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Monday, June 8, 2020

City Life About Face


I do not care for city living. Particularly the current city in which we are residing.

I wouldn't have written that 20+ years ago to be sure when I dreamed about living in NYC but like almost everything else I used to be about, my truths have changed. In fact, if you have a young person/people around you to advise, you should tell them that part about growing older: who you are and what you do at a certain age might not resemble at all who you'll be a decade or two or three later. You will have many personas throughout your life, grasshopper.

The city where our interim apartment is located is more like a big town but it's called a city so I'll stick with that. When we first came up here last winter during the time when our circumstances were changing and we were starting to plan for our upheaval, we were charmed. We thought oh good, a place with history and beautiful architecture and restaurants and shops that we can walk to. 

So we moved here, into an apartment that makes you think of a Parisian  apartment, a pied-Ă -terre;
a small apartment that isn't meant to be your permanent home. We have wide plank wood floors and very large windows that overlook the street, a bedroom that you have to walk up two steps to enter, a gleaming remodeled kitchen that no one ever used before us. It's cozy and cool - like what we thought the big town/small city was when we made the decision to move here.

But there are downsides.


We came here in winter and one thing there is not a lot of in winter is people. That changes a whole lot once the weather gets nicer. That changes exponentially when, after three months of being forced to stay inside because of a pandemic, people are allowed to slowly return to their normal lives.

Just this past weekend this town/city opened up outdoor dining by cordoning off chunks of streets for dining tables. There have been a couple of problems with that.  For one, they closed off some major streets to accomplish this which means that the significant traffic that would normally travel on those now closed off roads is being redirected. And I will give you three guesses where.

Yup, my street.

doesn't look like much but trust me it is. 
My quiet, tree-lined lovely street is now a thoroughfare with traffic day and night. Sleeping with the windows open? Nope, we are now A/C all the way, all day.

Taking the dog out for walks has now become uncomfortable. People in vehicles that are stopped at the traffic light on our corner now watch us as we exit/enter our building or are just walking Luna.

And let's not even talk about the decibel level of the music coming out of some people's vehicles. Now I am in no way an old fuddy duddy; one of my best possessions - now sadly packed in storage - is my old school stereo and its 500w old school tower speakers. Led Zeppelin pouring through those babies is a sublime experience.
But that's for me. My neighbors might now feel the same as their house is shaking so I don't subject them to it - a concept lost on the drivers of the loud vehicles outside my window. Doesn't matter - 2pm or 2am - the bass thumps and treble blares.  Neighborhood schmeighborhood.

You don't think of the possibility of these things but in truth we couldn't have foreseen it; we signed on for this place before pre-pandemic, long before they decided to divert crosstown traffic through our quiet neighborhood.

Another new problem that has arisen is the aforementioned outdoor dining - the bulk of which is just around the corner from our pied a terre.
There shouldn't be any problems with this - it's pretty cut and dried. You put some tables outside and you adhere to the strict guidelines set forth by the powers that be for everyone's safety.  Easy peasy.

Yet here is an example of what that looked like in our town/city on Saturday night:



Not a single precaution was to be seen or taken . Enforcement? hahahaha.

And then there's the living in the same building with perfect strangers thing.  There was a small problem with the tenants below us that one night when they let loose and partied until the wee hours complete with loud weird music. One night, no biggie.  We nipped it in the bud by mentioning it to the landlord and asking him to remind them to tone it down a little after 10pm or so.
The larger problem is their poor dog, who is left alone very frequently - including overnight, which is particularly terrible by the way.
Let me tell you - if the wind blows, that dog barks.
And barks. Andbarksandbarksandbarksandbarksandbarksandbarksandbarks...


One day while left alone it barked for 8 straight hours. We feel bad for the poor thing because it's obviously suffering from a bad case of separation anxiety but it also works our last nerve pretty hard on a very regular basis.

People.

Am I right?


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