Sunday, December 6, 2009

Renovation Week One - Refill Xanax Prescription

Okay, so Significant Eater's and my first week's nightmares are over. And yes, I realize Tasty Travails has taken a back seat to the new apartment in DC. But, there are priorities. And every day I thank the gods, or whoever it was that invented alprazolam.

A couple of weeks ago, SE and I retained the services of a duly licensed and insured contractor here in Washington, DC, as we prepared to renovate our little pied-à-terre in the Washington Heights Historic District. Of course, who the hell even knew that our building was in the WHHD? I only found out when I was applying for the needed permit, and was so told by the permit clerk. Oh well, we're not renovating the outside of the building, so all's well in permit land.

Our reno (a gut, basically), started last Monday. By Tuesday, the place had been demolished...these guys work fast, I tell ya. Which is a good thing (so I'm told) in contractor land. Of course, everything that was taken out of the kitchen is still in the middle of the living room, and driving me crazy - don't you want to remove the trash as soon as you can? And maybe use one of those cool Shop Vacs, or whatever they're called. To kinda keep the dust down. It's in the contract...

Contractors don't work like chefs, that's for sure. A chef, or at least the chefs I worked for, likes everything clean and neat. They don't want to come in the next morning and see some shit lying all around. Nor do they want to see dirty stations during service. They're always wiping up. Same with me when I cook; oh, by the way, I haven't cooked a decent meal in a month, but that's another story. I want to wake up and see my kitchen all clean and spotless. You don't want to be having to poke around in a sink full of dirty dishes to make your coffee, do you?

I've tried to be the perfect new neighbor during this time...I know how disruptive a reno can be in a small apartment building. I've slipped notes under the doors of my neighbors so they knew what was coming. Knocked on their doors to introduce ourselves and pre-apologize (must be the jewish guilt). Got the required permits, insurance and approval from the board of directors for the work we're doing. I'm at the building every morning and evening to make sure the hall carpet is covered and, at the end of the day, to get my bottle of windex out and clean the elevator of whatever hand prints the workers have kindly left - you wouldn't want them to do have to clean up after themselves after all - they've just worked hard all day.

Anyway, at the rate our contractor is moving along, they might well be done in another two weeks. Which would be great, if the work is of the quality I've been told it will be. And then, sometime right after the new year, Significant Eater and I will be able to settle in, light a fire, cook a meal, and enjoy our second home. After all, the view from our living room window is pretty nice...that's Kalorama Park right across the street, and the Washington Cathedral is visible in the distance.


  1. I'm glad to hear things are progressing. Here when you hire a contractor, you're lucky if someone shows up every day. Asking them to clean up after themselves is way beyond that ;-)

  2. you can make out the name on the bottle

  3. @Rodzilla - so what's your point? It's my prescription bottle, and I took the picture.
    Wanna write me a refill?

  4. Somebody better write you a refill quick,'re starting to sound unhinged

  5. Funny I thought that was ROZ-illa. Never mind.