Ms. Demeanor's Vertical Etiquette

Dear Ms. Demeanor: My neighbor's heels are gouging my ears out

By Jamie Lauren Sutton  | April 13, 2011 - 4:27PM

Dear Ms. Demeanor,

My upstairs neighbor wakes at 7 am and promptly puts on her high heels....The sound is so loud, irritating, and disruptive I often wake from dreams about jackhammers boring into my skull.  I have called her numerous times and asked her to wait until leaving the apartment to put on her shoes.  Her last response was, "You should be up by now anyway!" followed by clanging down the phone.




Dear Clickity-Clack-ARGH,

To paraphrase one of New York's favorite sons, Billy Joel, she's so good with her stilettos you don't even see the blade, BUT YOU CERTAINLY DO HEAR 'EM! 

Most buildings have rules about 80% coverage of wood or tile floors with appropriate carpeting; most vertical dwellers (and their decorators) ignore this rule.  I think a certain degree of noise from upstairs neighbors is a fact of life in the vertical village--babies cry, toddlers push chairs around, teenagers have parties, adults have arguments--but it is the daily, relentless, unnecessary noise that is so objectionable here. 

Your neighbor would be advised to treat you, and her Jimmy Choos, with more respect since there is no earthly reason to wear them and wear them out around the house. 

Ask the super or property manager to check to see if she is in compliance with the 80% rule (she is almost certainly not).  If she is not, the property manager or board should her a letter requiring compliance.  The threat of shelling out money for carpeting--have you seen the price of a good wool carpet these days?--instead of shoes may finally get her to come down off her high heels, if not her high horse.


Ms. Demeanor  


Ms. Demeanor is channeled by a longtime Manhattan vertical dweller and real-estate voyeur who writes under the pen name Jamie Lauren Sutton. She is here to commiserate, calm and correct. Please email your quandaries to [email protected] and put "Dear Ms. Demeanor" in the subject line.


See all of Ms. Demeanor's advice here.


Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.