We’re snowed in today in New York. As the picture shows, there is even snow in my apartment. (Actually, what that photo depicts is how poorly sealed my windows and doors are.) Thankfully, I was given the opportunity to avoid the snowy, delay-laden commute to work from my not-so-toasty living room.

My upstairs neighbor is driving me insane.

I wouldn’t be complaining if this was an isolated incident, but whoever this person is, s/he has absolutely no etiquette when it comes to common space and downstairs neighbors.

For good reason, I never lived below the top floor of an apartment building since my college dorm until I moved into my current apartment building. Honestly, I don’t have many complaints about my neighbors. The girl next to me, who replaced the woman that had extremely loud phone conversations in Spanish, I never see her or hear her. The girl that lives three apartments away from me occasionally has loud parties, but they’re not often enough to truly bother me.

I’ve never in my life complained to any of my neighbors about anything they do. I’m not one of those passive aggressive people who tapes notes to the mailboxes about the volume of someone’s TV or three notes on the door about a barking dog. A month or so ago, I was watching my friend’s dog when she had to leave town suddenly for a family member’s funeral. I knew that when I left the dog, he barked, so I did the best I could to not leave him alone while she was out of town. However, when I had to go back to work that Monday, he must have put on quite a show. I returned home that evening to not one, not two, but three increasingly angry (and detailed) notes from fellow building dwellers that were disrupted. While I felt bad that people were disturbed, the notes were insanely excessive. One person threatened to contact the management company. Really? I’ve lived here nearly two years and you’ve never heard a thing before. The funny thing was that not one of the notes was signed.

I have three nominees that I would like to award with “bad neighbor” honors. In third place, guy on the other side of my floor who loves his surround sound television – but seemingly only when watching war movies or playing video games. It’s always fun when you feel like you’re living “Saving Private Ryan” on a Sunday afternoon.

Second place goes to the girl who lives below me, affectionately known as “F*ck Me Naked,” which she was once yelling out to her bed partner at 4 a.m. We have very thin walls in this building – when I play my iPod on the speakers, you can hear it in the hallway. Well, this girl doesn’t apply that same logic to her bedroom antics. When I am in bed at 3:30 a.m. and she comes back from the bar, I am always treated an audio performance that rivals amateur porn. Lately, she’s been quiet – I guess her social life is slow during winter. There was a time during the summer, though, when she had a partner with the same drive and vocal capacity as she did. I would hear the two of them going at it a good few times a day from when the bars closed until about lunchtime. He, much like her, loved yelling out ridiculous things (see: F**k me naked!), which were totally impossible to tune out while trying to sleep.

And the first place, gold star winner is the person (people) who lives above me. From what I can tell, it is a person and a toddler. It could be two people and a toddler – I’m not entirely sure. Beginning at about 7 a.m. on the weekends, they seem to have parades and foot races. The kid just runs back and forth across the bedroom. Repeatedly. If they could just let the kid run laps in the living room, I wouldn’t be woken up at dawn on the weekends. S/he also loves to move furniture. To the best of my knowledge, this person also has a one bedroom apartment. How many different furniture combinations can you really create in an apartment of that size? This person also loves, LOVES to stomp. I’m sure that occasionally, I’m heavy on my feet. I do my best to be cognizant of it, though, and encourage my guests to do the same. I also try to remember to take my shoes off. This person has got to be wearing wooden clogs.

So here I am, today, working from home. The neighbors upstairs has: stomped back and forth across the apartment hundreds of times, allowed the kid to run laps back and forth, drilled something and hammered the floor (are we assembling more furniture to move?), moved MORE furniture (perhaps the new piece we built?) and dropped no fewer than 20 things.


I’ve gone back and forth in my mind about going upstairs one day and just asking them to be more considerate on weekend mornings. I’m not really in my apartment that much anyhow, and honestly, I should be grateful they chose a weekday afternoon for furniture assembly. I’m quite surprised it wasn’t saved for 7 a.m. this Sunday.

The kid is bouncing a ball now.