In my futile search for our landlord’s cat a few days ago, up the street and around the corner, I ran into a person who I have run into numerous times before. This time I learned that his name is George and he lives on the next block over. He’s lived in the neighborhood for twenty-some years and he had his large dog with him. In the past he helped me dig my car out of the snow with his gas-powered snowblower.
He helped me try to find the cat in the dark (as it was 10:30 pm) and he thought that his dog would be of assistance. Neither he nor his dog were of assistance.
George is a floorer. He refinishes, retouches, and lays down floor in old houses in Brooklyn. He said his back is gone, his knees are shot, and he is now being priced out of the market in Brooklyn because he charges $3.00 per square foot while others, who do unprofessional work, charge $1.75 per square foot. George sands the floors down just enough so that he can put three or four layers of oil-based varnish on the floors; he takes superb care to make sure that dust does not settle during the varnishing and ensures that the finished floors are perfect in every way.
I said that you would think that with all of the wealthy newbies coming into the neighborhood, they would want a quality restoration job done on their fine wood floors. He said that they were invariably cheap and that they just wanted it done fast and prettily without regard for the historical or functional nature of the flooring. He and his partner may move to Lancaster County so that he can afford to live and ply his trade.

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