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Neighborhood Watch

On moving day, we met our neighbor from across the hall, Fran. Fran is a true New Yorker who has been living in the LES forever, before it became cool. Fran prides herself in the fact that she was born and raised in the city, which in other cities in the country would not be a big deal, but I guess growing up in the LES when it was ghetto and dangerous is an accomplishment in itself and good cause for celebration and bragging rights.

Another thing Fran prides herself in, as I came to find out, is uniting the neighbors against the hipster business of the LES. I ran into her a few days ago, and she divulged her intentions to lead as many of us into a meeting she had set up against her/our first target: the nightclub at the Hotel on Rivington, which faces the back of our building. Diesel and I told her we didn’t really have problems with the noise, but trying to enlist or support and commitment, she explained that all we had to do was show up and say that “we hear the bass.”
After being cornered by Fran 15 min before what would become Fran & Co.’s first pivotal victory, I decided that joining the troops would be a good way to meet and fraternize with my neighbors. In addition, I was looking forward to checking out the fancy hotel and hoping to receive VIP treatment, or at least appeasement in the form of free appetizers and drinks.
My fellow residents marched together to the hotel, and we were invited to sit down as we waited for the club manager. The chatting commenced, and I started talking to Robert. Just like Fran, Robert was one of the pioneer white men to move into our neighborhood when it was still the ‘hood. He summarized the LES’s recent history of drug infestation and murders; the latter being a continuing concern, according to him. “Really?,” I asked, shocked. “Yeah, watch your back,” Robert advised. (*note: I can only reveal this fact because I know neither Tim’s nor my mom reads this blog. As it is, the two ladies are worried enough about our safety in NYC).
The manager walked in, and his arrival brought in a flood of dramatic tales of kitchen counters shaking, floors trembling, and alleged visits by dance music artists such as Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado. One by one, my neighbors narrated in detail the cause of their sleepless nights and earthquakes in their bedrooms. Diplomatically, the manager announced that he was considering sound proofing his establishment, but before doing that “you know we’ll have to have access to all of you guys’ units to confirm these complaints.”
I panicked.
Did I mention I was only there to socialize with my neighbors and get free food/booze (which by the way, we only got water served in wine glasses–the wine glasses being deceiving little vials that made me believe I was being served wine)??? And now, here I was, stuck in the middle of a neighborhood squabble where my greediness and false witness would be found out soon enough.
That night, we went out with Heidi, Phil and their friends, and I tried not to think too much about it. When we came home and got ready to go to bed, the most amazing thing happened: I HEARD THE BASS. And believe it or not, that was a GOOD thing.

One Response

  1. […] I got just about four hours of sleep last night.  The Hotel of Rivington that we had been complaining about decided it was ok to play “Umbre-lla, ella, ella, eh, eh” and other annoying dance hits […]

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