Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Party pictures

Another long-awaited update

The last few weeks have been the busiest yet--sorry I haven't posted about all the goings-on.

--Our carpenter has been in the space almost all the time, building out our bar. It's starting to look very real, with panelling on the sides and a beautiful top. We'll give you pictures as soon as we can. He's also built a bunch of tables out of old wood--we just need to add bases to them. And the back bar is really shaping up with shelving, etc.

--We've bought all our bar fixtures: a reach-in under-bar refrigerator, two under-bar sinks, and a cocktail station.
--We also bought all our furniture (26 chairs, 12 comfy backed bar stools for the bar, and 10 backless stools for the ledge area opposite the bar). All that is coming in about a week.

--We recently managed to frame out our two new pretty skylights.
--We put a coat of dirty yellow paint ("buttercup") on the ceiling in the front room, and a coat of dark blue ("aqua") paint on the walls. The ceiling may not need another coat, but the wall definitely will--the paint didn't go on evenly everywhere.

--HVAC is nearly done, and the electrician is finishing up as well, putting in the last of our outlets, our hanging antique light fixtures in the front room, and our bathroom fans. Our plumber should be coming by in the next few days to finish up bar plumbing.

--The robot has arrived, albeit in a semi-finished form. TellArt, our robot company, is still fine-tuning his drinking motion to minimize spillage.

--We had a fun party when a bunch of Californians and Rhode Islanders (Rhodesians?) were in town. Pictures in a separate post.
Wow, saying all that makes me feel like we're almost done. In actuality, it's hard to tell because there's such a carpentry mess everywhere. But we're at most three weeks away from completing renovation. Now if we could just get those pesky permits, licenses, and inspections.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

And by the way I'm completely brain-dead

from all the work, so excuse the inevitable spelling errors and lack of my usual Astaire-like verbal twirling.

One other thing I forgot to mention: we have a massive walk-in cold box. It's pretty amazing. Not only that, but our tap system is ready to install any time once we finish the back bar. Okay, that's it for tonight.

Things that we have done and things that have happened to us

The benches in the back room in an intermediate state of completion. We later finished out the bottoms and added partitions. In the foreground is our awesome antique washer/dryer.

I built a mantel. So you can all just suck an egg.

The panelling (I'm not sure if you've seen this before). I think it's sweet.

The panelling and shelf that Jon and I built in the front room.

Sunlight falls romantically on the beginnings of the benches we built in the front room.

This is an example of the tar the roofers were pulling off of our roof and then unceremoniously dropping onto our back room floor. Gross, heavy, etc.

Beautiful and ugly at the same time. You see our pretty old steel and wood ceiling beams, with a ridiculous amount of tar on top of them. We actually like this one so much we might blow it up and post it in our bar.

Debris from the tar demolition downstairs. There were actually aluminum signs interwoven into the tar, we guess as makeshift waterproofing.

The joists that we had to temporarily use to support our ceiling while the roofers removed the tar.

A long-awaited update

It's been a ridiculously busy couple weeks; sorry I haven't been been able to update you more. Essentially, we've spent the last week in skylight/HVAC/roofing purgatory. Last Friday, we found out during a routine skylight installation that our roof had way, way more tar than is legal or safe. The legal limit is three layers; we had so many compacted layers it was hard to see, but together they formed a solid six-inch block of tar. Tar is a heavy thing, and that much on one little roof had caused our ceiling to start to collapse. Our roofing/skylight guy had never seen tar this thick in his whole NYC construction career. He rightly advised us that we couldn't risk having any people in the back room while such a collapse threat existed. He immediately called everyone in his company to the space:

Antonio: "Cancel the St. Joseph's school job. Get everyone here tomorrow."

So Catholic schoolchildren be damned. Saturday they worked all day demolishing old tar, but the roof was still unfinished. We told them not to come back Sunday, because we were worried about further inconveniencing our neighbors with weekend noise. That day, we sat in the bar and prayed it wouldn't rain. No such luck. Two thunderstorms had us running around the bar, building makeshift plastic funnels and creating buckets to hold the copious drips. Water was falling in sheets down our bathroom walls and into our basement. Jon and I ran home to get bedding so that we could sleep and stand watch at the bar all night, but one late-night massive thunderstorm, courtesy of West Virginia, caught us by surprise. It was the worst of all; we were soaked and sweeping and baling water into our toilet like mad.

But when it was all over on Monday (our roofers woke us up banging on the door at 8:30), the damage was minimal. We might have to replace a little dry wall, that's all. Our plumber and roofer have finished up this week, and we've built a bookcase into the wall of the back room. Tomorrow our carpenter is supposed to return to finish the bar and back bar, and we'll get rid of the remaining debris in the space. Our electrician will finish up by the end of the week. All in all, we're miraculously back to being close to done. Time to build a few more bookcases and a few tables, and then just start buying chairs, stools, and bar equipment.

I'll post some pictures soon of the miscelleanous work we've done in the past couple weeks, which includes a lot of finishing of our banquettes.