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Day: August 31, 2011

A Letter to My Landlord Frank That He Will Almost Definitely Never Read

Dear Frank,

First, let me just say thank you. You’re the best landlord I’ve ever had.

Now, let’s jump backwards a little bit. For 5 years I lived in an apartment at 310 S 3rd St. It was a fine enough apartment and I was basically happy with it. I lived there with my former girlfriend and life was mostly good. I liked the neighborhood (except on Puerto Rico/Dominican Republic days when it was constant Reggaeton until dawn—yuck) enough and everything was close and accessible and easy.

But as soon as we had problems with the apartment, we ran into roadblocks. Since my girlfriend was generally less employed than I was during that time, it often fell on her shoulders to make calls and see that repairs were taken care of. Unfortunately for us, she was a woman and good luck getting our old landlords to listen to a woman for anything. Even when we spoke to women, nothing ever happened. Repairs went untended to and things fell into our laps. A prime example, when we first moved in the apartment was newly renovated, which was nice but it also meant that we had no stove or refrigerator for like 2 weeks. Pretty annoying. And when they finally did drop them off, that was all they did. I had to figure out how to connect the stove to the gas, purchase a tube and thread goop from the hardware store, and do it myself. I imagine that this isn’t up to code, but call me crazy.

At some point in our tenure in that apartment, our bathroom ceiling started dripping. It was a pain, and we called about it. No response. As the months of dripping went on and the damage it was causing to the bathroom ceiling became evident, we started calling on the regular. No response. So we wrote letters. No response. I spoke to the super. No follow-up. The drywall of the ceiling became wetter and wetter and moldier and stained and fucked up, but they didn’t care enough to send someone over to fix it.

The final straw with them came the day I lost my job in June 2009. It was an overcast day and I had to go to the office to turn in my ID and keys and sign some paper for our corporate overlords agreeing to the shitty severance package I was getting and that I wouldn’t sue them. Spirits were high. Jesse, who I worked with at the time, picked up a bunch of beers and headed back to my house to mourn the loss our of employment. We arrived home just in time for the bathroom ceiling to explode into a great torrent of water that spread all over the floor of the kitchen and into the living room. I called my old landlords furious, yelling and cursing that this problem had gone on a year and now, on the day I got laid off, I have my ceiling exploding water all over the place. I yelled. A lot. The woman on the phone was afraid and they actually sent someone right away. It still took them weeks to fix the now gaping hole in the ceiling.

I was glad to move out of there.

When I moved into your building, Frank, I was prepared to have the same sort of shitty landlord/tenant relationship I had always experienced while living in New York. They are, generally, a bunch of assholes. Luckily, you are not.

On the wall of the kitchen of my then-new apartment there was a mirror, which is cool and everything, except that I intended to put a kitchen island against that wall and the top of the mirror only reached my collarbone. I suppose the previous tenant was much shorter than I am. I very carefully attempted to remove the mirror from the wall, but when you’d painted the place the wet paint had dripped behind the mirror and glued it to the drywall. I used a knife to remove the mirror, like a surgeon, but I was unable to take it down without damaging the wall. And then there was a giant unpainted rectangle mirror ghost. Oops!

I went to Richie, the amazing super intendant, and told him what happened. I offered to fix it myself if he could provide me with the tools, since it was totally my fault. I went to and bought a tool box so I wouldn’t lose anymore tools. He told me it was no problem and that you’d take care of it. The next day before I returned fro work, the wall was patched and painted.

Amazing! I had never in my adult life experienced such rapid turn-around on a repair in my apartment. I expected the damage to mar my wall forever. I was glad to be wrong.

But it doesn’t end there.

One day I was here at work and I got a phone call from Jesse (same one) around 4:30, 5 o’clock. He told me he had good news and bad news. I told him to give me the bad news first.

“Your doorknob fell off.”


“Your doorknob fell off. You can still get into and out the apartment, though.”

“What’s the good news?”

“I cleaned your apartment. I got on the phone with my mom and instead of just sitting around, I cleaned. For an hour and a half.”

“Ah, uh, cool. Let me call my landlord.”

So I called and left a vou voicemail and by the time I got home from work around 9, the doorknob was back on. And, thanks to Jesse, I had a sparklingly clean apartment. Awesome!

And then there was the time I got home around 2:30 in the morning and you had locked me out of my place and you can all the way from Queens to let me in and then we discovered that I had not been given a necessary key when I moved in. And then I had a copy of the key on my counter the next day. Amazing!

Most recently, I noticed that my microwave kept losing power because I kept having to reset the clock. Then I noticed that my fridge was also losing power, which was a drag since it meant that a whole lot of food in my fridge spoiled, but that’s no one’s fault. It’s a good thing I rarely have food in my fridge. I called and left a voicemail the next morning at work saying that I think the outlet was bad, even though the breaker is not switching off. When I got home, I saw that you’d run an extension cord from the fridge to another outlet in the kitchen. Smart. And though this is all starting to sound repetitive, the next morning at 9:30 while I am getting ready for work you show up with an electrician. Who does that? Awesome. That evening, the outlet was fixed.

So, basically, what I am saying Frank is that you are awesome. I appreciate how readily you take care of problems around the building. You respond right away and you treat every issue as if it were important, even if they are relatively minor. And then not raising my rent this year? Never ever has that happened before.

Wow. I am never moving out.


The Black Laser.

Dying Fetus’ “Homicidal Retribution”

Because one death metal video today wasn’t enough. I love this stuff.

Origin’s “Finite”

Because I haven’t posted enough Tech Death this week. That is all.

Covenant’s “Call The Ships To Port”

Holy shit, I love Covenant. Their music is such a guilty pleasure for me, but one that I don’t really feel all that guilty about. They are, to me, exactly what moody industrial dance music should be. Catchy hooks, emo ass singing, fat as fuck beats, nerdy computer stuff, science fiction references, Swedish. Fuck man, these guys are perfect.

As such, it astounds me that they have so few music videos. I can only find two music videos that seem legit, this one for “Call The Ships To Port” from 2002’s Northern Light and another for “Bullet” from the same record. That means they haven’t made a single music video for 9 years? Crazy! Northern Lights is their sixth studio record and they’ve released two more and a live record since then, so where are all the music videos? That’s not to mention the countless singles and remixes and all sorts of other output.

I mean, like, fuck, right? Pig Destroyer has more music videos than these guys and I am willing to bet that, worldwide, Covenant outsells Pig Destroyer. Not that I don’t love Pig Destroyer, but if we have to judge the relative accessibility of the two bands, Covenant stands heads and tails above Pig Destroyer as the more accessible band. No question.

Enjoy this and go check out the band. If you’re on Spotify, you can listen to basically everything they’ve ever done on there. The newest record, Modern Ruin is so good. And listen to “Dead Stars (Version)”. Oh god, and “Wind of the North”. And “Edge of Dawn”. And “Ritual Noise”. So many good songs. And when you come back here and you totally hate them, just remember that it’s your fault, not mine.