Saturday, August 2, 2008

I've had supply problems of every kind. I've had labor difficulties...

Our Footings. BBI fabriacted em' and they are perfect. Thanks Guys!!

Ha Ha.

Whats so funny?

You sound like a respectable buisinessman.

Well, this was one of the most demoralizing weeks yet, but it finally sounds likes things might be breaking our way. The week started alright, Johnny and I met Dennis from Berkshire Bridge and Iron up at the site. He delivered our footings to us personaly which was super nice of him - they were pretty heavy so we left them down on the ground - up in the little triangle park. We'll lift them up when we do our next big Lull lift. Hopefully they don't disappear before we get back!

But pretty quickly things began to go downhill. We had some pretty severe supply problems, and even worse, we've run into a giant wall named the NYC Dept of Housing, Preservation and Development. Apparently our project somehow ended up on the desk of one of the reviewers at HPD and now they are insisting on getting all of our structural calculations and responses to a bunch of concerns before they will approve our project. HPD controls the land that the developer is building the Foyer bldg on and so therefor has to review any plans that are built on that land. We really didn't think they would have anything to do with our project since we are building on an existing structure, but apparently they don't agree. And until they are satisfied, the developer won't be, and until the developer is satisfied, the construction company won't be, and until everyone involved is happy - we aren't allowed to work on site. So right now we're looking at about 3 weeks of installation time, if we can satisfy everyone that the project is viable.

Holy. Crap.

But, thank god we work with the best structural engineer ever and Harriet was able to get all the calculations together almost instantly - so we'll submit them to HPD on Monday and if we keep all our fingers crossed, our toes crossed, and our eyes crossed - they will give us the green light really quickly.

Star with Junior, the worlds largest zuchinni and his little brother, squash.

One positive is that we've finally gotten all our Black Lucust! So we're planing and edging and slamming the slatting on the planters and benches. Johnny, Jon, Star and I took a little field trip out to Stubby's in NJ on thurs to pick it all up. Another crazy adventure, but thats a story for another day. All I'll say now is that we left w30th street with two penske trucks at 7 in the morning, and we came back 12 hours later with three trucks (one missing a passenger side mirror) 900 Black Locust boards, a huge load of gigantic vegetables right out of Stubby and Maria's garden, and I apparently owe a ham sandwich to some woman named Angela out in Bethlehem Pennsylvania. Yeah. One of those kind of days.

We've also been having tons of trouble with out expediter however: she apparently has no clue how the Bronx DOB operates (remind me again my we are paying this person) and so everything took way too long.

BUT - it looks like our plan finally got approved on Friday! And so they will Microfiche on Monday or Tues, and then we can pull the Permit on Wed!!!!! However, we need a licensed and insured general contractor to pull the permit, so Randy Wood asked Vinny Nativo to do it for us - and to act as a consultant for the project. Apparently they are still getting their contract worked out - but if all that can be in place by early this week - he'll be able to pull the permit for us. I'll let you know as soon as it happens!

You know whats a lot like real work? Threading 3/4" steel rod by hand. These are for our X-Bracing. We got a lot done - but theres still a bunch to do. After doing these - there are sore muscles in my back that I didn't even know I had before.

Even if we get the permit pulled, the contracts straightened out, the HPD reviews happy and the developer content -we still have insurance issues which aren't resolved. But there is really nothing we can do about that one - we've sent all the necessary paper work to all the right people and all we can do now is wait for them to sign off on it all.

You know, this isn't rocket science or anything. Its just buildin' stuff. Why does it have to be so freakin' hard!? I just don't understand.

Oh - and also, now that the summer program is over here at Parsons (they run a 6 week course for undergrad / incoming grads during July) the building hours shift to 9-6 every day! So no more late nights, and they were going to close for weekends too! Thank god we had our director convince them to open for the weekends during august, but it still means that we have a ridiculously small amount of time to complete this project in now.

So yeah, pretty much just one disaster after another this week. I really don't know how much more we can handle here before the whole thing becomes just impossible. We'll keep building stuff though. Maybe if we can't build it on site we can sell it on craigslist or something.

'One Roof Garden. Cheap.'

Johnny has gone so far as to deploy the power of the mustache against our problems. Lets hope its up to the task.


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