Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Little Pain the Morning After.....

These containers look innocent enough, so when Mr. and Mrs. Penthouse asked about doing some rearranging of the sculpture collection on the terrace, I thought, "What could be so hard?"  After all, my only responsibility is getting these containers out of here so that the sculpture can be moved back a little.....FAMOUS LAST WORDS.......

First mistake:  Thinking the containers were fiberglass rather than concrete.  Every step of the prodding, poking and knocking seemed to indicate they were fiberglass.  They are not.

Second mistake:  Thinking the trees would be somewhat flexible.  After all, they're deodor cedars in these "small" containers.  In fact, they are incredibly stiff branches from handling ten years of brutal wind on the 42nd floor.

Third mistake:  Perspective.  These trees look fairly small outside, in that context.  In fact, they are each between  ten and twelve feet tall.  This mostly is an issue since the doors going into the condominium are eight feet tall, as are most of the interior openings.

So Chuck, Patti and I decided to spend yesterday morning moving the containers out of the apartment, thinking it would take "a couple of hours".  Needless to say, we are all in major pain this morning. 

A few highlights:
When the pots are this size, they "max out" the length of the straps we have for moving pots.  As a result, each time the pot is lifted, it draws blood on one's knuckles.

The pots must be tipped to clear the doors, but when tipped, they spill dirt onto the white silk carpeting, which we fortunately covered with plastic dropcloths first.

Rolling these pots down the halls of the apartment to the service elevator, the choice was let the branches cut my face or scratch paintings that are each worth more than my house.  My face isn't pretty this morning.....

Just to give you an idea of the weight of these things, FIVE containers threatened to break the axle of the rented U-Haul truck.  Fourth mistake:  Having SIX containers.......

Oh, and did I mention that not one, but two, service elevators went out of service during our adventure?  I'm spending the day watching Spartacus on television.......


  1. I'm laughing, but, its the way you presented this in writing. I sure it was a bitch!

    At least you didn't have the trees planted in one long container.

  2. omg! that sounds horible.....was the finished product worth it? rest and recoop my friend;)

  3. I'm having a fun day recovering. Saw Chuck this morning, and he's spending the day popping Tylenol. Since he's younger than the rest of us, he gets to be the "brute strength".

    Jim, it's funny you should say that. There is a matching trough 8 feet long on the next terrace over from these, that has been planted with bamboo for ten years. Going back tomorrow with the Sawzall to start tackling that!

  4. Hence the term- "suffering for your art".
    My husband did a penthouse in Portland's Pearl District for THE STREET OF DREAMS in summer of 2009, intrusting me to do the terrace. What a hard bob, lugging all those containers & all that soil & then watching as everything baked in the 100+ degree sun.

  5. OMG!! I hate that. I always underestimate how much work and how heavy things are. Glad you are recouping and having a treat.