Room for Improvement

Swinging from chandeliers, Jersey dreams and more city-living wishes

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Hating loud neighbors, loving loud parties, and lamenting the downsides of renting. We asked five New Yorkers to share their city-living woes:

Calling the cops on complainers: Well, I hate my downstairs neighbors and called the police on them a few weeks ago. They bang a broomstick against their ceiling anytime we make any kind of sound. Not noise — any sound bothers them and they hear everything.  Like a shoeless footstep or if a Kleenex falls to the floor. They are just a bunch of jerks and we knew we were doing nothing wrong. More than 80 percent of our apartment floor is carpeted. Their incessant banging was harassing us, so we made a non-emergency call to our local police station. The police showed up, had a talk with them, and it’s been quiet ever since. But the welcome mat in front of my door is gone and I think they took it. - Andy, Harlem

To be or not to be…in Jersey: Typical enough of NYC, I love my apartment and I love my neighborhood, but the rent is just too much for this single girl. If I could, I’d carve a second bedroom into the living room and have a roommate. But then again, I hated living with roommates. I have to come up with a solution or I think I’m going to have to move back to Jersey when my lease is up. - Cindy, Hamilton Heights

Wanting to swing from the chandelier: I would love for my apartment to be a party apartment. My friends and I have a list of what would make an awesome party apartment: outdoor space for BBQ’s and smoking, concrete floors so as not to disturb neighbors, and tons of space for dancing, lounging, and eating. That’s it. My apartment is actually quite spacious enough for a sedate party, but not a raging, epic fete. All it needs are the other two components. - Emanuelle, Upper West Side

High spirits: I really hate how loud my radiator is. There’s hissing, banging, clanking, and gurgling, like there’s an angry spirit trying to get out. It still manages to wake me up at night. It was quite the conversation starter when my family from abroad came over here for the holidays. They had never experienced anything like this and we can’t believe this has never been improved or why the heating system has not been upgraded since the building was built. - Sebastian, Inwood

Revamp the bathroom: I would like to redo my bathroom entirely. It’s perfectly serviceable, just tired and drab and boring. Of course, I’m in a rental so there isn’t much I can do about any of this. But I’d love to add more shelving, paint the walls and replace the hideous fixtures and cheap tile on the walls. - Marcy, Astoria

Related:

Permanent scaffolding, too-close quarters and other NYC apartment living woes

Squeaky windows and cheap floors: Apartment pet peeves from New Yorkers

 

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