A Little Stain Goes a Long Way

Over the weekend I was making coffee, and I noticed that my kitchen cart, made of unfinished pine had some water stains on it. I had a brainstorm, why not just slap on a coat of stain and make it look all shiny new. Simple, right? Well, it actually wasn’t too bad my friends.But, whenever I take on a home improvement project there are a few things in common. First, I don’t do my research. I just figure it out along the way, which always leads a few mishaps along the way. Luckily I’ve bungled my way through enough projects like this that, it usually turns out ok, even without reading the instructions. This time around, here’s what I learned:

  • If you wear a pink dress to home depot to buy your supplies, no one will take you seriously. I got a lot of “Little Misses,” and lectures about how tricky staining can be from middle aged men
  • Middle aged men ALWAYS overestimate how long it takes to do thing. Yes, sir, I understand it would take you 3 coats and a full day to do this project. I’ll do it in half the time with 2 coats.
  • When painting, always put your hair in a bandana. It’s easier to keep polyurethane from getting in your hair in the first place than to get it out.
  • Just buy gloves.
  • Even though the sales guy said only paint thinner would get it off your skin and you chose to ignore his snotty advice, nail polish remover will get it off just as well. Rubbing alcohol too.

Voila! A few hours, half a can of stain, and a few minor mishaps later, my shiny kitchen cart.

House on top of a House

If there is one thing Manhattan is known for, it is the residential situation. Apartments are hard to find. They’re expensive. People keep pushing further uptown, and further into the outer boroughs to find someplace to live. That is, of course, unless you’re ridiculously rich. Then, why not just buy a rooftop, and build yourself your dream home right there on top of someone else’s apartment building. Why not, indeed.

To be honest, this idea had never occurred to me until very recently. I moved to a new neighborhood the beginning of the month, and on my new commute I found myself being extra observant, taking in the sights of the new streets I had never walked. Then I passed the Kiehl’s store on Third Avenue and 13th Street on my way home one day. While waiting to cross the street, I happened to look up and notice a house complete with patios, greenery, a CHIMNEY, and sculptures perched right there on top of a four-story building.

A few google searches later, and I found these photographs posted on Scouting New York’s blog. It’s a genius idea, really. You have your own private space. It’s almost like having a home in the suburbs, but with the convenience of being RIGHT in the middle of Manhattan, and who was really using that roof anyhow. What I’d like to know is, how much does a purchase like this cost, and how do we go about buying one?