Even though I’ve been schlepping things uptown to the new place for weeks, the big moving day was finally scheduled for Friday, June 8. It may not surprise you to know that I’m a compulsive Type A-organized person in almost all aspects of my life, so everything about Moving Day was orchestrated with the same care, precision and attention to detail I put into my journalistic and broadcast work. My friend of nearly 30 years, Lori, offered to tag along and help keep me calm/cool/collected…I gratefully accepted. She’s fun to be around and would definitely make the transition more enjoyable.
Up at 6am to do a last load of laundry and wrap up the mattress and get everything lined up for the movers’ ease and efficiency. Then the interminable waiting for Dispatch to call with their arrival time (Most NYC apartment buildings have strict rules about when Moves can be performed: typically only weekdays 9am-5pm. Deposits are required and Moving Companies must provide certificates of insurance). By Noon, still no call…so I rang and was informed, “They’re still at the first job…it will be another 3 1/2 hours.” I panicked. That would be cutting it close. I talked to the Superintendent and he assured me he could be flexible with time restraints. So Lori and I went out for what I hoped would be a leisurely lunch at the Coffee Shop.
When it was nearly 2pm and I called back, they came up with some (presumably bogus) excuse that the elevator had broken in the building where the movers were working and they had to wait for a technician. They would be happy to make me a “first priority for Monday morning.” WHAT!?! I kept the phone away from Lori, because she was itching for a fight. It was already so late in the afternoon, I knew there was no point in arguing. I was cornered and would have to wait. Not only was it inconvenient (and inexcusable on their part!), but I’d now have no place to sleep for the next three nights–with a massive work weekend ahead: Three on-camera interviews with Keira Knightley…and the bloody Tony Awards Red Carpet & Ceremony!
Lori looked at me with fire in her eyes. It was the way Susan Sarandon looked at Geena Davis in THELMA AND LOUISE. “I have a truck. We can do it ourselves.” It was a crazy idea…two people with a Sports Utility Vehicle could never pull this off in under three hours. I chugged a glass of cheap Diner Chardonnay and returned Lori’s steely gaze. “Let’s do it. It will be something we’ll never forget!”
2:06pm We jumped on the subway to 14th Street to retrieve Lori’s Escalade. Her husband Danny gives us rope and a dolly. We empty out the vehicle of all the kids’ stuff and start driving Uptown. My friend Andrew calls to kindly inquire how the move went. “Went!? It’s happening now and WE ARE DOING IT!” He offers to meet us at the apartment and lend a hand. Andrew is 6’5 and a champion at “Tetris.” He would prove to be a valuable ally with lifting and packing! (Keep in mind, I’m still nursing a shredded leg muscle at this point…limping around with a leg the color of an overripe plum!)
2:45pm We arrive at Apartment #1 (finding a Parking spot right in front of the freight entrance!) and my super Super and the building staff form an assembly line as we load up the truck in mere minutes!
3:07pm We arrive at Apartment #2 (I’ll be darned! No traffic and another parking spot right in front of the building). My Contractor, Ziggy, meets us there and the four of us unload, lickety split. Then climb back in the car to retrieve the second load. I’m feeling confident that we’ll pull this off, so I call my credit card company and instruct them NOT to accept any charges from “Manor Moving.” I then call Manor Moving and resist the urge to be snarky, and simply cancel the Monday move.
3:30pm. Truck is loaded and Apartment #1 is now empty. After dispensing a few well earned gratuities to the building staff, we were on our way. The Parking Gods continue to smile on us.
4:07pm. Boxes to the ceiling, but the move was made!!
Just two hours from inspiration to completion. We had done it! Faster, cheaper and more efficiently than Manor Moving could ever have done it! Lori said, “I’m so glad you didn’t let them get your money!” Amen! So, off we went to a nearby cafe and I gratefully treated to a few rounds of beverages.
I’m now unpacked and settled in… a few key pieces of furniture and art are still in storage & some last minute touches need to be completed…but it is HOME! And I got there thanks to the generous friendship of those wonderful people who believed “Yes, We Can!” They will forever be a part of my lovely little Upper West Side digs. I’ve always contended that helping a friend move is a great thing to do for many reasons:
*it’s a BIG help to them…
*it’s good exercise…
*they’ll owe you one!
NEXT TIME: Welcome to my Happy Home! (or “It’s Been Such a Saga, Even the NEW YORK TIMES Can’t Resist the Story!”)