demolition, day 1 | 365:084 and bonus


It had to happen, but it’s always a little disconcerting to find your toilet in the middle of your bedroom. Plus another vertical panorama, now that they’ve torn away the falling ceiling. Nothing like some 85-year-old masonry!

Hopefully the rest of the shower tile will be gone tomorrow, just in time for the new tile shipment to arrive tomorrow or Wednesday.


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before | 365:083


Tomorrow is d-day. As in, demolition day. Contractors arrive to tear out all of this classic New York City bathroom-ness. Black and white subway tile is pretty much the mark of a quintessential old-school NYC water closet. As much as I like it in theory, it’s not only dated, it’s worn out. Lots of cracks, a spot on the floor where the radiator was ripped out where the tile doesn’t match up, and, well, that hole in the ceiling (the underlying issue has been resolved after much agita and threats of liens from building management against my upstairs neighbor)

I am now safely ensconced at my parent’s apartment a few blocks away, and Sadie is ensconced in the kitchen, much to her chagrin.

I will post more pics when meaningful progress has been made.


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whew! | 365:081


Part of the plan for the renovation is that, while I am staying at my parents’ place, Sadie stays here, locked in the kitchen (conveniently the only room in my apartment with a door that shuts). I took everything out and made a little room just for her, with her bed, food, water, litter and toys, but there was an underlying fear that after being locked in there for one day, she would hide behind the couch and I’d never get her back in there.

No worries though, as she seems to have taken to it – she’s not even locked in at the moment, but still willingly hanging out in there. It may get a little more complicated next week when she doesn’t get to leave when I get home at the end of the day, but this is one more item on my “things to be completely neurotic about” list that I can cross off for the moment.


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and so it begins | 365:080


Actual work begins on Monday, but my contractor dropped off his equipment today so that they could get started first thing at the beginning of the week. We were originally going to start tomorrow, but realized that it was kind of stupid to start on a Friday, and then sit for a weekend (essentially losing my ability to use the apartment for several days without any productive work able to happen). Sadie was fine locked in the kitchen, although she did manage to get inside my cabinet even though I had tied the door shut. Sneaky girl. She was fast asleep in their after pushing out a bunch of groceries to make room for herself.

Actual text from my contractor: “Mission accomplished. I know it looks like enough tools to build hoover dam but trust me I’ll use every one of them.”


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tile | 365:073


The prolonged, multi-year planning process is finally over, and I begin renovations to my bathroom next week, a full two-years after my upstairs neighbor destroyed my ceiling and one year after I began interviewing contractors in earnest (it’s a really small bathroom and just not worth the time for many of them since there’s no actual plumbing work to be done). One guy wanted to charge me $25,000 for a job that amounts to replacing the drywall and tile.

In any event, I got all my paperwork submitted about two weeks ago, and I got Board approval yesterday. So we start next Thursday. It should take about two weeks at the outside, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

In any event, here’s a sample tile for the floor and shower area of the new and improved space. We’re doing 12×24 “planks” instead of the old school subway tile that’s in there now.


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samples | 365:069


One of the many myriad projects I’ve got going on in this whole apartment refresh (a pending bathroom renovation being the biggest one) is to buy a new couch. My old one is 13, and is very much showing it’s age, particularly (as I have learned the hard way) since cats apparently LOVE to scratch up leather. I’m limiting myself to microfiber options for the new one for this very reason. Nothing may be cat “proof”, but if the microfiber slipcovers I got for my chair and ottoman recently have taught me anything, it’s that Sadie appears to have zero interest in even attempting to get her claws into it. It’s not the sexiest fabric, but then again, neither is something that I end up having to cover in blankets to protect.

These are from Room & Board. After the article in the NY Times the other week on couches, I started looking a little higher than places like West Elm (although there’s zero chance I’m spending over $10K on a couch!).


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casualties | 365:047


I’ve spent the past few weeks/months working on a plan to improve my apartment. The largest part of the project is redoing the bathroom, and I will hopefully be able to submit the paperwork to my board in the next week or two. A smaller project involved rearranging all of the stuff in the living room (and eventually replacing some of the furniture). So today was the day for the big “moving all the stuff” piece. I planned it for a holiday weekend so that I’ve have the extra day for recovery.

All went fairly well until I went to put the TV in its new place, on top of my bookshelf. I didn’t drop it, but apparently jeans with rivets are a really bad clothing choice when picking up an LCD display with both arms. Needless to say this was a bit upsetting. At least it’s Presidents’ Day weekend, and everyone’s having sales on new TVs.


The second casualty was my toe. I managed to drop something on it (NOT the TV – just an old, small, camera I had lying around that fell in the exact wrong way), and I’m pretty sure it’s broken. It’s certainly bruised. You’ll just have to trust me on it, because a photo would be gross. And just when I was getting back into wearing heels. At least it’s not the big toe like last time – although I should have some extra tape lying around so that’s…something.

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friday sadie | 365:039


another week, another cat picture. I know I should be posting pictures of the absolutely ridiculous snowstorm we’re currently getting hit with, but that can wait until tomorrow morning when i have time to go to the park. if the snow has buried the first floor of my building, of course.

Recently I decided to do some living room revamping. It’s slow-going, mainly because I decided to actually plan out where I wanted to move all of the furniture rather than simply moving everything on a whim and hoping for the best. But as part of that plan, I decided to get a new sound system. my old stereo was finally in its death throes, with the not responding to remotes anymore, and only two of the inputs actually still working, and one of the speakers being dead. Not to mention the ridiculous amount of space a 6 speaker plus receiver system takes up in a small apartment. so i went with a sound bar. two pieces. as a bonus, the one I got actually acts has a subwoofer that as a receiver for all of my HDMI tv inputs, switching between them, and only requires me to have one HDMI input into the television. This solves my other lingering “older technology” problem of having an 8-year old TV (state of the art when purchased!) with only one HDMI input.

of course, in order to ship an oddly shaped sound bar, they filled the remainder of the shipment box with oddly sized empty other boxes. so Sadie is in cat/cardboard box heaven.


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009/365: books


In November, I rearranged my living room. This involved moving my giant, heavy bookshelf, which in turn required me to remove all the books for the first time in several years.

As a consequence, I ended up with a pile of (mostly) mass market paperbacks that I really never planned on reading again and had no sentimental attachment to, so I decided to pack them up for Housing Works. And here they sit, because I never seem to remember to actually take them with me when I leave my apartment. And lest you think I’m entitled to avoid a big hassle, there’s a Housing Works shop two blocks away.

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365:141 (rearrangement)


when I bought my apartment in 2005, I planned on putting all of my media components inside one of these shelves, which had previously held 200+ CDs that I never listen to anymore because they’re all on my computer/ipod. I finally followed through with that plan tonight. The temporary solution, which existed for 4.5 years, involved these components being oh-so-strategically stacked in a big pile next to the TV. While not perferct (I wish there was a better place for the power strip, but it won’t fit behind the shelves), it’s definitely better looking than the prior arrangement.

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