Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The 'Hood.

When we moved out of our teensy apartment in the not so nice part of town, I thought we were destined for the quiet life.  We found a place in a part of town I lovingly call the Jewborhood (for it has an incredibly dense  Jewish population).  Our apartment is on a one-way street that ends at a second one-way street, so there is hardly any traffic.  There are no dogs allowed in our building, so that was a super-plus from the old place.  We are now the fat neighbors stomping around upstairs since we are on the top floor.  I thought it would be nothing but peace.

Apparently I was wrong.  Not in a bad way, mind you, but in a way that has turned me into that crazy neighbor lady with her nose sticking over your fence and her ear to all the happenings in the 'hood.

Our building is so close to the street, as are all the buildings on our block, that I can't help but hear all the comings and goings of our neighbors - especially now that nice weather is upon us and our windows are perpetually open.

We have neighbors who don't speak very good English.  We have neighbors who don't speak any English.  We have neighbors who speak what I can only liken to "genuine frontier gibberish" a la "Blazing Saddles".

The way our building is laid out, the window in the bathroom is across from that of our neighbor; separated by a 3 or 4 foot wide space.  If both of our windows were open, we could share toilet paper.  This adjacent apartment has recently been inhabited by a couple who seem to speak some Asian language that I can't decipher.  The only thing I can tell is that they ALWAYS sound angry.  So either it is the German equivalent of an Asiatic language that just always sounds ferocious, or these neighbors are in a constant state of domestic discord.

There is an older woman who lives in the building and loves to sit outside on the bench in her pincurls, housedress, and slippers.  I don't think she understands English, because when I thank her for holding the front door for me (something she seems to delight in), her response is always a toothless smile and an accented "yes.... yes....yes...." before she shuffles back off to her bench.

There is a gentleman who lives in another building who sits outside on a bench smoking cigarettes and hand feeding peanuts to the squirrels.  This makes for ballsy squirrels.

There have also been a few sightings of rednecky couples fighting in the middle of the street.  She's pregnant, and he's no good.  That's all I get from them.

The piece de resistance, however, is a couple of ancient old ladies I originally dubbed "The Biddies".    When we first moved here, the only exposure I had to these two was listening to them scream incoherently at others presumably for putting the trash out on the wrong night or wheeling their bike up the grass hill instead of carrying it up the stairs.

In the 9 or 10 months we've been here, I have learned a lot about these two.  They have no shame at sitting on a couch that someone has left on the sidewalk for trash pickup.  They wear fanny packs to whatever adult day adventures they go on.  They *might* be twins.  And when I say twins, I mean as in the two creepy ones at the end of the hallway in "The Shining", not cute like the Olsens before anorexia.  Sometimes they wear matching lime green puffy coats or coordinated embroidered sweaters.  Their names, as far as I can understand them, are Freida and Gertrude.  I could not have picked better names.  And they are the loudest mumblers I have ever encountered in my entire life.  Even when the windows are shut, I can hear them clucking between themselves, but with the windows wide open, I can't understand a word of it.

This all makes me look like the worst busybody, but I really can't help it when they put it all out there for my amusement :)

1 comment:

Anne Keefe said...

I believe Elmer Rice wrote about this exact same thing, as well as the inspiration for Meredith Wilson's "Pick-a-little-Talk-a-little-ladies".
You can do the same thing- write it into a play, publish it, get famous, and move.

You should have conversations just to screw with them, wear your scene-shop Barbie to work, and have fun with it.

- Anne :)