Fifth Avenue: Daily Glimpse 10.4.10

10/04/2010 Posted by Admin

She had appointments to see two apartments--one studio and one loft.  It was the loft that caught Leana's eye.
Overlooking Washington Square, her favorite place in New York, the loft was large and sunny and located on the fifth floor of a prewar building.  It had promise, and a few issues that could be fixed--it needed fresh paint, two of its windows were cracked and the carpet was worn and in need of updating.  Hardwood would work in here, she thought.  Maybe polished concrete.
Despite its flaws, the loft had character, a sense of style.  Her mind began to picture plants, clean ivory walls, paintings.  I could make this place my own.
The owner of the building, a thin woman who hadn’t stopped smiling, was standing in the middle of the living space, making sweeping movements with her arms. Copper bracelets winked and jangled. 
"What furniture's here is yours," she said, as if that would tip the balance.  “The bed, the desk, the table and chairs--all yours.  Some freak artist left them and the smell of cat piss behind.  If I hadn't had the carpets cleaned, you wouldn't be able to stand it in here." She wrinkled her nose, sniffed, and looked uncertainly at Leana. "You can't smell the piss, can you?"
"I can smell it," Leana said.  And I also can smell your desperation.
She stepped over to a window and watched a group of children run past the empty fountain to a flock of pigeons.  The birds took flight in a dizzying cloud of gray and black and white, and the children cheered.  Leana thought back to the last day she had been in the park.  It was the day the bombs exploded on top of her father's building.
It was the day the man had followed and harassed her.
She wondered if she made a mistake by not going to the police and filing a report on him, but decided she hadn't.  They wouldn't have caught him, but she decided if she did see him again, she at least would go to the police and get it on record.
The woman was standing behind her.  "Beautiful view, isn't it?"
It was, and Leana said so.
"There was a time, on a clear day, that you could see to the World Trade Center."  The woman actually stopped and genuflected.  She kissed her fingers and closed her eyes, as if to pray.
Leana was as sensitive as anyone about that day, the people who died there or were otherwise affected by it, but this was overkill.  This was a show.  Give me a fucking break.
The woman crossed her arms--jangle, jangle.  "So, what do you think?  It's originally $20,000 a month, but you look like a nice girl, one who won't cause me too many problems, so I’ll let you have it for $18,500--plus deposit."  She snapped a piece of gum and looked up at the ceiling.  "That's $36,000--up front, of course."
Leana barely had that in her savings account.  She knew her financial situation would improve once she sold her jewelry, but she didn't want to give any more money to this woman than she had to.  “That’s too much," she said. "Especially since your former tenant couldn’t keep his cats in check.  My price is $10,000."
"No way," the woman said.
“Then let’s get real.  You’ve got a problem here--take a whiff.  It’s the reason this place isn’t moving.  It's the reason someone like me is going to have to get someone in here and get the smell out.  What’s your best price?”
The woman turned and when she did, she breathed in through her nose.  "No less than “$15,000.”
“Okay,” Leana said.  “So, $12,500 and you’ve got yourself a deal right now.  I’ll cut you a check for $25,000 and we’re both happy."  Leana looked around the space.  “You also need to agree to repair those windows, pay for half the painting costs, and throw in a couple of fans.  Ironically, the air in here would kill a cat."
The woman tried to look affronted, but Leana saw relief in her eyes.
"Fans, windows and paint I can handle." 
"I thought you could."
She studied Leana a moment.  "You’re tough.  And you've got a good business sense, too.  I like that in a woman.  What did you say your last name was again?"
"I didn't," Leana said. "But it's Redman."
Something in the woman's eyes flashed and she lifted her chin. "I thought I recognized you," she said. "Are you as tough as you father and sister?"
"I'm tougher."
“So, you are.”
She wrote the woman a check.

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4 comments:

  1. pennblan said...

    shared on Facebook

  2. pennblan said...

    tweeted @penelope1111

  3. @graywolfpack said...

    tweeted http://twitter.com/#!/graywolfpack/status/26456977985
    graywolfpack5@yahoo.com

  4. @graywolfpack said...

    shared on facebook.com/graywolfpack as Jeff-Sue Legg
    graywolfpack5@yahoo.com