|Neighbors can drive you mad in New York apartments–by Rob Young via Flickr|
Let’s talk about apartment life, or, rather, apartment life in New York City. Living in a New York apartment isn’t always as glamorous as it sounds, and often, it’s far from it, actually. Don’t mistake me, there are those moments when I gaze romantically at the city from my eighth-floor wall of windows and think, “Life is good! It doesn’t get much better than this. How lucky am I? I live in the greatest city in the world!”
But then, there are the other times –– the times when neighbors are driving me so mad that the only thing stopping me from strangling them is an eight-inch masonry wall between our apartments.
|Can you hear what’s on the other side of this? by Patrick Hoesly via Flickr|
One thing I know for sure from first hand experience: next door neighbors can wreak havoc on your life whether you live in a single-family home in the burbs or a high-rise building in the city. I’ve had some great ones and I’ve had my share of crappy ones, (including a crazy, threatening, call-the-police kind of neighbor), but one of the most annoying in my opinion is the noisy neighbor. Or should I say, the one making “unnecessary amounts of racket, including verbal sounds at odd hours that I can actually hear through that eight-inch masonry wall.
A masonry wall is nothing like a sheetrock wall, either, which is about four inches thick and found in many new buildings. So basically, if someone sneezes on the other side of a sheetrock wall, it’s within earshot. I’m talking about eight inches of terra cotta with plaster on both sides. If you ask me, that’s like a super wall, and nothing should be audible from a next door neighbor when a masonry wall is in the picture. Might I mention that I hear no noise from my neighbors on the other side.
This noisy neighbor has discovered a new-found love (well, I mean lust) and he happens to be visiting her just about every day, and at all hours of the day and night. They’re in the phase where they “can’t get enough of each other” and it seems like that’s 24/7-365 and it’s been the case for at least six months.
|Get tired of each other already!—byMBTrama via Flickr|
Besides the personal moans, groans, wails and whines, most recently we’re having loud TV issues. I’m beginning to wonder if the turn-up on the volume to ear-deafening decibels is to compensate for the lack of mute buttons on their mouths. It’s so bad that I can hear what television show they’re watching. I can hear their conversations, the giggles, and those other irritating sounds that I’d rather not ever hear. (You get what I’m talking about.) The other night I listened to every note of the Dallas theme song, as well as the dialogue between the characters, and I am not even a Dallas fan.
Just to be clear –I don’t really care about the noisy neighbor’s extracurricular activities with her new-found beau, nor do I knowingly “listen” to what they’re doing on any given day or night. And trust me, it’s happening at all hours of the day and night. (10 a.m., 2:30 p.m,. 7:30 p.m., 11:30 p.m., you get the gist.) Luckily, I wear ear plugs and tend to go to sleep very late, after the rumping, thumping and surround-sound TV watching is over.
Michael turns in early and I have no idea how he manages to get to sleep and stay asleep through all this pomp and circumstance happening just on the other side of our bed wall –– the same wall that is the home of my desk and this very laptop on which I am typing right now. And for a few minutes, it’s actually quiet and I can concentrate. But, as I finish typing this sentence, the quiet is now finished too.
When I need to reread a paragraph five times to understand the content of said paragraph because the oohing, aahing, giggling and screeching are too loud and obnoxious (might I mention this is louder than the city noise and construction outside my window) then it may be time to file a complaint. The problem is, if I complain about these lovebirds to the super, the noisy neighbor will surely know it was me. The only other shared-wall apartment is a piéd a terre, and those neighbors are rarely in town.
|I don’t want to make waves with the lovebirds—by tinyfroglet via Flickr|
Another option is to stick a friendly note under the door that reads something like this:
Did you by chance buy a new TV? We’ve heard all sorts of funky noises coming from the other side of our bedroom wall and those noises are much louder than you probably realize. We hear people screaming, laughing, and making other sounds that we’ve never heard before. Would you mind turning the volume down just a little bit? We’d really appreciate it. We certainly hope our TV isn’t disturbing you. Please let us know if it does.
Your favorite neighbors
The issue with the note under the door solution is that I don’t want to make any waves. We get along famously with everyone on our floor and I don’t want to jeopardize that. What’s more, I see this person every now and then and I like her enough. I don’t want to turn my next-door neighbor into a next-door enemy.
Should I just put up with it and hope “it” subsides as they eventually get bored with each other like most couples do? They’ve been dating for months, so in my mind, it’s not so new any longer. I’ve been married so long that I’ve forgotten the timeframe of the “can’t live without you” phase. Is it six months? One year? Two years? Will they get sick of each other already?
|Eventually, the “I can’t live without you” phase turns into this–isn’t that a vase? —by Fidelio via Flickr|
The last option is to sell our co-op, but I’ve heard far worse nightmare neighbor stories in New York City than an overly amorous couple blaring a television. Besides, moving isn’t in the picture anytime soon – we just refinanced our mortgage.
Should I say nothing and wait patiently for their breakup? I realize that this neighbor is trying to meet her match like most other single women in New York City. And, she has a right to invite guests of the opposite sex as often as she likes. I’m just requesting that certain activities that happen on the other side of my bedroom wall take place in a quieter fashion.
I mean, doesn’t everyone deserve love? Even the noisiest New Yorkers who have no regard for their next door neighbors trying to work, sleep, or simply escape the madness of the city with some peace and quiet –– shouldn’t they have a right to romance too? Of course. But at whose expense?