Monday, June 22, 2009

Picture This

In case you've ever wondered why I'm so gung-ho to get the heck out of this apartment, I've decided to paint a picture for you (I will post actual pix at a later date, but I had to get this out). I've really resisted whining about this for many reasons, but now I feel it's important to share.

You wake up to the sound of your daughter cooing/fussing over the monitor after a poor night's sleep. You go to her room to get her, dismayed to find that it, once again, smells like cigarette smoke. Neither you nor your husband (nor the baby) smokes, so you know it's from one of your 4,000 heavily smoking neighbors. You open both her windows all the way, turn the fan on high, and check to make sure that her air filter is still one.

You get her dressed and everyone has breakfast. You hang out for a while, and right when it's time for her first nap, the construction next door starts. There's been construction in the vicinity since you moved into this building in November, which is ironic because you moved her to escape the constant construction in Park Slope.

She can't sleep due to the noise, so you head out for story time at the library. Ah, fresh air and quiet (well, as quiet as NYC gets).

When you come home, the entire lobby wreaks of smoke, and you realize part of the problem is that one of your chain-smoking neighbors props his/her door open to air out their apartment. Your philosophy, you're tempted to tell them, is that if you hate the smell of smoke in your apartment, maybe you shouldn't smoke there to begin with.

As you're having lunch with your daughter, you hear downstairs neighbor begin blasting techno. This happens a few times a day, sometimes at night, and it is so loud it vibrates the entire apartment.

Finally, your daughter goes down for her nap. You turned her white noise machine on high because you had to leave her windows open to air out the smoke. About 30 minutes into her nap, the dog that lives at the house next door begins barking loudly. REALLY LOUDLY. And incessantly. Somehow, miraculously, your daughter sleeps through it. (She must be exhausted.)

You do some dishes by hand, because you don't have a dishwasher, and mop the floor, to make sure the peeling lead-based paint that your landlord refuses to fix properly without a major battle, doesn't poison your daughter.

As you go to check your email, your hear your elderly neighbor's grandchildren arrive. They bounce a basketball inside her apartment, and because the walls are paper thin, it sounds like it's in your living room. They shriek and yell, she yells at them to be quiet, they yell back, the go out in the hallway and yell some more.

Your head is raging.

Your daughter wakes up and you head out to the playground. You need fresh air yet again. Who cares that it's raining and has been for the past month?

When you get home, you hear the feral cats who live in the heavily-littered courtyard engaging in romantic relations. The pigeons that land on your window seem to answer them. Maybe the cockroaches that won't seem to go away, no matter how many traps you lay down, can join in the symphony.

You give your daughter dinner, your husband comes home, and you all begin the bath time/bedtime routine. You notice that your bathroom ceiling is leaking again, but they claim they can't fix it because nobody fesses up to being the source of it. You pray it doesn't one day collapse on you.

Just when it's time to (hopefully) get your sleep-fighting girl down for the night, your lead-footed upstairs neighbor comes home, stomping all the way. You begin to pray, again, that he won't wake her up and that he'll use some common sense tonight.

You get your daughter down, thankfully, and have a little dinner. Just as you and your husband settle in to watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey (Danielle totally reminds you of that terrible roommate you had in the West Village and therefore you hope those other ladies will take her down), upstairs neighbor begins. He must do mechanical work up there or something, because it sounds like he's dragging something heavy and metallic across the floor -- back and forth, back and forth. He drops bags of tools on the ground. He stomps to and fro.

Before long, he's done it. He's woken her up. Despite her loud, expensive white noise machine. You know you can't talk to him. You've tried, and he just answers the door in his banana hammock, acting oblivious and claiming it isn't him. If you push the issue, he begins to yell and say that everyone in the building hates you and wants you to move. Your landlords won't help, as they hate you for daring to ask them to fix lead paint properly. Your super tries, but he can't really do anything. You've called the cops countless times, but upstairs d-bag watches for them and stops when they come. Besides, their greatest piece of advice to date has been, "have you considered moving?"

You have considered moving, but you sunk over $6,000 into moving here, what with a security deposit, broker's fee, and movers. You need that money back to go somewhere new. So you call your lawyer.

Your lawyer isn't returning your calls anymore about any of this for some reason. You add him to your list of folks you'd like to get genital warts.

Before bed, after you've finally gotten the girl back to sleep, you look for places. Apartments to rent in Ditmas Park, Windsor Terrace, South Prospect Park, and good old Park Slope. Little is available in your range that seems nice. You dread going out to see them, finding that the agent lied about the neighborhood, finding the apartment is not really 1,100 square feet, finding that it's even crappier than the one you're in now.

You check real estate in Louisville, Kentucky, near your birth place, and sigh. Deeply. Homes. Yards. Distance from neighbors. Proximity to family.

You read your crappy mystery novel that you got from the library, then drift off to the sounds of techno, barking and stomping.


If you or anyone you know is considering moving to Kensington, Brooklyn, please tell them to really check out their place before accepting. Pay attention to smells, sounds, and neighbors. They should ask to check it out at night, after 9pm, and see how people behave. They should not rent any apartment owned by Kensington Imperial, LLC.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the posting. I just moved into a Brooklyn apartment and am having issues with my upstairs neighbors. Mind you its not a smoking issue, just excessive stomping noise. I understand your situation entirely. I feel better knowing I'm not the only one suffering and trapped financially due to the costs to move in only two weeks ago and potentially being sued for the remaining 11 1/2 months of rent. Bastards!

Sigh....but thanks for making me laugh out loud over the genital warts comment. Me, personally, i'd like to wish a scorching case of herpes as that is the true gift that keeps on giving. Best of luck to you!