We are two tenant associations who joined together to defend ourselves against a corporate real estate investment hydra that seeks to expel us from our homes in order to maximize their profits.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Take a Cold Shower

We are going on day three of no cooking gas, and no heat or hot water at 118 East Fourth St. Con Ed cut off the gas from outside. They posted a form on the front door to the street. This from a tenant. 

"Con Ed cut the gas tonight ..... building-wide.... at 118.

There's a cryptic notification on the front door of building that suggests the problem is gas leaks. At least the handwritten words "Leaks. Ext. Serv." appear in the section that supposedly explains the condition that has led to the issuing of a 'warning tag' on a premises. Not much warning though.... can't so much as turn on a burner on my stove. It then says that the gas has been shut off to 'bldg. HD of Serv." I have no clue how to decipher that particular bit. 

Don't get me wrong. If there's a gas danger here, I'm glad pre-emptive action has been taken. It's a good excuse to blow the budget and order in. 
118 East 4th Street is, of course, world famous for its home cooked haute cuisine. Michelin stars are pending.  But here's a warning: if you've been invited to a fabulous dinner party in this building tonight or tomorrow..... bring cold cuts."

Repeated calls to Westminster Management have been useless. No information from them. No urgency expressed on their end to resolve the problem. The elusive Super no where to be found. We don't have a Super that lives on the premises, so basic daily building upkeep is never attended to, which might prevent such problems from manifesting. Westminster City Living seems to rely on repeated visits from the FDNY for these tasks. Westminster is owned by Jared Kushner, son in law to Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

A noon update from the tenant quoted above.

"Here's your noon update, as the crippling hot water and gas stove outage disrupts 118. No solution in sight.... and the news as bleak as your morning shower was today.... and will be tomorrow... 

Around 10 this morning I conducted a systematic floor by floor search for the elusive Westminster plumber who is supposedly working to solve the problem. Floor by floor.... down to the basement which I cased in particular detail in case he was working quietly carrying a noise muffling wrench. It's like a set from The Walking Dead down there, minus zombies and plumbers.
I tracked the Super down to the basement of 120 which seemed highly appropriate in Westminster terms: here's the Super in the basement of the building that is not actually having a life disrupting crisis today (I mean I know you guys have your share of problems but right now you're Germany and we're Syria).

Anyway the Super was pretty bleak about the situation. He said a plumber had been yesterday and was now preparing 'a proposal' to remedy a leak in a pipe. After which Westminster would consider his 'proposal' and decide on what to do next. I would have thought it was pretty simple: either fix the leak if possible or replace the pipe if it couldn't be fixed. The Super made it sound like the the whole issue would need to go before the Senate Estimates Committee.

But here's the chilling bit of dialogue: 

Me: So you're saying this whole thing could go on for several more days?                                                                       Him: Yes. Nothing is going to happen today. I can't tell you when its going to be fixed."

Obviously Con Ed isn't the culprit here. They can't do anything about turning the gas back on till they have a repair to inspect and sign off on."


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