I spoke directly with the buyer. She said she had had several offers at asking, so I offered $312,000, $2K above asking, and stressed my qualifications as a buyer. She said I was the only one who asked financial questions and was willing to talk of my own financial picture. But she had promised 2 people who weren't able to come Sunday that she would show them the apartment. So I expect to hear back from her on Tuesday.

Walked through central park, looked at The Gates again, then made my way to Hunter College for the evening service of Redeemer Presbyterian. Had a few minutes to kill, so I browsed Shakespeares and Co. on Lexington between 69th and 70th. Quite a lefty store, and Mark Levin's Men in Black wasn't anywhere to be found.

Church service was good. Afterwards, I went back to the neighborhood of my prospective abode, and wandered around. Sat in a local pub, struck up conversation with the guy next to me, about the area, etc. He said it was the best neighborhood in the city, he just moved there two weeks ago. Called his real estate broker for a lowdown on my situation, and gave me her number.

On the train home, an Italian fellow named Diego sat next to me. He's from Rome.

"It is very special to be from Rome. You cannot choose where you are born, so it is ... how do I say it...?"

"As if the gods were smiling upon you?" I offered.

"Yes, yes. You understand."

"We say the same thing about New York."

"Paese che vai, usanze che trovi. It's an expression we use, it translates 'each country finds one who does it' "

"Things are the same all over the world?"

"Yes, yes, you understand. Are you sure you're not Italian?"

Finally to bed.