Light at the end of the Storefront.

However, there is no light at the BEGINNING of the storefront because the power hasn't been turned on there yet. So today things started to look a lot better. Or maybe my medication just kicked in... who knows. But seriously - The storefront today was ready for Dri-Lok. If you have NOT been reading every post in detail (shock, horror!) allow me to repeat that Dri Lok is a peachy keen product that is made for waterproofing masonry - but it's thick and gloppy and does a very nice job of covering unevenness in walls (a tip from Donna Sue... snaps for Mom). So finally the leopard pattern of joint compound, hydraulic cement, dry wall patches and... Oooo... even a little actual WALL came together as one. The Dri Lok involves a highly skilled smooshing action in order to get the desired even textrure... I'm sure somewhere there is a 'smooshing school' - but I am proud to say that I am self taught - so I spent allll day smooshing two of the three rooms. I only have the little bathroom left (yes it is actually littler than OUR bathroom... but hopefully our new tenant will not be showering in their store. Hey, as long as they pay the rent I'm not sure I care what they do. So my hand is smooshed out. I started thinking of line from the 'Producers' - "The Fuhrer was a marvelous paintter. He could paint an entire apartment in an hour. Two coats." Well, folks, if Hitler were alive today and wanted to paint our foyer I'm at that point where I might cut him a little slack.

I have no idea how I've managed to look this a) happy, b) awake in this picture. I think I'm ecstatic that the storefront might be nearing completion which means - bathroom... kitchen... yaaaaay.

DRI LOC AND LOAD

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But the Dri Lok looks really good - the walls now look like walls - and even Bob said it looked good. And Bob saying 'it looks good' is kind of the normal persons excitement equivalent of an audience member at Oprah's Favorite Things taping. So I was psyched. Tomorrow we might be ready to try out the INDUSTRIAL PAINT SPRAYER... which will probably involve us all ending up head to foot sprayed cream. The upside to this is my Mother would be able to use us in her living room as object d'art.

But after painting the walls, we paint the ceiling. Lighting fixture. Then the carpet and linoleum and - hey presto - ready for RENTAL! Maybe, maybe by the end of the weekend - (only due to the extra man-power of Team Najuch, just arrived WITH LASAGNA!!) we might get the thing done.

Rich spent all day with the new belt sander (Which i have to say works pretty good even though I was lobbying for him to buy a more expensive Black and Decker model). We got the GIANT storefront door of its hinges and onto two sawhorses and he got all of one side sanded down... it looks great. The other side still needs some more work - but it started to get dark - so we had to get the giant door BACK on its hinges for the night.

Speaking of doors - today was a big 'estimate' day. The plumber came and looked through everything for the bathroom and kitchen. He thought it wouldn't be toooooo expensive. Fingers crossed. The window guy also came from Lowe's and Rich was super smart and had him not only give us estimates on the windows we need to replace asap in the apartment and kitchen, but also the rest of the building - windows and doors. He looked at the giant front doors and apparently said he'd never seen a door that big... and it was him, he'd do whatever he could to avoid replacing the. So, it seems, stripping and sanding the big fella was a good call.

Rich took these pictures of the doors in progress... it's the first time he's actually grabbed the camera to document something so I BETTER put the pics on here. He gets very excited about restoring wood. It's some sort of Ancestral New England Pilgrim foresting instinct I think.

Now although you cannot see the whole door in this picture I will give you an accurate sense of scale from which to judge the size of the project. That putty knife is actually the size of a Studebaker.

RICH STARTS STRIPPING... AND TAKES PICTURES

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People are starting to stop and talk to us... The nurse who did Rich's blood test for his insurance test thingy today walked right into the building and started telling him about how she used to have to work all week to save up 25 cents because a movie was fifty cents and her mom would give her the other twenty five if she earned half herself. She said thought she remembered that the original floor under the tile currently in the front foyer was marble. Rich started to drool. More demolition, kids. But it's clear that people have affectionate memories for the place and will, once they know what we're doing, at least embrace the idea of it coming back to life. Of course, we're gonna have to sell a lot of tickets if she still expects to pay 50 cents :)

Don't worry - we took her name. She's comped to our first opening night. What kind of people do you think we are.

I have to go back to NY in on Saturday - so blog reports will probably be less frequent and 'by remote' for a week. Don't worry true-believers, I won't abandon you. Of course, I may not get to NY if I can't get the joint compound out of my hair.

xo me.