I recommend my apartment to any new journalist that comes in the doors at YDR. The rent is low, the maintenance staff is prompt and I’m fond of the days when the building, owned by Susquehanna Real Estate, used to be filled with journalists.
But things change. And I’ve got new neighbors. Ones who smoke in the hallway. Or throw trash in our community-shared courtyard. Or overflow their bathtub every Sunday night, causing water to leak into my bathroom.
Sadly, and perhaps this is my fault, I don’t know my neighbors well enough to go knock on their door and kindly ask them to tidy up.
When a mess of grease was thrown from above onto our end of the fire escape last week, I questioned if I should email the landlord to tell them AGAIN that someone had made a mess. And I would have to clean it up.
When I saw the fire escape was wet last week, I thought it had rained. Or at best, someone dumped water out their back door and it would soon dry on the fire escape, streaked down our kitchen and in the recycle bin.
Lost cause. Three days later, I noticed it still looked wet. Because it was grease. And it hadn’t rained in days. It was as if someone had dumped the contents of a deep-fryer onto my fire escape. At least I no longer had a window basket of herbs out there.
I was about to get a bucket of warm, soapy water to scrub the grease when my boyfriend mentioned I should call the landlord. What if it attracted mice? Who would clean it off of the concrete ground below?
I contemplated this. Was I whining too much? Should I suck it up and clean it, hoping it wouldn’t happen again? Or was it just another mess on top of the mop head in the tree, the cigarette butts on the stairs and the occasionally missing Sunday New York Times?
I emailed my landlord. She’s out of the office until Monday. Guess I’ll be getting that soapy water out after all.