Friday, May 11, 2012

Rose Trees in New York City

The lovely and talented Jamie H, off-broadway actress by night and real estate agent by day, received an email yesterday from the real estate broker for the folks who own my future home.  It's that delightful little blue one with almost all the original, prewar details intact down to great-grandma's giant porcelain double sink in the kitchen.  When I made my offer, there was already an accepted offer on the apartment.  The original bidders matched my price and began the process of Board Approval.  It's an HDFC Co-Op with very tight criteria for board approval - and nobody gets to move to contract on an apartment in the building until he, she or they have been approved by the Co-Op Board.  Here's the living room:


Outside the window is a ledge bordered with wrought iron railing, just waiting for a flower box.

The original bidders have been rejected by the board because they already own another HDFC coop which they won't be able to sell in a timely manner which is too bad for them, but now, I have been given the opportunity to apply.   I have a feeling I'll make it through the process because the whole idea behind HDFC coops in the first place was to provide affordable housing to families like Me and Velvet, and because nearly everybody feels good when they can use their power to make it possible for a preschool teacher to keep walking Martin Luther King, Jr's talk at the church where I work - which I have said repeatedly is the church where Martin delivered the "Time to Break the Silence" sermon about the Immorality of War - but Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela also had a few things to say from our pulpit.  I've got the impression that a number of the HDFC coop boards resent goofy white people gentrifying the neighborhood, which I can fully understand and support since God knows there are a ton of Stupid White People buying up real estate and ruining perfectly good neighborhoods.  It's just that because of the church where I work - and Martin Luther King, Jr himself by extension - I may be white, but I'm not entirely stupid as a result of all that tireless work to raise awareness about Peace, Social Justice and more recently, Sustainability.
Although it is unlikely that the process will be complete before the movers arrive here at Menopausal Stoners Temporary HQ because there will be lawyers involved once I get approved by the board and can proceed to Contract, Velvet and I will be able to fill in the blank regarding our future address with a real home.
Blessed Be.  

Meanwhile, I've had the privilege of attending the world premier performance of a dear friend's play which was produced as part of the MFA program at Hunter College, and last night another friend had a little gallery showing of her artwork in another friend's music studio.  One of the things I love best about living in New York is seeing my friends' creativity on display - whether they are playwrights or poets or painters, dancers, actors, singers, performance artists or writers of creative non-fiction just like me.  The art show was pleasant, and Velvet met me there so we could go out to dinner together afterwards.  It was all very lovely - but the play was an experience that deserves an entire post of its own.  Hopefully, I'll get to that this weekend.

For now, I've got another song stuck in my head.  A friend posted it the other day on Facebook when his  dog crossed over to the other side, saying he felt nostalgic and mortal which led to songs from his youth like this one:



It resonates for me right now because I'm especially thankful for the people I have found and who have found me both in Texas and in New York - and out there in the ether of the internet too. More to the point, though, the lyrics revolve around New York City; however,  I am compelled to contradict Sir Elton (and Bernie Taupin) to say rose trees, and all the beautiful things that metaphor stands for, grow all over New York City - and when you've sewn your seeds among your friends, you never, ever go your way alone.  That would be Thing of Beauty #51-101, unless I've lost count again.

Now I know, "Spanish harlem" are not just pretty words
to say.
I thought I knew, but now I know that rose trees never grow,
in New York city.

Until you've seen this trash can dream come true,
You stand at the edge, while people run you through.
And I thank the Lord, there's people out there like you,
I thank the Lord there's people out there like you.

While Mona Lisas and mad hatters,
sons of bankers, sons of lawyers,
turn around and say, "good morning" to the night.
For unless they see the sky, but they can't and that is why,
they know not if it's dark out side or light.

This Broadway's got, its got a lot of songs to sing,
if I knew the tunes I might join in.
I go my way alone, grow my own,
my own seeds shall be sown, in New York city.
Subways no way , for a good man to go down,
Rich man can ride, and the hobo he can drown.

And I thank the Lord for the people I have found,
I thank the Lord for the people I have found.

While Mona Lisas and mad hatters,
sons of bankers, sons of lawyers,
turn around and say, "good morning" to the night.
For unless they see the sky, but they can't and that is why,
they know not if it's dark out side or light.

And now I know, "Spanish harlem" are not just pretty words
to say.
I thought I knew, but now I know that rose trees never grow,
in New York city.
Subways no way, for a good man to go down,
Rich man can ride, and the hobo he can drown.

And I thank the Lord for the people I have found,
I thank the Lord for the people I have found.

While Mona Lisas and mad hatters,
sons of bankers, sons of lawyers,
turn around and say, "good morning" to the night.
For unless they see the sky, but they can't and that is why,
they know not if it's dark outside or light,
they know not if it's dark outside or light. 

11 comments:

Jennifer said...

Oh that place looks wonderful! You do live in one gorgeous city too. Sending good thoughts for that board to hurry up and approve!

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

Wonderful Tricia. So happy you have Home. and Madhatters.

ellen abbott said...

gotta have faith and hope and believe in the goodness of the universe and it will reward you but often not until the last fucking second.

PENolan said...

ellen - looks like that's exactly what is happening now. Gwen, I'm just trying to keep doubt at bay and allow things to unfold as they will.
Jennifer, your mouth to God's ears. That place is so cute I can hardly stand it.

Cali said...

Oh, that's the cute place I have completely remodeled in my head! Yay! I am sure that you will be approved, I mean, a pre-school teacher with a son going to college studying to be an educator who is currently volunteering at Hippy-Dippy Quaker Camp? How could they object to a nice family like that?

I'm so excited!!!

PENolan said...

Yay indeed! Even better - the boy is employed at that Hippie Dippie Quaker Camp so he'll make a few bucks this summer. He goes up to Vermont the first week of June. Who knows? By then, I may have seen Mr. Wisdom again AND have switched classrooms so that I get a better view of the river than I ever would have up at that other place - which I still think would have been a good investment. Once it got to be a pain in the ass, though, who needs it?
I'm finishing up the Board Packet tomorrow and then the two real estate brokers start working their magic.
xo

anita said...

Wow. "Board Packet." That just sends chills up and down my spine. I fled NYC after my second co-op experience. I had to move because a) the maintenance was outweighting my mortgage and b) there were serious issues with the building that would require everyone to take out loans to cover ... there's a word for that ... can't think of it now.

I regret leaving ... sometimes.

But seems you've gotten a LOVELY apartment! Congratulations.

Makropoulos said...

I love this Elton John song, but it's not playing for me. What a fabulous Manhattan pad -- congrats on that! Next time I'm in the city, I'll come looking for your flowerbox. . .

PENolan said...

anita - I can see why a coop board would give anybody the shivers. I'll be living on Tums until this process is complete.

Mak - I would LOVE it.
Years ago, I accompanied my dad on a business trip to Switzerland, and I was absolutely charmed by window boxes filled with geranium vines. I hope they're not against the law here ;)

Vancouver Voyeur said...

Keeping glowing thoughts of you for the co-op and sending positive vibes!

PENolan said...

Thanks, V.V.
I have to admit that all this uncertainty is getting to me

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