NYC Real(i)ty Speak: The maintenance goes up, but the B.S. never changes

By Veronica X.  | January 20, 2011 - 7:05AM

While there's nothing funny about a maintenance increase, the explanatory letter can be a hoot.

  • "In these troubling times, we will all have to make sacrifices." Translation: "Rip up those private school contracts. Little Nathan is going public!!!"
  • "To offset the maintenance increase, the board has been looking at alternative revenue sources." Translation: "Won't it be great to have a doorman who can also make you a fantastic $5.00 cappuccino?"
  • "We have been advised that this increase is in line with other buildings of our size and location."  Translation: "If you can't afford it, there's always Harlem or Jersey."
  • "Green energy initiatives will save us money in the long run."  Translation: "The fact that the board accepted the highest bid for the green roof has nothing to do with the fact that the contractor is re-sodding the board president's grass tennis court in Southampton."
  • "The co-op's tax certiorari attorney has filed a property tax protest with the city." Translation: "Don't hold your breath, cuz the city's broke and we don't understand the property tax system any more than you do...but the word 'certiorari' sure sounds impressive, doesn't it?" 

Veronica X. is a Canadian by birth, an Upper West Sider by nature, and an Upper East Sider by choice and circumstance. She has finally found an apartment big enough for her family, books, and shoes and is now in the process of renovating it.


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