Hell's Bitchen

Sisyphus no more: One small victory for me!

By Kelly Kreth  |
May 24, 2012 - 10:05AM

After my victory over those animals that live on the fifth floor who were throwing used condoms and lit cigarettes from their window, I needed a rest.

After all, to take arms against a sea of troubles (or tossed garbage), and by opposing, ending them, was hard work.

Yesterday morning, however, I rose at 10 AM to no hot water. Assuming that one of the 30 or so people in this building who wake earlier than I would have informed the super or landlord, I washed my hair in the sink, dunking my head in ice water that did nothing for a respiratory infection that won't quit, and hoped by the end of the day the water problem would be fixed.

But when I exited and noted that a rock, once again, was propping open the front door, despite being removed by a visiting friend the night before, I grew hot under the collar even sans hot water.

I marched down the block to where the landlord’s food cart business is housed hoping to find him there (even though he had told me last month he was getting hip replacement surgery). Instead I spoke to the person taking over for him, who kind of looked like him and had the same "friendly" but no-nonsense personality.

I explained the hot water issue and he said (shockingly? truthfully? who knows) that not one tenant contacted him nor had the super.

He said he’d get on it and that’s when I just blurted out that I have now collected 36 rocks. I went on to explain my rock dilemma and the safety issues it poses for me and everyone else in the building, particularly coming home late at night with neighborhood crackheads and miscreants sitting on the stoop.

He asked why I didn’t complain to the super (ha!).

I patiently explained that the problem was coming from the super. I told him that the super had a love of rocks and the laxest attitude toward building security that I have ever encountered. I went on to tell him about my stolen soda and how my super doesn’t recycle, going so far as leaving my moving boxes a few blocks down in front of another building on a non-paper garbage night.

My temporary landlord said he’d handle it.

Lo and behold: When I came home from my walk, both doors were firmly locked, no rocks in place.

I saw the super who clearly knew I was the informant and instead of an icy reception he was overly nice and also apologized for not telling the landlord about the water malfunction.

The doors remain locked and rock-free, I remained without water for almost two full days, and the super will soon be thrust into his own hell as the tenants on the third floor moved this week, and someone new will surely have boxes and garbage for him to dispose of.

"We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them, climb over them, or build with them." - William Arthur Ward

“But you cannot use them to prop open my building’s doors or I will complain to the landlord.” –Kelly Kreth

Kelly Kreth, recently returned to Hell’s Kitchen, chronicles her misadventures in her tenement-style walk-up in this bi-weekly BrickUnderground column, Hell’s Bitchen

See all Hell's Bitchen. 

Also by Kelly Kreth:

Hell's Bitchen: I vow never to move again

Hell's Bitchen: Meet my super, Aquavelva

15 things I've learned from 'Million Dollar Listing NY' so far

The 20 deadly sins NYC rental agents should never commit (but do)

Escape from the UES: Goodbye douchebaggery, hello Hell's Kitchen

Dear Neighbor: I am your worst nightmare

Living next to a bridge & tunnel club: KY Jelly wrestling, all-night noise, no regrets




Kelly Kreth

Contributing writer

Contributing writer Kelly Kreth has been a freelance journalist, essayist, and columnist for more than two decades. Her real estate articles have appeared in The Real Deal, Luxury Listings, Our Town, and amNewYork. A long-time New York City renter who loves a good deal, Kreth currently lives in a coveted rent-stabilized apartment in a luxury building on the Upper East Side.

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