can i get a beck van to…?

before we moved in together in the city pierre owned a 1994 aerostar xlt that he’d named “the red rocket” — and it had just as many mechanical issues and signal problems as toronto’s own “red rocket.” it was basically a money pit and we figured we wouldn’t have much need of our own vehicle in the city, so in 2007 he donated it to a high school auto class, which fixed it up and donated it to a needy family.

following thanksgiving in 2009, we started thinking about buying a car. our families both live in the suburbs and are close enough together that it’s not unreasonable to expect us to attend dinner at one parents’ house one night and visit the other pair the next day. but after spending that thanksgiving shuttling ourselves from one dinner table to another via an assortment of go trains and go buses, we agreed: by christmas, we’d have a car.

and we did. a 2009 honda civic coupe — so cute!

so now we can go to our parents’ houses easily. plus, the other really useful thing about having a car is being able to transport stuff from place to place. unfortunately, this is not our experience — nothing fits in our car.

case in point: this morning i spent $32 on a beck van from upside dive at queen east and sherbourne (side vent: oh my god! why are taxis so ridiculously expensive in this city?) to cart home this little gem for our bedroom. (you’re probably wondering where in our bedroom will this dresser go. i don’t blame you, as our bedroom is 7’1″ x 11’8″ plus a closet, for a grand total of 89 square feet. but the post that will reveal all is coming.)

but, looking back on all of our furniture purchases over the last couple of years, i shouldn’t have been surprised.

first, there was this green klaus nienkamper-lookalike chair, purchased from marty millionaire via craigslist from a woman who lived in the beach. we ended up on the 501 queen streetcar with it, and later a northbound bus, late one friday evening.

then, this mirror, bought from an estate sale via kijiji from a young couple near the scarborough bluffs. their whole family (siblings, nieces, and nephews) was just leaving when we showed up one sunday night a few summers ago to take it home. after i’d talked them down to $225 from their $250 asking price, we realized we couldn’t get it into our trunk. i had to sheepishly return to their front door, and the seller was nice enough to phone his brother (by now 15 minutes into his drive home) to return, load the mirror into his van, and deliver it to our apartment.

and we can’t forget this headboard and footboard, originally owned by a woman living in a mansion across from withrow park. our car has scars. it turns out both pieces had been spray painted black (over brown) and all of our pushing and maneuvering with determined hands did nothing but rub the spray paint off onto the upholstery in our car. later, getting it out of our car turned into an even bigger challenge than getting it in.

this past july, there was my writing table from smash gallery. i had to go back inside after the owner, paul, had helpfully carried it to the curb for us to see if he had a screwdriver. luckily, he did. paul then unscrewed the table top from its base (“man, these things don’t want to come out!”) so we could put it in the trunk in two pieces.

plus, we have 10 parsons chairs in our dining room from guff. how did they get there, you wonder? two at a freaking time.

currently, our floor model record player is in a repair shop at gerrard east and coxwell, getting a new needle and new am/fm tubes. it got there in a $25 trip in a beck van (with me following in the car) and will probably come home the same way.

so i guess what i’m trying to say here is…don’t buy a honda civic coupe if you buy your furniture anywhere but ikea (which has flat-packs and offers delivery) and also, what do you think of the dresser? worth the cab fare?

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. Sarah M. says:

    Dresser is adorable! I can’t wait to see where you’re going to put it/how you’re going to make it work 🙂

  2. lauriegerard says:

    you make me laugh! you do know your father has a truck, right? 🙂

  3. Paula says:

    I hear you. We had a money-pit of a Matrix, but boy do I ever miss that trunk space. The Prius we replaced it with is no slouch, but has made for some interesting loading moments …

    Dresser looks both a. solid and b. super-cute. Can’t wait to see what you do with it.

    1. kendalgerard says:

      great gas mileage in the civic, but for what it costs in insurance / parking each year i loathe having to pay for taxis ever! of course, not sure a bigger vehicle would even fit on our parking pad (no hatchbacks need apply).

      i totally adore the dresser too 🙂
      it’s what i snobbishly call “real furniture” — dovetailed drawers and no particle board!

      1. Paula says:

        What about Zipcar? They have SUVs by the hour.

        I see nothing wrong with appreciating craftmanship.
        If that’s snobby, so be it :). If you love it, that’s all that matters.

        1. kendalgerard says:

          we looked into zipcar before we bought our car, but figured since most of our driving was going to be highway/overnight it was going to cost quite a bit to take advantage of the service. i’ll have to take another look next time we’re planning on picking up something bigger than a night table! thanks for the reminder.

  4. Lorna and Gord MacFarlane says:

    If only we could live without owning vehicles! Quite impossible where we live, of course.

    I noticed the vinyl in the pic of your coffee table (which album is it? 🙂 ) before I read the part about your amp. Gord has quite a collection of lps that is listened to on the old tube amp. (you do know that he tests tubes and fixes tube amps, right? …too late for this time around by the sounds of it though!)

    Love your writing, as always!

    Love aunt Lorna and uncle Gord xo

    1. kendalgerard says:

      if only i could see the album artwork than i could tell you! but one of us conveniently just tossed the record on the table sans sleeve. since there’s also a christmas tree in that photo there’s a good chance it’s one of the records i bought pierre for his birthday — bry webb’s provider or neil young live at massey hall. or it’s an embarrassing christmas record!

      i actually didn’t know he fixed tube amps! but port carling would’ve been a lot further to drive our victrola than coxwell and gerrard st e (especially in a cab!) 😉

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