Nightmare On Bergen Street

I am officially a resident of Brooklyn, NY. Hooray! This is the third New York City borough that I've lived in, actually. Maybe I'll try out the Bronx someday. No amount of money can make me move to Staten Island though (and I'm pretty sure its existence is just a myth).

About two years ago I got this
baby for $80 on Craigslist. I'm a pro.
Sam and I have been buying all of our furniture off of Craigslist (except for our giant red IKEA Ektorp couch which, let's face it, was just an excuse to go to IKEA and stuff meatballs and lingonberries in our faces). I am a huge Craigslist enthusiast and have purchased most of my furniture from 20-somethings in the tri-state area who were moving on to bigger and better pastures. It was soon made crystal clear that Sam and I needed some furniture; we had a table-less dining room, blue IKEA tarp bags filled with books eagerly waiting to be shelved, piles of clothes that needed a home, and way more makeup than I ever use sitting on our bedroom floor. I'm kind of a huge decorating snob, so I wasn't about to just stroll into a IKEA again and buy the cheapest particle board furniture I could find. I knew how to do this. I'd done this a million times before. It was Craigslist time.

The scouring began and within a couple days, I had found a beautiful wooden dining room table for us. We went and picked it up a couple of blocks from our place and then carried it back. It was a bit heavy and we had to keep resting along the way because I have fragile, baby hands and noodles for arms. Soon after, I found a set of vintage-y purple chairs in Brooklyn Heights and we went and scooped them up. The seller ended up giving them to us for free. It was then that we were imbued with a false sense of Craigslist confidence. This was working and working WELL. We could find and buy anything on this little website.

Next came a gigantic oak bookcase. "Light and easy to carry" was how she described it on Craigslist. "Death and suffering that you can put your books on" is what she should have called it. Poor Sam carried the bookcase by himself for FIFTEEN BLOCKS while I struggled with just carrying the three shelves (remember: linguine arms). We should have seen the downhill pattern then, but when we found the perfect vanity table that was still in the box and a beautiful cherry wood armoire, we thought it would be a piece of cake. We scheduled a pick-up truck zipcar named "Tumwater" (our first zipcar was named "Mudget" and our Ikea-couch-carrying minivan was known as "Stillion").

Sam waited in the car, illegally parked, while I went into the first apartment to get the vanity. It was still in its box and very awkward to carry. Because of the aforementioned complete lack of upper body strength, I was forced to grab the lip of the cardboard box and drag it into the elevator and then out and into the lobby. I was building up a decent rhythm when I stumbled forward a bit and heard a sound from my ankle that no one should ever hear. It was somewhere in between popcorn and a chiropractic soundtrack composed by John Williams. Sam saw me struggling and came rushing in to help, but it was too late. My ankle was already screaming a big "Fuck you" to me, the vanity, and even Sam.

She looks so smug...
We dropped the vanity off at home and continued our journey to go and pick up the armoire. It retails at over $1,000, but we were getting it for $100. It was a steal. When we got to the apartment, the four-flight stair walk-up was a shock back to reality. Not even the dewy-eyed face of a happy Italian Greyhound could cheer us up. The armoire was in the living room waiting for us and it was even more beautiful in person. We pulled our britches high and, with the help of the girl selling it to us and neighbors along the way, were able to carry the 6'5" armoire down four flights of stairs and into the butt of Tumwater. "I didn't even think of how you would get it down. I had moving men bring it up and I'm not even sure how they did it!" said the girl. I wanted to sock her in the ovaries.

The worst part was over though, right? All we had to do was pull it out of the truck, roll it to our apartment door (thanks, Ethan Allen, for building your furniture on wheels), and tilt it into the doorway. We were worried about my being able to lift one end by myself, but when our neighbor saw us dragging it out of Tumwater's innards, he offered to help. We were golden.

No we were not fucking golden. The armoire did not, does not, will not fit through the front door of our stupid apartment (I love our apartment, this is just rage talking). Our neighbor was nice enough to let us bring it into his apartment and keep it there until we figure out our shit (he owns the whole brownstone), but the options are ridiculous and pretty grim. The armoire doesn't come apart (remember when I thanked you, Ethan Allen? I take it back). We either have to put it right back on Craigslist (  :'(  ) or round up some people with gigantic, beefy arms and carry it from garden to garden and then into our kitchen door, where it will fit (we measured this time). It looks like we're going to try the latter option first, but HOW RIDICULOUS IS THIS?! I have to ask the neighbor between the guy who helped us and our apartment, whom I have never formally met,  if I can carry my gigantic armoire through her garden. MADNESS. I would rather die.

We have nice friends though who are willing to come all the way the to Brooklyn tomorrow after work and lift shit for us (thanks Roy, Todd, and Aidan for your beefy arms and friendship), so maybe it won't be that bad. It's already pretty bad though so maybe my badness scale is really poorly calibrated at this point.

Consider this post my vow to never buy anything bigger than a chair off of Craigslist again. Also consider it a warning to always measure your effing doorways before being an impulsive, furniture-buying idiot. Craigslist, I do love you, but goddamnit are you a bitch sometimes. That all being said, is it weird to name the things you get off of Craigslist after the people you got them from? If not, we now have a table named "Jess," two chairs named "Lee 1" and "Lee 2," a vanity named "Bruce," and a fucking dick of an armoire named "Paloma."

On an entirely unrelated note: Anyone know how to get horrible scratches out of cherry wood? :(


  1. Congratulations on your move!
    I am with you on the don't try to move huge shiz. I bought a queen size sealy mattress off of this girl on craig's list, she bought it for $1200 and gave it to me for $250 because she was move out of state and was desperate. Really good deal and a total steal given that she said she only slept on it like twice and spent most of her time at her bf's (on his king size bed, as she made sure to tell me). Anyway, great find but moving that thing was a nightmare. It was dense, heavy, and just impossible. At point it knocked me over and I hit my head on the sidewalk and got laid by the mattress.
    Never again.

  2. I can confirm the veracity of Taylor's account of these events.

  3. OMG that sounds horrible! You moved a queen-sized mattress by yourself? You're pretty brave, girl.

    And thanks, Sam. :(

  4. Ask your neighbor, you'll be glad you did once everything's inside. I once had to ask a BK neighbor 2 doors down if I could go into her backyard, jump over her fence in the middle neighbor's yard so I could jump over the fence into my backyard, so I could climb a fence down to my basement window so I could break into my apartment after I locked myself out. It can't be worse than that.

  5. Haha that is pretty bad, Becky. You're lucky they were home.

    Sam actually just called our neighbor and he thinks there might be a way for it to actually come apart? I'll be praying...

  6. Awww thanks for asking. I can walk fine but if I turn it either way it really hurts. I'm thinking/hoping I just sprained or strained or another -ained it.

  7. oh girl, i can't even imagine D: D:
    i'm moving this weekend too, but luckily there will be very minimal carrying of things, i am borrowing my dad's old jalopy of a truck and using that to haul stuff around. and our place now is on the ground floor and the place we're moving to is just on the second floor..i couldn't imagine going up/down any more steps! ya'll are champs!
    and i totally hear you on CL. my best find was a dark brown leather, sealy couch in almost perfect condition that retails around $1000 for $150 (talked down from $250)
    gotta love CL!

  8. Good luck moving! It's always rough but you feel so accomplished when it's finally over with. Let me know how it all goes.

    I feel ya on the steps. We moved into the ground floor though too THANK GOD. Moving furniture upstairs is hell on Earth.

  9. Ahh! I just moved as well. I made a boy do all the heavy lifting - my wrist is fucked from a can opener, how stupid is that?

    I hope you got it in and everything splendid now! Show me pictures, I love seeing new apartments. :)

  10. Haha of all things! I almost paid people to move all of my shit but here in NYC they wanted to charge upwards of $800 for moving a desk, chair, and clothes and stuff. Not even a bed! It was nuts.

    Everything is definitely wonderful now. Sam was actually able to take Paloma apart so everything worked out better than expected. We're having our housewarming this Saturday night and I'll definitely take some pictures soon! :)


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