This whole “Catching Up” process hasn’t gone so well. I was pretty happy back in April when I wrote up our final stop in Brazil, and then in May when Mark posted our January doings. But here it is in June and instead of having caught up … well, we haven’t. And it’s not as though we’re super busy or anything. I mean, retirement leaves a lot of spare time.
At any rate, back to February. The big deal for the month was getting a household set up after not having a household for nearly six years, but there’s not much interesting to write or say about that. We started the scary process of inviting people over for dinner; after six years of not cooking our skills were a little rusty. Mark’s parents came for a visit, our first house guests though we were pretty confident not our last.
A lot of the month was just getting to know our new home town. Turns out it’s a big city with a lot to do. We’re trying to embrace the cultural opportunities here so we joined both the Metropolitan Museum and the New Museum, a modern art exhibition center just a couple blocks from our apartment. We even went to a “Music in Time” lecture an old graduate school classmate was giving on the Upper West Side. He’s mostly retired from the CEO-ing he did after graduate school and instead puts his energy into researching the relationship between music and political history. In this case it was Verdi’s role in the Risorgimento, Italy’s reunification campaign of the 18th century. It was a fundraiser (in an apartment on Central Park West) for a music scholarship program where his lecture was interspersed with real opera singers doing some of Verdi’s arias. Very New York.
And then of course there was the seemingly interminable waiting to close the contract on our new loft at 62 Cooper Square. We wanted to close as quickly as possible to get the whole process rolling but that was not to be. The previous owner had had some construction done and needed to get an occupancy permit for the unit before the condo board would allow the sale to go through. You see, she had previously owned both the 11th and 12th floors, with a staircase connecting them, since no one could be expected to live in just a single full-floor unit. But she was downsizing and had the staircase removed and the floors created as separate units, meaning ours needed the occupancy permit. Now, all the work had been done; it was a perfectly livable with toilets and a kitchen and all that. It’s just that the city bureaucracy, particularly in the Department of Buildings, can move at a glacial pace. So we waited. In the meantime we were working with our architect to design the space (assuming we would be able to buy it eventually) while the then-current owner was paying taxes and condo fees. Frustrating to have to wait but ultimately not a bad deal for us.
As the month closed though we had no occupancy permit and, more frustrating, no idea whatsoever when the city would get around to issuing it.