My Exit From NYC, My Home, the place of my birth .. to eventually, the road

New York City – “I NEVER WANTED TO LEAVE !”

Lets get it straight, I’m no freaken transplant. I’ve lived, grew up and was born in NYC’s Greenwich Village. I’ve been there  my entire life. I’ve been dead smack in the chaos and witnessed NYC’s transformation first hand, when mob guys ruled Greenwich Village, when  Italian immigrants moved out of the city to a new life in the suburbs. I  saw the immigration of  the Portugues and later the French ex pats move in. There was also the yuppies and puppies as monthly rents escalated from hundreds of dollars to thousands. The hippy and yippy scene started here, the Hell’s Angels were feared, crooked cops shook down the local businesses. I was there for all of it. I have never lived anyplace else.

I had a rent stabilized apartment in the same building I grew up in with my grandmother, aunts, uncles and father, located in the heart of it all, right on the corner of Thompson and Houston Street. I never dreamed of ever leaving NYC. This was my home. I was a part of Manhattan Island. My grandparents grandparents moved to Greenwich Village, way back when the streets of NYC weren’t even paved. When everybody knew everybody else, and the streets were safe, but only if you had the right connections.


On November of 2015, my 5 story walkup was sold. It was from that point, till November of 2016, actions were taken in the building to get all of us out. In the 30 apartment building, those renters who were renting under what was called ‘free market’ (it means, they had a 1 year lease and had no protection when the lease expired) were told their lease would not be renewed. That left 10 apartments who had either rent stabilized or rent controlled apartments and supposedly, were protected by NYC laws (yea, give me a break).

Demolition started shortly on those apartments surrounding mine. Over 2 dozen, non english, non licensed workers poured in the building every morning, taking over the building at 7 AM. They were screaming and yelling, tenants felt the building was under seige. They were armed with sledge hammers, picks. They weren’t friendly.  No one was in charge. Well, No one would admit to being able to speak English. The demolition and ear splitting pounding that would eventually mentally tear me down, would start promptly around me. The plaster would fall on my face as I lay in my bed, as they stripped the walls, ceilings and floor below and above me within inches of the thin, supporting structure suspending my apartment’s structure in the 120 year old network of old brick and deteriorating wood beams. A hydraulic, jack hammer’s blade came through my ceiling within inches of my face as I lay in my loft bed.

Month and months of demolitions took place. The building’s hallways and walls was covered in fine grey soot as was my apartment. I’d wake up, with a new, persistent cough. Sometimes the welding torches fumes would get so thick and suffocating, I had to run out of the apartment just to catch my breath. My objections to the workers in the hallway, only resolved in me being threatened, fearing leaving my apartment while they were in the building. The worst of the demolition was the consistent pounding. The only way I could explain it to others, imagine having a heavy duty cardboard box  put over your head, and then 5 guys with wiffel ball bats swatted at it for 7 hours or more a day. Just the constant vibrations within your head .. not taking the panic reactions when you were startled, never knowing when the next wallop, the next explosive crash, would occur.

My general practicioner doctor was compassionate, Dr. Catherine Lee, sent me to one doctor after another. Respiratory ailments, emotional toll and we didn’t even get to speaking about the mice feces, the chronic hacking cough that resulted that made my ribs feel like they were exploding, waking up in the middle of the night,  desperately trying to catch my breath thinking I was going to die.

Dozens of mice would scatter every time I opened the front door of my apartment, despite trapping and removing hundreds of the persistent rodents over this period. I’d freak out, quilt pulled up covering my chin as they’d scurry over my body at night. The kitchen pipes in the sink in the kitchen were demolished from the demolition below. I could not turn on the sink as water would pour down on the floor. The management company refused to fix it. They building representives who came said it was my fault. Huh?

The long, straight heating pipes that transversed through the apartment from one floor to another, from the demolition above and below, the valves were broken. When ever the heat was turned on, scalding steam clouds would fill the kitchen, the bathroom and my 1 room with humidity, causing hazardous black mold to grow on the walls and ceiling, while destroying any electronic equipment.

When $hit HITS The FAN … IT HITS THE FAN !!!
While this was going on, I was trying to live a NORMAL LIFE (whatever that means). I was considered in the health care industry by doctors and therapists who’d refer their clients to me as one of the top hypnotherapists in the world, a healer (a term I’ve never liked), the last stop and the only hope for many of their clients.  Along this time period, my dad at 87 was having heart problems. I was running out to NJ 5 days or more a week to whatever hospital he was in, being his advocate along with his caretaker Melanie (in my limited capacity) and trying to keep my NYC business and office afloat in the midst of all this chaos.

I SAW NO WAY OUT
Well, I did the math, under the current ObamaCare government, it seems I would have to work two more lifetimes just to pay for this one. The squalor and living conditions in my apartment was rapidly deteriorating my health. Running out to my dad every day was putting my business in the red. I was living on my business credit card.

I was so fed up, I told one of the buildings reps to buy me out. I think they knew I was beyond serious and beyond doing WHATEVER was necessary. I’d contacted city agencies, government reps, newspapers and you know, including my Chuckie Duckie Schumer, they were all full of #*$*$.

Our tenant group lawyer was contacted with an offer. I told them to shove it. I couldn’t live in a cardboard box in NYC for that amount. He worked it out. they met my offer (If I only knew back then, lawyer’s fee, the government wanted 47% of whatever I got in taxes) I would have asked for more.

I made a hurculeon effort empty my business, my apartment, of a lifetime of memories. Some went into storage, most, the bulk, went into a dumpster, meanwhile I was  still running out to my dads, trying to pay bills.

NOVEMBER 30 … AN EXILED NYC er … GONE …
(MAN WITHOUT A CITY)

November 30th I left. I was going to move in with my dad and continue to practice out there … unfortunately in this time period, he passed. I took up temporary residence at my mothers (it was only supposed to be 2 months), thanks to custom’s, it’s now 5 months.

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