Headline, February 24 2022/ WHEN : ''' '' TOILET NEEDS TOSSUP '' '''

WHEN : ''' '' TOILET


DO I REALLY NEED A TOILET? QUESTIONS you ask yourself when hunting for an apartment in New York?

It's the height of the pandemic - and I'm looking for an apartment for the first time in 17 years. Some things never change : Finding a place in Lower Manhattan, New York City, is hard if you're not fabulously wealthy.

I have just seen a 150-square-foot, or 14-square-meter, on West Fourth Street for $2,000 a month and am told that I could save space by hanging my winter coat in the building's stairwell. ''It'd probably be safe there,'' the agent assures me.

He then takes me to a ''duplex'' around the corner, ground-floor cell with a menacingly steep spiral staircase that empties into a windowless basement. 

''$2,300,'' he tells me. ''Better snap it up. It won't last.''

I love my sunny apartment in the Greenwich Village neighborhood, but Covid has gotten in the way : My theater and teaching work have dried up, my lease is expiring, and the landlord is raising my rent while prices plummet throughout the city. The thought of moving during a pandemic is daunting.

On the plus side, for the first time since the Clinton administration, I may be able to afford a decent apartment without leaving Lower Manhattan.

In late 2020, I see an amazing apartment on Carmine Street. Amazing is a relative term, of course.

This apartment is raw, the designer loved stucco, and the hardwood floors are painted a Brutalist gray. But it is huge : a genuine two-bedroom, with soaring ceilings and tremendous light, all for a $1,995 a month. Now that I work from home, the extra space seems positively luxurious. I am ready to make an offer.

The agent, who has described every closet as though he were seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time, pulls me aside. ''Did you notice anything about the bathroom?'' I'm intrigued by his sense of mystery. Was there a bidet I missed? A Jacuzzi tub?

''No toilet.''

I had actually peeked into the bathroom and noticed the ample tub and sink. I missed the glaring omission, though, as one doesn't usually notice the lack of things until one needs them.

''No, um, toilet?'' is all I can manage.

'' A lot of people actually prefer it this way,'' he assures me. ''It's cleaner.''

I find it hard to believe that there are people who prefer not to have a toilet in their apartment. For the record, this is the only bathroom in the apartment. And the toilet isn't broken. It simply isn't there. It never has been.

''So what happens when, um, one needs to use the bathroom?'' I ask.

He leads me to a single toilet stall in the hallway and tells me it is shared by the apartments on the floor. No sink, just a toilet. This is an odd building, and a communal bathroom was common at the time it was built, more than a century ago. I'm not sure I want to be this intimate with history.

This is a deal-breaker, of course. Or is it? I call friends for advice, A civic minded friend is in favor of it : ''Americans are too isolated in their little bubbles. I support communal endeavours.'' Another friend wonders how a romantic interest might react when she asks where the bathroom is and is told to wait for her turn in the hall.

Another friend votes against it, saying earnestly. '' You don't want to be known as the no-toilet-in-his-apartment guy.''

And there are questions : Who cleans the bathroom? How many people live on the floor? Why has this building held out on the in-apartment bathroom conversion?

I consult Google on installing my own toilet and learn that this is no simple fix : Not only would I need to connect pipes to the main sewer line - which would require tearing up floors and walls - it will most likely have to be done on every floor.

I'm tempted to rent the apartment anyway. The communal pool in my childhood neighborhood in Texas made friends of all the neighbors - might this have a similar effect? Imperfect indoor plumbing was good enough for human being on Earth until about 100 years ago - surely I could get by.

Plus, and this is no small thing, the apartment is twice as large as anything I've seen in my price range, and it's bright and airy?

In the end, I decided against it. Two weeks go by, and I've seen 10 more depressing apartments. I check online.

The Carmine apartment is now down to $1,850 a month. I think about it. I think about it some more. I check again two days later, and it is under contract to someone else.. Too late.

I'm starting to realize that most Lower Manhattan places in my price range have a flaw.

While a nontraditional space appeals to me - an old warehouse or converted church sounds lovely - the quirks prove more mundane: The attractive apartment on East 12th Street has a stand-alone shower in the living room; the penthouse on West 21st is lit mainly by skylight, with narrow bunker-style windows at eye level, perfect for survivalists or bats.

But the large two-bedroom on Avenue B is perfect. A corner apartment, drenched in sunlight, comes with a home office, for more-than-reasonable $1895 a month.

I can't find any faults, so I assume it must be haunted. At this point in my search, I'm fine with that. I fully expect the rent to skyrocket, when the lease expires postpandemic, but I sign on the dotted line.

NOT before double-checking the bathroom, though. 

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Great Writings and Living, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Stephen Ruddy.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - E-!WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!