There was a woman who lived in the building for 59 years before passing away last spring at the age of 95. She moved in the year I was born, in 1954 with two small children and a husband that died way before I started working there. She was a very nice woman, very independent, went “svimming” twice a week well into her early 90’s and went to her house in Florida every winter. She was always elegantly dressed, wore gold and pearls and did all her own shopping until a newer young mother with small children mowed her down with her $1,000 baby bug-aboo at the CVS on the corner.
This happened when she was 92, and the three years after that were spent in and out of hospitals and rehabs until she couldn’t fight off the inevitable anymore last May. The management was happy to get a rent-controlled apartment back.
The shortest stay was a couple that moved in just before Christmas in 2011. It was a young couple; they were both in their early 30’s; she a pretty blond lawyer and he a dark handsome guy who did something for the NY Yankees. They were unmarried and moving in together for the first time.
She moved in first and I spent a whole day one day making a little platform for her stack of clear plastic shoe boxes so they would sit properly on the uneven concrete floor of her closet. She was finally satisfied the boxes did not tilt so badly.
When he moved in he brought with him four seats from the old Yankee stadium that sat in the dinning room.
Two weeks after he moved in he came down to the lobby, and I happened to be there talking to the doorman and he asked “Who do I talk to about moving out?”
She moved out a month later. The previous tenant, old Mr. Post had lived there for 50 years before he passed away.
My personal best for a short stay was one month in 1983 when I moved in with my then girlfriend and future wife. A friend had given us the keys to the apartment she was vacating on East 7th Street just a few yards west of Tompkins Square Park.
It was on the top floor of a 6-story tenement with a bathtub in the kitchen. The tub had one of those rubber hose showerheads and the bathtub was too small to really stretch out in. We only lasted a month because the landlords (they were a divorced couple) started harassing us right away, refused our rent check and called the cops, who told them to take us to housing court. We found another place on Houston Street, with a bigger bathtub and one floor less to climb. We were there for 5 years, and when Kathy got pregnant we needed a bigger place we moved to Greenpoint.
Kathy and I were together for 20 years, 16 of them married, and we lived in 10 different apartments. She never could get along with any of our neighbors.
As some of you know, the lovely Danusia and I are looking to buy a house, and we’ve lived in our present apartment now for 6 years, so I’ve already broken the record of 5 years in one place. Wish us luck on the house.