Tuesday, April 28, 2009

South Slope Morning

Wow. Does anyone else live in a building where without warning, demolition workers start tearing down the walls in your hallway at 8:30am?

I wanted to spring out of bed and scream at what I assumed to be my upstairs neighbors working on an art project---they restore statues, art pieces, signs, you name it. For a week, I have walked into my building to the shocking sight of a 7ft. tall Goofy statue resting in the hall with a gigantic garbage bags wrapped around his newly formed arms and hands.

It was only slightly more disturbing than when I would come home to see the looming giant resting in the hallway sans arms with a completely blissed out look on his face that only Goofy could possess in such troubling moments. "Gawsh! I seem to have misplaced my arms! Hoo Hoo!" Creepy.

But no, this was not the neighbors, this was the definite sound of a blunt mallet smashing into a wall outside my door, dry wall crumbling and falling down a long flight of stairs with every blow. My entire apartment feels as though it could cave in at any moment, so this sound is very alarming to me.

I guess I am annoyed that I already live above the landlords and their Dry Cleaning Shop. I am home during the day and wake up to the whirring of giant machines steaming and pressing clothing mixed with talk radio turned up to a mind boggling volume. Every time they "dry clean" a batch, we have a minor brown out in the apartment. This happens every 20 minutes or so. The exhaust pipe that I am certain only releases noxious, harmful fumes is of course outside my bedroom window. On top of this the heat from all of the machinery, steam machines, and electricity turn my apartment into a sauna. Fine.

I can even deal with the weekly Sunday night drum circle upstairs, and the relentless noise of traffic on 5th Aveue but come on! No warning to tenants that there is going to be demolition outside your door that also happens to limit entering and exiting the building? I don't care if you have a thick, Greek accent and feel like you can't successfully communicate this to me. I think notice is more than fair, goddammit. Other than my roomie, we are a building full of artists and freelancers who need to sleep until 11 or 12pm! A little courtesy for my alternative lifestyle, please! Arghhh.

So, I decided to step out for a bit and work on my laptop but that usually ends in an infuriating scenario.

You see, our apartment also extends part way over a coffee shop which is a haven for Brooklyn 'lifers'. You know the kind---born in the neighborhood and will die in the neigborhood type of Brooklyn person. These are the scariest people on earth. In my immediate location, I get to co-habitate the local cafe with a group of women who are all in their 70's and sit out front and hijack the little patio. They refer to everyone as faggots, and they talk about their golden days in the mafia. Yup, mafia. You're either with them or they vocally plot your death every time you walk in and out of the apartment and don't greet them properly. They're not kidding.

They got mad at the barista one day for no apparent reason and sat at the front table in a semi-circle talking about how they were going to kick her ass. This coffee shop is a long-time staple in the neighborhood, 28 years old as a matter of fact and they were honest to god talking about beating the owner's daughter with a bat because she didn't give them a 4th free refill.

Compared to their 70 plus years in the 'hood', this coffee shop is still the new kid in town, does nothing right, and in their warped opinion is apparently one of the reasons why the neighborhood is 'going down the shitter'. Yeah, they hate that place so much that they camp out and stuff their faces with delicious pastries and cafe au laits all day, every day, hogging the tables. It's actually pretty ridiculous to watch someone grudgingly eat a scone.


( photo of a South Brooklyn local )

So, I of course forgot my headphones and here I am back upstairs since the atmosphere of Pearl Jam skipping on a shitty boom box mixed with 4 hags exchanging recipes for Italian Sausage isn't exactly conducive to writing.

I think I will go take a relaxing stroll somehwere less obnoxious---perhaps Times Square? A wrecking yard? Airport tarmac?

Ahhhhh, New York, how DO you do it?


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