Thursday, July 17, 2008

Moving Part V

Sadly folks, this is the final installment in this riveting series.

10. Cleaning the old apartment

We woke up early on Sunday morning to go clean the old apartment and take the last of the small things we had left behind. We were expecting to meet up with our landlord at some point while we were there since she had scheduled an open house for that day at 2. We probably spent about 2 1/2 hours vacuuming, sweeping, wiping, etc. and left around 11:30 or noon. Since she still hadn't arrived, we weren't able to do the final walk-through. Also, who schedules an open house for the SAME day that the previous tenants clean without doing the walk-through or checking that things are in order!?

We booked it back to the new apartment to eat a quick lunch before heading to our friend D's house to help HER move into a new place. Yes, we are crazy. But she only had a small Budget van so it wasn't that bad. And by the time we got there, most of her stuff was already in the van. So our role was to help her unload it at the other end. Her move took her farther than ours did since she was making the leap from city life to suburbia. *tear*

Moving on to Monday, we get an email from the landlord saying she was disappointed with the cleaning job we did. What?! Among her list of things that we still had to take care of if we didn't want to get socked with a cleaning fee was "the kitchen, bathroom and living room floors were not cleaned, the carpets were not vacuumed." She also mentioned that the stove and fridge were dirty - I'll give her that because we totally forgot to clean them. But her other comments were infuriating! It's like the move that wouldn't die. All we wanted to do was just organize and enjoy our new spot and we kept getting pulled away. The most irritating thing about her comments was the mention that the apt. had been professionally cleaned before we moved in - as if renters are supposed to meet those standards when they move out!

So Tuesday evening found us back at the old apt. once again! More cleaning supplies. More mp3 player hooked up to speakers so the silence and toxic chemicals wouldn't make us insane.
Sometime that week, we also managed to sell Erich's computer desk on craigslist - that's hard to do when you're not actually living at the place where the item is residing.
We left the apt. still not sure if our extra 2 hours of sweat were enough to meet her standards, but we had stopped caring. We went home and it felt good.
We were rewarded the next day with a much more positive email from the landlord saying she found the apt. "clean as a whistle."

11. Parking anywhere = illegal

Ok, last story.
Those of you familiar with DC's parking rules know that much of the district is broken up into parking permit zones so that you can get a residential sticker for the zone in which you live which allows you to park on streets that non-residents would only be able to park for 2 hours. Within any zone, some streets are unzoned meaning anyone can park there for as long as they want. But generally, the more dense the neighborhood, the more likely the streets are to be zoned. So in our section of Columbia Heights, nearly all of the surrounding streets are restricted to Zone 1 parking permits.

The Monday after the move, when I was back at work, Erich trekked down to the DMV and found that the wait was likely to be at least 2 hours. But he persevered and changed over his license and registration. However when he tried to get the Zone 1 sticker, he was told that our address is on an unzoned block and that we therefore don't qualify for Zone 1 parking. Argh!!!
Over the next few days, we talked to a few other residents in the building, the leasing office, the DMV, the DOT, and the police dept. It was such a mess! We got different answers from each of the agencies - some said we don't qualify because we're in a large apt. building, others said it was because our block was already listed as unzoned and to change that we'd have to submit a petition where 51% of the block requested Zone 1 parking, and a few even speculated that the situation was the result of a deal between the developer and the city that they would provide a parking garage in exchange for not seeking Zone 1 status. However, the parking garage was not a solution for us because it costs $200/month! Totally unacceptable.

There is another resident in the building who has been very active on this and other issues since we met him. He's like our partner in crime. Upon learning of the parking nightmare, he immediately called our Councilmember's office and got things moving there. Then he drafted a flyer that we planned to distribute to residents on the roof on the 4th of July. It described the parking glitch, mentioned the petition we had started, and the address for our newly formed list-serv (on google groups) that I had set up that week.

Long story shorter - we think things are just about resolved. The Councilmember has gotten a commitment from the DMV that our address will be added to the database for Zone 1 parking and will be sending a certified letter to each of the residents that they can take to the DMV in case they have any more trouble. Up til now, we've been parking on neighboring streets using a 15-day visitor's pass from the police department. We were prepared to just keep renewing that pass every 15 days until August at which point we expected we'd have a good answer from the city or we were going to suck it up and find a private parking space for rent somewhere in the area. I would say I'm cautiously optimistic. Knowing our luck lately, celebrating too soon could be fatal. I'll celebrate once I have that sticker in hand.

To reward you for reading this far, a couple of visual nuggets.

For my birthday, Erich got me (among other things) a garden gnome and cilantro, basil, and rosemary for the deck. I've wanted a gnome forever!!!! He's so cute.

Remember that "before" shot of the living room from a couple of posts ago? This is how it looked about a week later. The couch we ordered will be going where the black computer chair is.

One of my other birthday presents! We somehow managed to lose our old granny cart in the last year, though we're not sure how we could lose something that big. Since our new apt. is a couple blocks from the grocery store, Best Buy, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Marshalls, replacing the granny cart was a priority. This baby makes it almost fun to run errands.


nicole said...

when i moved out of a ghetto (and i mean ghetto) apt in providence on Broadway i cleaned it from top to bottom (hard to tell since everything was falling apart and grungy adn old to begin with (like wallpaper would fall off and bits of ceiling would fall down once in awhile (but for $400 a month everything included you deal with it)....anyways, i cleaned for an entire day after we moved out back to north kingstown and the 80 yr old guy who owned the building said it was filthy and i hadnt even washed the floors. i SCRUBBED the floors, on hands and knees. i didnt go back. :) at least its over!

claire said...

oh wow, that is a NIGHTMARE. i can't believe all those things happened to you. After reading about all the horrible things that happened to you on your move, I feel like I won't ever be able to complain about any move I make in the future.

You have a are a dork!

PassionKNITly said...

wow, you're so active. I would be annoyed, but I probably wouldn't have done anything about the parking thing.

Also <3 your gnome!