Wednesday, April 4, 2007

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.

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