Friday, April 16, 2010

Angie and the pig-shrieker

I realized the other day that I have lived in my current apartment for nearly ten months. My, how time as flown.  This particular apartment (and neighborhood, chosen almost solely because of the existence of a marvelous Cuban restaurant that really isn't THAT close) is close to my heart because it is the first place I have ever chosen entirely on my own. I called the listing from Craigslist, the one sans pictures. Anyone who has ever searched for apartments via CL knows how risky it can be, especially when the advertisement contains no pictures. But hey, it was a Sunday afternoon, I wasn't busy, and I had possession of the company car to jet about forty blocks south to check out both apartments. Why not, right? There were two listings, both in my price range, both in my desired neighborhood (and within respectable distance to aforementioned Cuban food.)

The first apartment was small, dark and not what I wanted. The second apartment the manager showed me was it. I loved it immediately and it's decent shape, big kitchen and two tiny bedrooms. However, I have been prone to jump on the first acceptable apartment I see which can lead to cockroach-filled experiences like my past apartment. So I asked P.I.C. to come back later that week to inspect it. If he told me that I wasn't crazy for loving it, I would rent it. Sure enough, I wrote my security deposit check out to him that very day. And I love my apartment. Despite the fact that my tub doesn't drain properly, the hot water in the shower doesn't last as long as I'd like, and there are ants in the summer, I love this apartment with a fiery passion.

The neighborhood, while I do love it and the darling hipsters and their pit bulls that share it with me, has its faults. Gentrification and the downturn of the economy has lead to an interesting mixture of residents. There are the elderly eastern european people who have lived in the tiny cape cod houses for forty years who sit on their porches in lawn chairs on pleasant days, smoking cigarettes and speaking to all of their friends as they walk by. Other long-time residents include hispanic families with children that play soccer in the street and their parents that watch from their porches. For the newcomers to the 'hood, there is the smattering of lovely new condominiums and townhomes purchased right before the economy hit the tank that house young professional families, their adorable children and the matching SUV-sized strollers. Of course, there are the aforementioned hipsters living in more transient buildings.  (I am not entirely sure where I fit into the mix, but I am comfortable here.)

So while I live in a small building with only five other units, and I only moderately know my neighbors, I have become rather intimately aware of the people that reside near our building. There is the man that lives on the street onto which my bedroom faces. He sounds like a hoarse female who has two loud, barking dogs. The little one is a yipper, a little chihuahua,  and with yip at any dog or any person who passes by his home. This one's name is Paco. There is a bigger dog, as well, named Angie. Angie. Who names a dog Angie? The reason I know their names without ever having met the hoarse-female talking man, is because these damn dogs sit outside and yip all night long. (All night.) And after they bark for a good ten minutes, this man will say, "Aaaaaan-geee.," in a very exasperated tone. He doesn't bring Angie inside. Nor does the barking stop. Five minutes of incessant barking and you will hear him say "Aaaaaan-geeee" yet again. I hate him. So. Much.

And last night, I was reminded of my distaste for the youthful punks living across the street. They are probably in their young twenties, from Michigan (my clever deductions from their license plates) and obnoxious. They are loud very late at night. Again, I have never met these people, just know them from my judgment of their behavior from across the street. There is one young whippersnapper that enjoys to make the noise of a pig shriek when he comes home from the bars (or wherever he's been) at whatever hour that may be. You may believe I am joking, dear reader, but trust me. My brother has witnessed this firsthand and can account for this horrific noise this dude is capable of producing. It ain't pretty. So, of course, for this lovely weather we have been having in Chicago, there have been people taking advantage of backyards and patios. These kids have a backyard. Last night, they were out in that backyard until 4:00 a.m. I woke up at 2:40 a.m. to them laughing, carrying on, and playing music. But I was comfortable, Oxford was snuggled up next to me, and I didn't feel like getting up and I dozed back off. Some sort of loud noise from over there woke me up about twenty minutes later. I was slightly more annoyed this time, wishing my phone was within arm's reach so I could call 311. (Don't mess with my beauty sleep, I will. Rat. You. Out.) I awoke again at 3:30 a.m. to them arguing with another annoyed neighbor. Still too lazy to get up and call 311, I just laid there, angry and not sleeping.

So there is quite the mix of individuals living in my block. As annoyed as they make me, I wouldn't trade them for the cockroaches and screaming children at the playground across the street from my old building.  It's been a fantastic nine months. I only wish I had found this apartment years sooner to enjoy it's perfect "one-person" size. (Two closets and two bedrooms just for me? Don't mind if I do!)

What's ironic about last night?* A few minutes after the last time they woke me up, I got up and went to check the windows to make sure I know which house and occupants to throw my dirty looks as  passed by from now on. Did I mention I was slightly passive-aggressive?

*J, does this count as ironic?

1 comment:

  1. Such a darling post. I really loved it. Heart-felt, intimate, nicely written...I am right there in your apartment with you, 'hating' on your neighbors!