It's official!

It's official!
David Stubbs Photography

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New York City living

This is the "Friends" apartment. I bet it didn't smell
On the very small island of Manhattan, you're at the mercy of your neighbors. If they smoke, you second-hand smoke. If they love cooking with curry, your hair and clothes will make it smell like you do too. If they like to listen to loud mariachi music at midnight, you might as well fall asleep with maracas in your hand. And if the little old lady in apartment #4 smells like she's harboring dead bodies in her apartment, well, you may as well pray that you will eventually lose your sense of smell.

I have only seen our neighbor in #4 a handful of times. She will shuffle to the mailbox and back once a day, and that's it. When she comes out, she will only crack her door a small amount, but it's enough to see a hoarder's delight. Newspapers, magazines, name it. I joke that she's like the Pig-Pen character from Peanuts, and you can pretty much see the cloud of dirt and dust seeping from underneath her door.

But recently, the smell became worse. Like as soon as you opened the building's front door, the odor from her apartment smacked you in the face. And even though we live four floors above her, the smell was starting to seep upstairs. Not even our air purifier or endless plug-ins from Bath and Body Works could cover up the smell of death.

I started coming up with all sorts of scenarios. Did her cat die but she refused to say goodbye, therefore, Puss 'N Boots decayed on her kitchen table? Did her husband die, but she kept him around so she could collect his Social Security checks?

I called our landlord's office, and asked for them to do a welfare check on her, wondering if maybe she had gone to the great beyond. (Obviously not Bed, Bath & Beyond.) The office assured me she was alive and well (and probably in a rent-controlled apartment) and that there had been other complaints as well. So many, in fact, they had police and fire come do a welfare check, but she wouldn't let them into her apartment.

Yep, it must be a dead body.

Well, I'm not sure what finally happened, but Mike said he saw a cleaning lady working on her apartment recently. Can you imagine what that job was like? Alas, the smell is better and all that remains is a black pile of grime right outside her door, evidence of some sort of major clean-up.

Thank god.

Now what can we do about that potent urine smell on the sidewalks?....


  1. LOL....LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL...welcome to the jungle, baby!!! YOUR GONNA CRY !!!!!!!!!

  2. "Friends" had talent, taste, and LOFT-y ambitions. No time to smell the sidewalk.

  3. Pretty good gal. Glad to see you're surviving the Great Metropolis.