Category Archives: Neighbors


As I’m sweeping the leaves in front of our house I see a mother and her toddler heading in my direction. The child is kicking through the piles of leaves in front of the other houses, but surely she’ll stop him when they get to me. The mother and I lock eyes as the kid kicks my neighbor’s leaves onto my just-swept sidewalk. “I’m sorry, that’s probably not helpful,” she says, making no attempt to stop him. I guess there simply was no conceivable way to avoid this.

Good fences…

Of course hating neighbors is not exclusive to New York, but unlike, say, Montana or Vermont, we have to share small crummy old buildings with ours. And chances are that the neighbors you do have out in the boondocks don’t play in an “experimental” band. And if you do have neighbors who make loud, unstructured music, sometimes late at night, they are probably not ugly and in their fifties like ours are.

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