As of August 31 we have been without a lease at our studio. The limited liability corporation that runs the place wants us to move into new studios that are still being constructed on another street at about an 80 percent markup over our current rates (On top of last year's 40% increase). In the meantime, they've "allowed" us to continue staying and paying for our current space. However, we learned today, that as a strong arm tactic, they've decided not to cash our previous month's checks. How did we find out about this? Well, this month's bill showed two month's rent due as well as late payment charges! How despicable are they, while showing us the unfinished new spaces a week ago, do not even tell us that this is what they are doing. In fact, she first called it a miscommunication, to which I replied, no this is discommunication! Then she proceeded to blame me for not checking my bank statements to see that the check had not been deposited. Ahh, how do you woo your tenants!
To make matters worse, we have been having difficulty at our apartment but I am advised not to speak of it. Let's just say it is bad enough to make living there unpleasant and no longer a home. This weekend we are traveling north to look into some alternatives, and as risky as they might be I think we may be at our limits in NYC. I didn't think I could ever say that. I hate feeling this way, but NYC has a way of making one feel like they belong to a Feudal lord.
Two weeks ago, a Sunday, as I sat in our van, I became suddenly aware that all our friends on the block own their own homes and are largely retired. They are now selling these homes, little wooden rowhouses, for a million dollars. The people who are buying have young children and an elephantine down payment. Many people in the neighborhood think I own our building because I garden there. Yes, we've put roots down, and that took years, but the earth we've attached to appears to be eroding right from under us.