In the midst of moving, and un-packing and re-organizing our lives, I didn’t think much of the flower boxes. I hung the them from the balcony rails and tried to remember to water them. Without my knowing, those straggly flowers paved the way to good neighbor relations…
My husband and I have no relationship with the people in the apartment next to mine, other than smiling at each other on the elevator, and so we’re at a bit of a loss about how to approach them about their dog’s barking. As far as we’ve been told, our building doesn’t allow dogs. How can we bring it up without creating a negative relationship right from the get-go?
Over the course of 12 weekends, we transformed our weed-infested front yard into a landscaped, welcoming entrance to our home. In addition to a nice-looking lil front yard (and a racer-back tan that’s never going to go away), we also got an unforeseen benefit: WE KNOW WHO OUR NEIGHBORS ARE NOW.
My friends were shocked to hear that we had purchased a home in the suburbs. We didn’t seem like the type, the couple to want the white picket fence and the perfectly manicured lawn. Only that’s not the type of suburb dwellers that we are. Do I sometimes feel like a sellout to my generation for leaving the city for the suburbs? Hell yes. Do I feel like it was a bad decision? Sometimes…
We all know I am an avowed city girl, right? Backstory: grew up in the forest, moved to the city, then moved around to different cities, then settled in the city near my forest. I continue to make all sorts of logistical sacrifices to living my city-center lifestyle, including but not limited to having my son sleep in a walk-in closet and paying way more than I should for a mortgage. I love that I can walk out my front door and immediately be immersed in a flow of hungover hipsters, aging gay professionals, halfway house residents, Microsoft executives, and part-time yoga teachers/body workers/dance instructors/etc. who live in my ‘hood.
But even as an avowed city dweller who loves swimming through people-stew every day, I still find myself sometimes taking the back alleys.
So this one time, the condo beneath ours was completely gutted and remodeled, with heavy construction for a couple weeks. The construction guys listened to a lot of Russian pop while they worked. Hours and hours of it. At a certain point, it got so ridiculous that I had to capture it. No tape deck, so I used my camera…but then I had to figure out something to fill the screen with while recording the ridiculous music. This very odd video was the result. Obviously, audio is key — and patience doesn’t hurt.