Excerpts from the chapter "The Layout"
Published by Scott Denys in Chapter Excerpts · 8 March 2018
Hi, as promised, I am going to provide you with some excerpts from three of the early chapters. This chapter is called "The Layout".
"The Layout" gives you a basic description of the apartment. The chapter contains more, but this is a sample of the chapter content. Please comment in the blog your thoughts. Thanks in advance.
There were two doors to the main part of the complex. One unit on the side of the building had an external entrance. In the back there was a coach house style apartment attached to the garages. The building itself was composed of three levels. The top two levels were above ground. They showed me a lower level which was half below ground, or a my mom called it, a garden apartment. This was a very cool and eclectic place. The unit was a one bedroom with hard wood floors. The bedroom was large enough for King size bed or a queen with additional furniture and had a nice size walk in closet.
The living room was huge and had another larger walk-in closet. Not only could you put a traditional living room setting in there, you could easily put a nice sized office in. The kitchen was a small galley style with load of old fashioned metal cabinets. There was a nice built in cabinet with a glass door where the kitchen separated the dining area. In the hallway by the bathroom and bedroom doors was a built in four drawer with a large multi shelf cabinet above. No need for a dresser here!
As I looked around I saw mounted on the wall the old doorbell phone. The phone was black with a button on the top but just under the receiver hang area. There was a thick cloth covered cord connecting the phone to the base unit. I had asked if the system was still in service. I was told it was not. It was costly to maintain and with everyone carrying cell phones, the need was most dissipated. To take the phone off the wall would create a maintenance project that was deemed unnecessary.
And of course, it looked cool. It was not something you would find in too many other apartments. It was a nice decoration for an apartment of this type. It added to the eclectic look and feel of an apartment from this era.
I was ready to sign on the line. I said where do I sign. I have the deposit money in hand. Well in the form of a debit card or a check.
As it came out thought there were others looking. Also you had to play the landlord form game. Upon getting all of my “landlord stuff” I was told the lower level had already been rented. But there was this one one floor up and the other side. It was the same layout, only flipped. I said yes. And I will take a garage also. (The rent was very inexpensive and having a garage would give me a place to put things that did not fit into the apartment which needed going through and some disposal.)
I got all of the paper work approved, paid the bill and got access. It was almost as good as the garden unit. I noted a couple of small paint jobs that needed to be done and the maintenance company took quick care of it. I also hired a cleaning crew as I wanted to have a good clean start.
The doorbell phone however did not have a cord connecting the handset to the base. Being a bit of an eclectic person, it was put on my post move in list to connect a cord. Even though it would not do anything, the goal was to make it look like it really belonged there.
The idea of authentic look made sense. The apartment building, with its 19 units and a coach house in the back, was built on the old main US Highway going through town. At its peak, more cars than can be imagined, like described in the movie CARS, drove by. Looking at the road, it was fairly wide from its original creation. Nowhere did I see the typical we made it too narrow look with just wide enough lanes and houses and buildings right on the curbs. Even the center turn lane looks original. It is the main road to two hospitals, two colleges, and through the downtown area.
The building was also not a part of a complex. On the property’s southern border (there is a fence, kind of like a wall) with a major American Bank as a neighbor. On the northern border where the driveway to the back parking and garages is, the neighboring property is a funeral home crematory. The next property to the north is a Realtor Association building. Across the street is is a large dental office. This is an isolated apartment building. Behind the garages across the street which looks like an alley is a number of apartment buildings, but there is no direct path to get to them.
Not knowing the details of the building construction, I wondered what the effect would be with having hard wood floors. One past house that I lived in had pinewood floors. Not only was it noisy, but the floor sagged when people over one hundred fifty pounds would walk across. It was not as noticeable upstairs as it was downstairs. Upstairs you would feel the floor bounce. Downstairs, you would hear the clopping and also watch the light bulb sway. If someone would drop an item on the floor, the sound below would be accentuated by the by the cement floor and solid walls. Some sounds were downright deafening.
The question is, with hardwood floors, what sounds would be heard? Does sound travel through the wood to other floors? How loud would they be. In fact, what might I need to do differently to not be noisy. Could the radio or TV be played too loud? Does the movement of a desk chair across the floor make an obnoxious noise? If I a pan is dropped on the floor, is it a bang or a thud below? Would anyone hear the blender at eleven at night?
Not that I worried what I could hear, I had been battling a hearing problem for over twenty-five years. Not that my hearing was totally bad, just certain pitches were fairly weak. For instance, when running the church sound board (weird, a hearing impaired guy runs a soundboard, of course, there are level indicators on a sound board) and projection screen controls, I would have difficulties understanding the all soprano singing group. With the multiple part singing groups, the blend of pitches made it easier to understand. It is this lack of hearing ability that always led me to ask others what they could hear.
Another issue with sounds would be in the non-heating and non-air conditioning days. The windows on the apartment would be opened. Could someone on another floor hear what is going ion in the apartment? Could someone outside hear what was going on in the apartment? Better yet, what does it sound like in the apartment with the windows opened? I can sleep through anything, but others have told me they hear the city street sounds all too well and have to close the windows and turn on the air conditioning.
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