The Lady Under the Stairs, Part I

I was going to use this post to talk about underwear, but I’ve decided to put that off in favor of a more pressing topic. I promise to talk about underwear soon, and how I’ve only taken three pairs (okay four, but I’ll get to that some other time) and how you pack for a nine-month journey around the world, but I have another important matter that has taken up my attention these days. There’s a troll living below us, and she’s not happy. I have always been a practical fellow, and because of this I don’t care to spend too much on lodging if I can help it. I like a nice hotel as well as the next guy, but if a place is relatively neat and clean, I’m happy. And if we’re going to be able to pull this trip off, we’re going to have to find some economies. So we begin our trip with a cautionary tale of budget lodging. We are now in New York after a very brief visit to LA. We arrived here last week to deposit our only child at college, and we’re planning to spend a month or so. It is, after all, my hometown, but I left more than thirty years ago, and it would be nice to get reacquainted. We’ll be staying with a friend in Bushwick starting September 1, but we needed to find a place for our first ten days here. Thus, we decided to find accommodations using a famous social media short term rental booking service. As it turns out, the place we found has some issues. Here are the good parts. It’s near Houston Street and 1st Avenue , which is just dandy. We’re right where Nolita, the Lower East Side, and the East Village come together. There’s Katz’s Deli and Yonah Shimmel’s Knishes and Russ & Daughters smoked fish. There’s also some pretty good goy food too. And it’s steps from the 2nd Avenue F train stop, so it’s really convenient. The apartment’s in the rear of the building, away from the street, so it’s quiet (except when the troll bangs on our floor with a broom handle). And it’s cheap. About $150 a night, which is cheap for this part of town and a lot cheaper than a hotel. Besides, you get a kitchen and some room to stretch out and you get to live like a local! Well, you don’t want to live like all locals. We have a troll living downstairs. Or maybe she’s one of the three billy goats gruff, or some other dyspeptic character from an Aesop fable. Whatever she is, she’s pissed. A few minutes after we arrived after a long flight with Maggie’s college luggage, we received our first visit. The doorbell rang and there stood a woman in her sixties – a little thin, a little tar and nicotined. “You’re making a LOT of noise,” she advised. Well, the floor creaks, but it wasn’t like we were tap dancing. “I’m very sorry,” I replied, surprised. Then it got a bit weirder. “Are you friends of Anna’s from Norway?” she inquired. I was non-committal. “Hmmmblmmbbb,” I hedged. Then she asked me if Sven or Joost or whatever his name was got his green card. Was this a trap? “Who can say?” I waffled, thinking I was in a spy novel. If I was in a spy novel, this was a safe house – you know, the kind with the bare light bulb and the bad plumbing. But first, I had to figure out what to do about the troll. Next time – The Thrilling Conclusion

3 thoughts on “The Lady Under the Stairs, Part I

  1. September 1st? That’s when Hitler invaded Poland. He didn’t invade personally, but he sent some friends. It is also someone’s birthday.

    As for the troll, take her to the top of the stairs and call Richard Widmark.

  2. Pingback: The people under the stairs – Part Three!! | Eat, Bicker, Love

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