To Sign or Not To Sign

Our lease is up next month and, oh, the ambivalence we’ve been experiencing. Judging from the above New Yorker cartoon, we are not alone. But it feels like we are.

The CONs of signing

  • Given weeks of insufferable heat and humidity here in NYC, most particularly the unbearable conditions underground;
  • Given that I work in the most densely-crowded-with-tourists section of the city (Fifth, between 57th and 59th) and must now walk all the way to Columbus Circle at lunchtime just to find a vacant seat on a (shady) park bench;
  • Given that a poor carriage horse named “Oreo” got spooked last week and broke from his Hansom cab — toppling the carriage and spilling out the driver and two tourists from Oregon onto Central Park South — and galloped westward, where he obediently, poignantly, like a good citizen, came to a stop for a red light at Broadway amid a sea of cars, trucks and buses. Thankfully, a pedestrian seized that opportunity to grab the reins and tie Oreo to a pole with the aid of a police officer arriving on the scene. Summarily felled by a tranquilizer gun, Oreo then sank to the asphalt and was hauled away in a van;

Isn’t this a sad sight?  Oreo, it was reported, had been headed for the stables on 10th Ave., where he resides when not pulling tourists in midtown.

  • Given that our mayor said a carriage horse is no different than a bicycle or car on the streets of NYC and should be regarded as such;
  • Given subway fares are going up again in 2013;
  • Given not much is affordable in the city for the average New Yorker.

THE PROs of signing

  • Our Super has finally removed the disgusting sliding-door shower enclosure from our bathroom, a.k.a.: the mold factory; has re-grouted the tiles that broke loose in the process; installed a shower rod; and re-grouted the rogue tiles on our bathroom floor, which we’ve been kicking into place for two years. We celebrated this makeover on Saturday with a new shower curtain from Target’s and lunch at Umberto’s.

(Full disclosure: I’ve had a morbid fear of mold since elementary school. As a science project, my third grade teacher instructed us to place a piece of white bread in a dark place, covered, and leave it alone undisturbed, no peeking…a week later, the aggressive bluish-green fuzz sprouting on top of the bread freaked me out — where did it come from…and…would it jump from the bread onto me? — thanks for that, Mrs. Haridopolos).

  • In this terrible economy that seems not to be getting any better, we both have full-time jobs and health insurance.
  • Really, in this terrible economy, where would we go? Certainly, not back to “the West” — (the West is too hot, is running out of money and water and is on fire). Not to somewhere “in the middle.” No jobs in the middle, even if housing costs are lower. Honestly, we would probably go crazy “in the middle.”

And, finally…

  • No need to pack up our stuff, if we stay.
  • We can still get Umberto’s pizza.

* * *

I guess we’re staying…for now…

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