Tuesday, October 25, 2016
A Yellow Rain in Syracuse
I'm still on the road and unaccustomed to writing these blog posts from anywhere but the comfort of my den, so you'll have to excuse me one more trip down memory lane, in this case 714 Euclid Ave.
Do not be fooled by the quaint exterior, this place is a dump. A massive dump. If I had to guess, I would say it is well over 6000 square feet of living space, on 4 floors, three you can see and a musty unfinished basement you can't.
The owner of the joint called this a Boarding House and he would rent out the TEN individual bedrooms to Syracuse university students seeking affordable living.
As luck would have it, I was renter #9 and the landlord agreed to house me in a large bedroom in the aforementioned basement. The price was right. The proximity to campus, about a mile, was doable. And the heat was included in the rent, in Syracuse that's a win-win.
However, the landlord failed to inform me that the bedroom was located right below the kitchen and that some of the hardworking law students were early risers. It became painfully apparent this basement room was going to drive me bonkers.
I asked if I could be moved to a still vacant room on the top floor, see dormer window. The answer was no. In fact the answer was "no" on several occasions. So I did what I think any normal college student, short on sleep and other viable options, would do.
I picked the lock on the empty room. Moved all my belongings up there. And then -- and here's the dastardly part -- I ran a garden hose into the basement window and flooded the room with an inch of water. I called the landlord right away and told him there was a plumbing leak and I had to make an emergency evacuation from the room.
Suffice to say, the plumber arrived within minutes and could not find any leaks.
As you can imagine many unpleasantries and threats were exchanged.
And I know you're thinking less of me right now for taking such extreme measures. I'm even embarrassed to write this. However before you start empathizing with the landlord, keep in mind the man was actually a slumlord.
The house was a city ordinance nightmare.
Floorboards were missing.
The fire exit doors were bolted shut.
And the man had no respect for the students living at the house.
He would show up at the house unannounced. Eat our food. Drink our beer. And on several occasions walk in on the female students, once while one lass was entertaining a male friend -- coitus landlordus interruptus.
One more annoyance.
The driveway, on the left side of the picture, can accommodate 7 cars. Which can come in handy during an upstate NY winter. But Chuck, the landlord, kept his white working minivan parked there all year round. Meaning those of us with cars had to battle the 150 inches of snow and the battalion of army grade snowplows.
If you look back at the picture of the house, you'll see there are two dormers windows on the very top floor. The second is a bathroom that is conveniently situated right above the spot where Chuck would park his vehicle.
Am I saying several of the guys in the house would do their business out the window onto the van? No.
But I'm not not saying that either.