Business had really started to pick up and I had to get a larger space. Joe the super and I had been having coffee together in the mornings for quite a while and would shot the shit.
I had told him of my predicament and asked him if he had any open spaces in our building, it so happen that some business had moved out of the 13th floor.
After our coffee, Joe took me up to the space to take a look. It was huge 3000 sqft. It was raw, it was wide open and sunny. So I "decorated the mahogany" as they say and Joe put in a good word with the owner Mitch. Mitch was a funny guy he had this deep voice that sounded like an old door opening and he had a large cigar in his mouth and his desk was full of lil katchkas. A real character.
We negotiated a real sweet lease and I got 1 month free rent so I started to build immediately.
1st I built the shop then the bathroom.
Then I had to hide my sleeping quarters, being it was a commercial space and by law I wasn't suppose to live there. So I built this corner spot in a kind of triangular room just big enough to throw a mattress in and that’s it.
To camouflage it, I created this juxtaposition of cut birch, chards of glass and mylar. Inside I had built a tree house out of birch, I slept on the top and had my closet on the bottom. It was delightfully cozy. I had 23 windows and southwest exposure I felt like Hells kitchen's Prince up on the 13th floor. I was the only one at the time who lived in the building, all the other spaces were businesses...
About a year later these two cats, they were twins from Israel, moved into the floor below me.
I kept very irregular hours and sometimes I'd start carving my blocks late at night and worked till the early mornings. I had a full shop handsaws, table saw, drill press, grinders you name it I had it.
So apparently the twins below me, didn't keep the same hours and every once in a while in retaliation, they would face there large speakers towards the ceiling and try to blast me out. This only encouraged me and I would find creative ways to create a symphony of noise sometimes,
out marbles, nails, chunks of wood and anything that created an echoing sound. This went on for months.
Then one winter day, while I was traveling to California, my pet Iguana “Aboude” got out of her cage and landed on the twins setback. Well unknowingly while one of the twins, Erez, was cleaning the kitty litter. He found Aboude and she was frozen stiff. He was unaware where it came from or who's it was.
He had asked around to see if anyone knew to whom the iguana belonged to. Joe the Super told him it was mine. He tried to revive her. He had tried to warm up the body using several methods and had given up. His cats though didn't and they laid on the iguana until she came out of her comatose state. A few days later, I returned and was gathering my messages from my answering machine and I heard a message that Erez and Alon, the twins, had my iguana and that it was ok. So I immediately went downstairs, heard the story and we became great friends ever since.