Life in my building
The new windows are in, and they plastered today. Last step is Friday or Monday. It's gone fairly smoothly. No word on when screens are coming, and the blinds can't be put back until then, so I'll have to live with blanket, towel, and/or brown paper covering the windows for a while.
The best byproduct is that I've met more neighbors the last 2 days than in the prior 36 years. Because my neighbor down the hall has an elderly mother in a wheelchair, they were allowed to spend installation day in a basement conference room I never knew existed. We were talking as we opened our doors to let the workers in, so they had me join them. Today, I sat in the lobby during the plastering (it wasn't as messy or noisy, but I'd rather not be around) and met several other neighbors waiting out their window installation. All had been in the building a long time and we never saw each other before (partly because we're on low floors and don't often take the elevator).
In the spirit of housecleaning, I finally trashed my childhood bed that's sat in the closet since 1987, and a dilapidated bedroom couch that basically served as a book repository. NYC requires these to be wrapped, so I used some plastic sheeting on the couch, and bought bed bags for the mattress/box spring. I had to tip a worker to carry them out, as well as tip the plasterer (who rang the bell after he was done to ask if he did a good job - I hadn't been there when he finished. The work appears to be OK, but I was kind of forced to tip), and 2 other guys when they hung up the plastic (the concierge sent them up Friday morning - I was struggling, and this was a huge help). Turns out the guys came back at 8:30 am on windows day to help me finish; we couldn't seal off the bed, computer area, and bathroom since I had to live there, but I was unclear if they were coming back and had already done it. Total tips: $110.
I'll clean up more when the job is complete, but I haven't noticed the massive dust some are complaining about. However, the workers apparently broke the seal in the bathroom hallway to use the bathroom, as an untaped closet in that area blew out dust when I opened the door. Grrr, should have taped it anyway (the untaped bedroom closet inside a tented area was fine). Still, not too bad.
Found out from a neighbor that the guy on the other side of my terrace divider feeds birds, which explains their recent influx and the associated droppings (ugh). I don't have the heart to complain about him, since he's disabled and this is one of his few pleasures in life. They suggested using a fake owl to scare birds away. Speaking of wildlife, I hear there are rats in the parking lot at night (shudder), and my neighbor had a BAT fly in!