Hot Shower…going once, going twice…you’re out of luck

February 3, 2008

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I’ve traveled quite a bit in my life.  Some of my travels have taken me on the mission field to Mexico and rain forests of Australia.  In these areas of the world, I would expect not to find hot water for my shower.  Heck, even when I was growing up, my family spent a winter in a one room house without running water, so water was gathered from town and heated on the stove for baths – all that to say, there are some places where I would expect not to find hot water.

New York City is not one of those places. Remember, this place is supposed to be the most advanced city in the country.  Perhaps it is on Wall Street, but when it comes to hot water – this place is lacking.  I began noticing at the beginning of December that hot water was in short supply in my bathroom. There were times I actually had to take cold showers.  On the happy occasion I found hot water, it would last until I had just gotten myself suds up, and then POOF, all gone.  So I spoke with the super of the building, and he did something that took care of it…for awhile.  I was living the life of luxury, until the beginning of January when 2 things happened. 1) The hot water got weird again and 2) suddenly rusty water was dripping into my shower from above, and sometimes was hitting me on the head whilst I tried to clean myself!

I trudged down to the super again with wet hair, passed on the fact that I had just taken a cold shower with rusty water dripping on my head.  Apparently, the leak was not new. He’d just replaced the piping a few months before.  Feeling exacerbated, he came to look at my shower.  I told him the leak was most intense when the guy upstairs took a shower (mind you, I can hear EVERYTHING that happens above and below me. So much for the “quiet” apartment my landlord promised me).  So the super begins his detective work again.  He returns later in the day to inform me that the guy upstairs told him that he does not use the shower…that he uses the sink to wash! Are you kidding me?! What kind of crazies am I living around?!  Well, I’m not deaf, and I told him that if that man wasn’t taking a shower, then it was a ghost.

Well, the plumbers show up to find out what is going on.  5 men are standing in my tiny bathroom yelling at each other in a mixture of Spanish and English, trying to figure out the problem. Finally, they just tore my ceiling open.  Still at a loss, they headed upstairs to investigate.  And lo and behold, the bath tub upstairs was cracked! So somehow, that bathtub filled up with water and leaked into my bathroom without that guy ever taking a shower or a bath.  Now that is pretty amazing.  It must be haunted.

In the meantime, I was showerless and stinky.  So, I called my friend to see if I could use his shower.  Given approval, I walked over to jump into a warm shower.  Just as I’m about to get in, I realize that there is no hot water.  I called him to inquire as to the issue and he tells me that the boiler had been broken earlier, but had since been fixed and he had taken a very hot shower.  Well, apparently, the boiler was broken again, and I had no hot water to take a shower.  Strike 2.  It was looking like I was not going to get a hot shower.  So I reverted back to my days without running water, filled a big pot with water and put in on the stove.  As I waited for it to heat up, another friend called, and after relaying the day’s events to him, he offered his shower to me – promising me hot water.  So I jumped on the subway and traveled 30 minutes (a total of about 4 miles, but the trains are pretty slow) to his place.  Finally, I found hot water for a shower. I felt like I was in America again – I had left the developing world of New York City for the industrialized area of Midtown. It was a gorgeous feeling.

My shower is now fixed, though I did have to use another friend’s shower the next day.  So far, no more leaking (fingers crossed) – but it’s always a craps shoot as to whether or not I will find hot water waiting for me in my shower.

You know, I’ve stayed in cheap hotels with more hot water that my building – are you sure I’m still in America?

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One Response to “Hot Shower…going once, going twice…you’re out of luck”


  1. […] apartment situation is no different. The gentleman who lives above me is crazy, as I have shared in another post. But I thought that I might perhaps be the only one who has noticed this. Friday, however, I was […]

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