It may not look like much from the outside, but with a little help from me, the condo on the first floor of this 1900 row house in Hoboken's old "downtown" neighborhood, is about to do its part in rescuing the sagging U.S. economy. Come on, America, we've all got to do our part.
In recent days I heard it said that the stimulus money sent to taxpayers a few months ago wasn't being spent fast enough to help. Then I remembered the $250 that had been transferred to my bank account in the name of reversing the recession. I hadn't spent mine. I had planned to do it all at once; to go out the week I got it and buy $250 worth of American products from a little mom-and-pop American shop. Hoboken is full of them, and I knew the proprietors would enjoy my enthusiasm. But instead the money went to my bank and stayed there.
Now is the time I'm gonna react. The recovery has slowed down and I'm about to stimulate it on my own. I'm getting a mortgage and I'm going to pay some movers, and I'm going to have to buy all kinds of big ticket items (including that new thing, a washer-dryer all in one) to make myself comfortable. I'm going to spend a heck of a lot more than the $250.
You see in the picture above the exterior of the little building. It's four floors and I have nabbed the apartment on the ground level with the picture window. This also offers easy access to the shared back yard. I'll be in the Homeowners' Association, in this case being about three other people, where I'll try to effect some renovations, landscaping, and maybe removal of the aluminum siding that covers the place now (to sell it, the current owners have already painted over the red with an off-white accented in tan. I assume there are bricks beneath that). A gorgeous new door and removal of the awning would be an improvement. Hope my fellow condo-owners can be persuaded to go along with me.
My condo is move-in ready, but I may invest in a few customizing touches, and will definitely have to buy some storage-type furniture. Wait til you see pictures of my apartment--first empty (BEFORE) and later AFTER, meaning after I've filled it up!
I will admit that my main purpose in this move is not that I'll stimulate the economy. It was time to get out of a fourth-floor walkup and explore a new neighborhood in my new found town. Down on lower Madison Street--just around the corner from the birthplace of Frank Sinatra and a score of other second-generation Italian-Americans--I'll put down roots and become a native. Almost. I know a lot of stories about that part of town and expect to learn many more. There is an elderly lady who runs a garage sale every weekend out of the building next door; I understand she has connections to a prominent family, including a former mayor.
If I play my cards right, maybe I can get her to help me unload some of my excess stuff and stimulate the economy at the same time.