Saturday, December 22, 2012

All Must Go: Added Pictures

* Scroll down to see pictures of all of the furniture we sold. I uploaded them with their appropriate post.

All Must Go: Chapter 4

We sold our Ikea dining room table, four matching chairs, and two Ikea Poang chairs to two men who arrived in a rented minivan. The men were in their late 30s and had just become roommates through Craigslist, which is also how they found us.

Craigslist really has a magical way of bringing all sorts of people together.

The men inspected the furniture they planned to buy and then took inventory of anything else in our apartment that they might possibly want, like our wine racks or George Forman grill.

One of the men smoked a lot of cigarettes and wasn't in the best of health. So, Ben, myself, and our two new friends relaxed a bit in the AC in our living room on the Ikea Poang chairs they had just purchased. We took a breather and engaged in some small talk before tackling the elevator and stairs again in the July heat.

We loaded the furniture in their van and shook hands.

Ben and I sadly waved goodbye and watched a little more of the past five years fade and disappear into the distance.

Our New York life was leaving us, piece by piece.

One of our Ikea Poang chairs.

Our Ikea dining room table that...

easily expanded to fit more people! 
Thumbs up, Ikea, for a great design.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

All Must Go: Chapter 3

We next sold our couch. We handed that over to three college students with big grins on our faces. Huge grins, actually.

We smiled because we got the couch for free and then sold it for $75. Cha-ching! Their student loans turned into cold hard cash in our pockets.

We found the couch four and half years ago on the sidewalk. Yes, the sidewalk (against my better judgment). A guy moved out of his apartment and set his furniture on the street. People flocked from all directions to snatch the furniture. Bookshelves, lamps, and chairs bobbed amongst pedestrians on Broadway and West End Avenue.

Ben asked the doorman about the cleanliness of the furniture. More pointedly, did the guy have bedbugs? The doorman alleviated all fears by saying the owner had never had bedbugs and was simply moving to a bigger place that needed new furniture.

We then carried the free and clean couch home.

Now, young collegiate minds determined the best way to maneuver our couch into a tiny elevator. Ben and I admired their tenacity and happily waved goodbye as they descended the front steps of building. Adios, couch! Adios, old friend.

Our couch.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

All Must Go: Chapter 2

The next piece of furniture sold on Craigslist was an Expedit IKEA bookshelf with baskets. Everyone wanted the Expedit! It was our biggest hit.

We sold it to a college student, a girl fresh off the plane from Washington. Literally, fresh off the plane. She and her mother arrived in New York the day before they showed up at my apartment.

Luckily, I donned appropriate moving/athletic attire when they arrived, just in case they needed extra help moving the bookshelf. That thought ended up being the understatement of the century.

They walked into our apartment and inspected the bookshelf. They handed me cash and then nonchalantly asked, "What's the best way to get this home?" They dropped that bombshell with a straight face.

I hid my shock. Rookies! I had two New York City Craigslist amateurs on my hands.

"Well... we could try a cab." I said with a shrug, doubting that the bookshelf would ever fit in one, though I hoped the new cabs might, might, have enough space.

The girl and I carried the bookshelf down our hallway, onto the elevator, and a block up the street to the corner. Her mother carried the 6 large baskets in trash bags.

We hailed one cab, who pulled over and then sped away once he saw the bookshelf. Other cabs just blew by us without ever hitting the brakes. Where was their adventurous spirit?

I hailed an SUV, thinking the bookshelf might slide over the backseat. The cabdriver, very unhappy about the situation, let us try to load the bookshelf. It didn't work.

He floored it before we even slammed the trunk door.

We hailed one of the new cabs. The cab parked slightly in the middle of the crosswalk, blocking one lane. Not the best place to park and load furniture, but whatever. I didn't want the cabbie second guessing any decision he was making at the moment.

We started to load the bookshelf and the cabdriver immediately began cussing. He cussed at us. He cussed at the bookshelf. And, then, he cussed about the Yankees losing their last game. His stress level only elevated mine.

After a few minutes of pushing and pulling the bookshelf inside the cab, the cabbie yelled for us to get the bookshelf out of his taxi before it ripped the upholstery.  I cannot write his exact words because this blog would instantly go from a PG to an R rating.

I calmly explained that the picture on the backseat showed how it folded down so that wheelchairs (and bookshelves) could fit. But, unfortunately, by this point, the cabbie was ballistic and I could not reason with him. We pulled the bookshelf out of the cab and sat it down on the sidewalk.

Did I mention it was about 98 degrees in July?

The girl, her mother, and I contemplated our next move (because that bookshelf was not going back in my apartment) until an elderly woman walked over to us to share this advice...

"You three are really stupid. Really, really stupid! What idiots load furniture in the middle of a crosswalk? Where am I supposed to walk? You. Are. Really. Stupid."

I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. I prayed, probably harder than I had ever prayed in my life, to remain calm. Jail would definitely ruin any future employment opportunities and I'd probably not survive.

I opened my eyes. The old woman still stood in front of me. Staring. My southern roots took hold and I sweetly replied, "Why, thank you so much for your help. We really appreciate it." I then turned away, and glanced back only once to see her walk away until...

I felt a hard poke on my back. I turned around and stared at the same old woman.

Round two.

"I just wanted you to know what idiots you people are! Complete idiots! I could have died crossing the street," she proclaimed.

Right then, I wished she had.

I couldn't hold back any longer. I blame the heat. I blame the cab's bad design. I blame New York.

I pointed back and snapped, "Lady! We got it. WE GOT IT!"

I then wheeled around to face my partners in crime. The mother looked shocked. But, the girl smiled and said, "Wow! People are pretty intense here."

Ya think?

I no longer cared about the bookshelf. I didn't care if we left it on the street or bashed it to pieces. I would have voted for the latter if given a choice.

I wiped the sweat from the brow, ready to admit defeat, when a man driving a U-Haul van pulled over beside us. I turned to the girl and said, "Ask him if he'll take the bookshelf for $20. Now."

She did.

He said, "yes."

The guy singlehandedly restored my faith in people.

In less than five minutes, we loaded the bookshelf and I waved goodbye to one of the most difficult moving fiascos I had ever encountered.

Or, almost ever encountered.

The Expedit in all of its glory.