Friday, May 22, 2009

The Lights The Noise The Shame of it All

This week will be forever known as the week Jill did battle with the neighboring buildings. It might get ugly folks, so if they find me at the bottom of the East River wearing cement shoes, you will know why.

First, there is the sound of a helicopter hovering outside my rear window. Helicopters? you say incredulously, I hear you. How can there be helicopters hovering, and why would they do that? Exactly my thoughts. Upon closer inspection it turns out there are no helicopters, but instead a brand spanking new contraption on the roof of the neighboring building (the roof is lower than our windows) that just sounds like a helicopter. It is owned by a 24 hour restaurant and polluter in the ground floor, who pushes all their nasty offal into the skies above. In our case, the skies above consist of my back window.

Now, this battle is just beginning and it isn't going terribly badly, yet. I (and several of my neighbors who also are shocked at the loudness) have complained to DEP, and are awaiting their return calls within 5 to 7 days.

Last weekend, a man who identified himself as manager of the restaurant told me they were trying to fix it. A few days later when I went back, I was told they don't have "managers" only an owner who wasn't in. Hmmmm.

Later on I did get the owner on the phone who sounded very sincere about rectifying the problem, as I wasn't the only one complaining. I imagine the people who live in the building can feel the shake. Turns out just as I was on the phone, the repairmen were there. Luckily, the husband was home to confirm it, and tried to communicate with the workers, but there was a severe language barrier. After they left, the noise seems much better, and the husband had also connected with the restaurant owner.

But by midnight the noise was back. Today, the restaurant owner said he would continue to get someone out to fix it, but it's a long weekend and... well... we're living with this for now.

Problem #2 - The Ultra Bright Window

Outside of the same rear window, there are several roofs. One has the contraption. Another has a window installed on that little mini building-thing-a-majig that houses the steps to the roof. I don't know what you call that little room. In the window of this presumably public space, there is a light as bright as any UFO you have ever seen. The fluorescence of this light is enough to blind a blind person. It is ten times brighter than any surrounding lights. Creepy? Yes. Do I hear the word "greenhouse?" Yes.

This window doesn't look like it's at the right angle to annoy, but in fact, from my son's loft bed, it shines straight into his big brown eye.

So I called the management company listed in their lobby. Who, you might be asking, owns this particular building with a weird light? You might think it's nobody you know. You would be wrong. It is owned by these horrible folk who evicted an entire apartment building worth of tenants to turn it into their own private mansion, which we are certain will revert to expensive condos as soon as they think nobody is paying attention, which will be NEVER.

I phoned them up, left several messages for the "repair" department without a call back, but finally got through to one of the random extensions I started calling. The woman who picked up was not horrible, and seemed baffled by my description of the bright light. I told her I was giving her warning before I reported it to any other agency (because if they are doing what I think they are doing I am happy to let them do it as long as they turn the damn light off at night). We'll see what happens.

Stay tuned for more fun from The Top Floor chronicles.


Anonymous said...

the economkaises whined to the press and the court that the tenement on east 3rd st was the "only building they owned" as an excuse for forcing 15 apartments worth of tenants out for their supposed mansion. Unfortunately, Jill, they have as little concern for tenants in their other buildings and even less for those who are not giving them money. Rest assured that the obnoxiously bright light has nothing to do with tenant security and more to do with hoping they can catch a tenant doing something that they can exaggerate to a charge of "property damage". You may have to call 311 for this one. good luck!

Jill said...

Well that is a good reason not to follow up with them on the light issue. I don't want to get anybody in trouble with the landlord, I just want them to turn it off.

I left a message on the front door and it got taken down rather quickly. I did notice last night that they turned off the light at 3am, but I didn't look to see if it was off by midnight as it's not in my room, it's in my son's room and he has to keep his closet door open to block the light as the light shines straight through his curtains!