Grace has now fully moved in. Our combined furniture fills both apartments, not tightly, but enough so that it becomes difficult thinking about where to put an extra bookcase. We’re leaving the common wall clean, in anticipation of future construction, but beyond that, all the walls have some sort of furniture on them, mostly bookcases filled with books. We used Moishe’s Moving, and they did a great job with keeping the furniture from getting scuffed and the glassware from being broken. We spent our Friday night unpacking the many boxes of books (Grace did most of this while I was puttering around).

A few days before the move, one of the doorman found someone to sand and refinish the dark, neglected floor. It’s startingly bright, so much so that the floor in the old apartment now looks like the dark, neglected floor. When the wall comes down, there’ll be a contrast; we’ll live with it, because sanding the other floor will be more pain than it’s worth for such aesthetics. The cost was around $2.50/sq foot, which may be cheap by Manhattan prices, and perhaps around average elsewhere.

The kitchen has basically been moved: most of the cookware, plates and so on are now in the new apartment. (Yes, we’re preparing food in one apartment, and bringing it to the old one to eat the food.) The shelves were lined with left-over liner I had from five years ago, and are serviceable. The cabinet doors may get replaced sometime in the future; they’re identical to the cheap rental apartment cabinet doors I had many years ago, and they look more hideous now. The drying rack didn’t quite fit in the available space — it overhangs the sink by a few inches — but it’s good enough for government work, as they say. I’m curious about GE’s SpaceSaver Under-Sink dishwasher. I’d like to actually see one in BestBuy before more seriously thinking about buying one. Besides the sink, having a full-sized stove (with all four burners available), a full-sized fridge (and real freezer, rather than the dorm-style frost-accumulating freezer unit in the old one) and six feet of unobstructed counterspace is a treat. Sure, the stove isn’t a Viking, the fridge isn’t a Subzero, and the counter isn’t Corian, but I don’t care. Wonder of wonders, ice cream that stays frozen! Chopping vegetables and not having pieces fall to the floor because the counter’s too cramped! And I have to learn how to cook with more than two burners, it’s been so long.

The next thing to do in the kitchen is to get a wall grid, something about four feet wide and three feet high, where I can hang pots using S-hooks. The local hardware store has 2′ x 3′ pieces for $20 each made by Rovel. Google actually fails miserably on searching for grids by Rovel, because the hits on “grid” happen to be about Grid Computing, and Rovel is a French name. Also, the Rovel company may not have its products online. I’ll probably need to find the wall studs to mount this properly, since the grid will be load-bearing.

Moving the computers out of the master bedroom into the new apartment will probably take place in a couple of weeks. There’s already a co-ax cable in the new apartment, which presumably hooks up to Time Warner. When I dropped off Grace’s cable box at the 23rd & Madison location, the customer service rep told me that I should be able to just move the cable modem to the other co-ax, and it should work. There was a forehead-slapping d’oh: cable is broadcast, and they’re using the cable modem itself to identify (and bill) you. It should just work; if it doesn’t, it should be easy for Time Warner to put the co-ax cables in the two apartments on the came concentrator/router/whatever hardware they use in their office. This obviates the need for a wireless bridge between the cable modem and my router (my wireless topology would have been weird, or at least not common for consumer applications, since I want to keep the untrusted wireless connection outside of my firewall). The trick now is to get the co-ax cable through the wall into the second bedroom. I’ll need the appropriate drill bit for this, as well as about 15′ more co-ax, along with the proper heads and a coupler. Maybe a splitter also, so the TV in the second bedroom will have cable. The Time Warner customer service rep said that their people don’t drill through walls, at least not anymore. I did notice an old co-ax cable had gone through the wall at one point; it’s cut off and painted over now, but presumably I can drill near it and not destroy, say, the powerline that runs through that wall.

Speaking of power, my father and brother stopped by on Sunday and put in the usual three-prong grounded outlets, replacing most of the old two-prong outlets after chipping through sedimentary layers of cheap paint jobs. One of the old outlet boxes is deeply recessed into the wall, and we’re going to need a longer fastener, but that’s a minor issue. I now know a bit more about electrical wiring after watching my father work, and how not to electrocute oneself when working with the live wire. The light fixtures are on the list of things to be changed, the kitchen one in particular: they’re incandescents or nasty old fluorescents, and I should be able to put in CFLs in many places. EFI has a special on variety 3-packs right now. They also have ceiling-mounted fixtures available. Unfortunately, these fixtures aren’t dimmable.

I suppose this is the end of the beginning for the apartment alterations. The next steps will be a bit more difficult, and will involve real paperwork. I’m waiting to hear from the architect on any plans or proposals (this is fairly minor work compared to what the people immediately upstairs are planning — getting rid of closets to make a hallway! and expanding the kitchen — and what the people much higher up in the building have done — lots of wide-open space, with the B-line kitchen transformed into a utilty room, complete with a now-prohibited central air conditioning unit). There will be weeks of paperwork and a bit of time finding a licensed, bonded contractor to do the work. There will be some amount of time when construction is being done in the apartment. And then, the apartment should be close to done.

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