time ago, AGT (Applied Graphics Technologies) and APT, sister companies,
were thinking of sharing 4 floors of offices at 28 West 23rd Street. In
fact I think at one point, AGT actually had their offices in the space.
Top 4 floors of a 12-story building on 23rd Street between 5th
and 6th Avenues, prime space ten blocks directly south of the
NYC skyline’s Big Mo’fo (and beyond question one of the splendidest
buildings ever built) – your Empire State Building. But then hard-ass
lawyer, real estate magneto, publisher, and aspiring Steinbrenner, Freddie
D. (who owns both APT and AGT) decides he wants to have APT's
corporate offices on-site with the printing plant in Moonachie, and have
AGT under his watchful eye in the News building way over on like 11th and
33rd Street. So the 4 floors were sublet to various entities – Readers
Digest, Bozell, and US Interactive which took the tippy-top floor.
Reader's Digest subsequently sub-sub-let the space on 10-11 to Forbes.com,
Bozell I think is still on 9, and US Interactive – who’s
stock was once $60 a share, with nearly 500 employees in 13
locations across the country and in Canada, including 140 souls in their
NY city office – was on the top floor.
Economy Workforce of 2000
all of US Interactive’s growth and activity and infrastructure was
supported on revenue of $35 million/yr!
And you know, it was New Economy and Slacker Workforce all the way.
They had a huge conference space that was devoted to a really nice pool
table, plush leather chairs, and a gigantic ceiling mounted video system
that would probably be showing such Slack TV bullshit like
"Survivor" and "Ally McBeal” – apparently every Friday
they threw beer blasts in there; and you can imagine with sparkling views
of Big Empire Kahuna and midtown, and loud music from kick ass speakers
(which now reside at Acorn Manor), there were some fun office parties with
plenty of groping in the many labyrinthine offices and cubby-cles. I have
abducted their softball team's bases by the way and even if I only use
them once a year at my gangs’ Annual Picnic, they’re a steal!. And
based on a little wall schedule which someone thoughtfully kept account of
their record, this team was not that good – showed a lot of losses -
doubtless like their final income statement.
But what do you expect from slacker propeller-heads?
know this kind of New Slacker Workforce existence, where people come
roaring in droves out of college and come into work and put in say a good,
oh, four- or five-hour day before kicking back with the brewnos and board
games, well, how long can that shit last? Hah? You tell me. These kiddies
haven’t worked an honest day’s labor in their coddled lives. Well I think around the middle of December (Merry Christmas,
Slackers), someone "blew the whistle" on these offenses against
capitalism and 140 slacking and sulking souls got the boot out into the
Real World, and they literally just got up and left, leaving behind
computers, furniture, half-eaten fruits, nasty messages on the
they paid APT as the main tenant in full through their occupancy, they
broke their lease which of course is usually grounds for a good
screw-tight lawsuit and financial drubbing on the lease breaker. But what
was Marty Krol (what a piece of work this dude is), Freddie D's chief
legal hatchet man going to do? Bleed a fucking stone? Even them shysters
can't bleed the stone. So the deal was, since all of the computer
equipment (and it was a LOT of expensive shit) was leased, they had to
move it out for their own liquidation purposes, but everything else in
there was fair game for APT, and specifically the guy APT "put in
charge" of overseeing the space transition (hopefully quickly) to a
Of course I hooked up my old boss
furnishing his spanking new futuristic apt digital division with some
top-notch furnishing in a series of devilishly complicated moves and
proverbial logistical nightmares. I had to be duking and deking the
building people for not charging me for using the freight elevator, shit
was/is flying out of there like a fucken Baghdad bazaar.
Everyone was glomming onto grabbing stuff and I was shooing them
away like they were annoying dames.
one point, the building super's gofers - who resemble a couple of
illiterate pirates with eyes missing but no eyepatches - must've had a
good rummage through the space looking for valuables because I walked in
there one morning and I thought the joint had been robbed - shit was
everywhere, paper clips all over the carpets, draws emptied, pens all
over, the works.
Blonde Hitleresque Dame
One of the real estate agents for the building's owner -
a big blonde Hitleresque dame who you'd die banging – took some
prospective tenants through the space and hit the roof.
Three different moves (files, computers, various furniture, etc)
and the ensuing jostling of furniture and leavings of bubble wrap and
wrapping paper didn't help the appearance. Threats by Ms. Hilter of calls
to Marty the K to report on the atrocious condition quickly got my
attention. With immediate
authorization from my boss, Big Al, I quickly secured financing for some
fly-by-nite cleaning outfit to blow through with some day-laborers and
scrub the joint out – two street DUMPSTERS full of trash and detritus,
and had them vacuum the carpet nice nice. Coincidentally the Hitlerian
broad comes into the space just as the laborers are finishing up, she's
ECSTATIC. "Rich the place looks great, it looks great!
I will be so proud to show it. We will rent it."
I hope so, for when it’s rented, I am out of it.
I helpfully open one of the big windows so she could get a
"view shot" of the Con Ed tower with her digital camera to
showcase the space on the net, and the dame nearly goes out the window!
the boys who bought the dumpsters, couple of real operators from Long
Island, who I swear were a couple of Italian Baldwin Brothers, expressed
keen interest in the apparently ownerless items adorning the vacant space.
Such are the joys of property management.
I got copier companies that want access to get their leased copiers; I got
Pitney Bowes, wants their postage meter; I got Coca-Cola wants their soda
machine with which US Interactive, financial giant, gleefully dispensed
free sodie-pops to its eager beaver slack-force.
I have to get two phone lines installed in the space (and tied to our
existing NJ bill) so the fire and burglar alarms for the space - which
have not been tied to the central station since the phone company killed
US Interactive's lines a few weeks back -- can be reactivated and I can
sleep at night; knowing that some Palookaville thieves aren't going to
sledgehammer through the wall and scavenge what's left; which ain't much
baby cause the good stuff's been cherry-picked clean for the greater glory
of APT. However, I do have an
amazing amount of tape dispensers and staplers, and scissors and markers,
pens and other office desk flotsam items.
I have a whole bunch of those black clips of various sizes,
thousands upon thousands. I
have many many of those file folder step racks, perhaps hundreds.
As the guy who purchases these kinds of items for APT, these
trinkets are like sex toys; and I can liberally dispense them throughout
the company and not pay a dime, which every dime APT needs, to avoid the
startling and awful fate of an internet company gone south.
make a long story short, I work as an admin dude/buyer for a
printing company and I moonlight as a property manager and furniture
salesman. Ya foller?