I sit at my computer as down the hall someone throws something out that sounds very loud as it crashes to the ground. Upstairs Stompy McGee our insomniac, big-footed mechanic of a neighbor is probably gearing up for tonight's autoclinic, replete with lots of dropped tools over Stella's room. Our downstairs neighbors now smoke so much they have to open their front door to get the smoke out, which wafts into Stella's room, making her cough, god dammit.
Yes, living in what often feels like a former Soviet Satellite republic isn't all that it was cracked up to be. We thought we would give up a few amenities by moving to Kensington, such as decent restaurants but we really had no idea what we were truly in for.
Fact is, it's been a bad trade DESPITE living in what is objectively a gorgeous apartment.
We knew Kensington might be our speed. Fact is we came out here a few years ago and weren't interested. Then we saw this big, open apartment, twice the size of our last place, for the same cash. We felt that we had no choice, as so many other places had fallen through our fingers. We pounced, because that's what you have to do in New York, pounce, on everything.
The first tip off that all might not be right is we moved in and the floors had been so polished the polish material was making our heads spin. The place looked like a roller skating rink, and Randi had to get on her hands and knees with a lemon to strip off some of the overly-shiny finish.
Then we noticed some of our paint was peeling, this was maybe a month in, maybe less. We had it tested, and of course, it was lead positive. After that we had to fight our building management for months to get them to do the job right. They threatened us right from the git-go, saying we should leave because we'd caused so much trouble about this.
Trouble? From my mind, they caused it by telling us not to tell the city, and then sending over some undocumented fuckabouts to do the job. We sent them off. Lead paint is serious stuff. Then they sent someone with lead experience to clean it, and they still did the job all wrong, scraping off the dry paint -- which you should never do.
There was more fighting after this. The City of New York tested and found more lead paint chipping in the front of the apartment. It took three to four times for them to finally get the job right. They would send some off the turnip truck fuckwits to do the job -- sometimes armed with little more than a screwdriver and NO documentation -- and we'd send them away. Finally, only because we FORCED THEM TO DO IT, the job was done right, in every way. Almost.
Then we had a fight about our upstairs neighbor. He's stopped blasting his Smooth Balkan Jams, but every night it sounds like he's dragging a goddamned titanium sarcophogus across the floor, multiple times, and then showering our ceiling with a rain of balpeen hammers. All day, all night, ever day. We have tried to be nice to him, to explain to him that he's waking up our daughter. He doesn't care, he keeps going. He, a fat middle aged Balkan jackoff, answers the door in his bananahammock. I have now argued with him about this at least 10 times since moving in. We've told the building, nothing changes. We've sent them a certified letter telling them, nothing changes.
Now it's the smoking. Despite there being signs in our lobby saying NO SMOKING in big red letters everybody smokes. And it wafts into Stella Bella's room, making, as I mentioned cough. I called the Board of Health, our building management and our super to ensure that this crap has to end. We'll see.
I am not a predjudiced person, but the callousness of these people, the hardness of their approach to life and even a little, defenseless child has made me not like the former Soviet Socialist Republics all that much. It makes me think Borat was being kind to them. And I am from Ukraine, or at least my family is. They couldn't get the fuck out of that rathole fast enough, though. And if they'd stayed they all would have died. So, no great warm feelings here.
I am being unfair, I know. If we hadn't drawn the short straw living above a chimney and below a one man rock band/garage it probably wouldn't be so bad.
Sigh, Stella's crying again. Happy Monday!