So. We got another square grand piano.
(Here is the first.)
Somehow in my world, this is not really a big deal and what I’m actually writing about are the marble slabs that were also headed to the dump.
But the piano is how we got there, so I guess requires some explanation.
This was the umpteenth free antique piano of this style on Craigslist… It was nearby. And it was made in Philadelphia.
I saw it on Craigslist on a Friday. By Sunday, I had annoyed Paul so much that we went and got it… To be fair, I think Paul was correct: we do NOT need another piano. But I think I was also correct: this is not a piano that should go to the dump.
Shoenbacker is a fantastic piano, and it says Philadelphia– both on the front in gold leaf, AND inside on the plate; the sort of detail I become obsessed with.
Besides, we are practically professional piano movers by now!
IT’S WHAT WE DO.
I know that some of you will wonder: but what did you plan to do with it?
And the answer is: I didn’t think I’d DO anything with it!
I thought: here is a free Giant Fancy Thing!
I should get it.
And yes, I do understand that thought-process is how people end up living in houses filled with free grocery circulars.
Guy getting rid of this piano was rehabbing and needed it gone immediately.
I am someone who is comfortable with the possibility of having a piano in every room.
= a match!
Although, it turned out that the actual equation was:
spare grand piano ÷ funding issues for CLOGS = sold piano.
(The person who bought it is restoring it to play!)
Now for the exciting part:
The day we went to get the piano, Paul and I spent some time talking to the guy about his old-house restoration, and he ended up giving us a tour.
Upstairs in the second-floor hallway, there were three LARGE slabs of solid marble shower walls.
The guy gestured to them and said how he was going to have to pay someone to cut them up to get them downstairs. Because MARBLE SLABS ARE HEAVY.
And I was like – my friend! We can help you with that!
It’s hard to say if the marble shower was part of the original home, (built in the first part of 1900.) Shower stalls existed, but they were not common or popular until later in the century… but on the other hand, this part of Philadelphia has some extraordinary houses and it is likely that builders were using these materials, so anything is possible.
I hate this part of a Craigslist pickup.
There is something deeply uncomfortable to me to be in someone’s home, taking something from them, in the most vigorous, potentially-stair-destroying way possible.
There is simply no way to unobtrusively dismantle a grand piano, or wrestle three giant slabs of marble down a flight of steps… And I end up feeling like not only are we intruding in their home, but also like we are hosting a circus ON THEIR STAIRCASE.
Adding to the weirdness, I am now a person who scurries around taking pictures and video of the circus… I assume my behavior is completely inexplicable to the homeowner, and that they must think I imagine myself the Werner Herzog of Craigslist.
So, please enjoy my latest cinematic masterpiece: a dark (sorry! the house was really dim!) and gritty (sheetrock dust) film exploring the cultural landscape of free stuff on Craigslist.
Bravura! Realism! Suspense!
- One of the slabs has holes for water taps. But the other two are solid (with the exception of screw holes on the edges.)
- It is going to be a TIGHT fit, but one of these slabs is the perfect size to cover the kitchen island— this solves the question of countertop-overhang.
- I didn’t want an island overhang (like you put stools under)… visually, I thought it would be wrong/detract from the piano; but it was still an undecided detail I was weighing out and considering.
- The color is not exactly what I would have chosen; I like a VERY gray Carrara marble, with very subtle veining… (the marble wall/wainscoting I already have is my perfect marble-color-ideal.)
- HOWEVER, the combination of free! Antique! Repurposed! Makes this EXACTLY the marble I would choose… and this is my favorite kind of decision-making: when the decision is made FOR YOU in the most satisfying (and free) way.
- Of these three slabs, the one we will use for the kitchen island is the quietest. So that worked out perfectly. (The one with the water-tap holes has way more movement than I like.)
- I haven’t cleaned any of it yet, so I am not exactly sure what the final shade will be.