The curse of Apartment 1B

Apartment living has its pros and cons. These days I'm noticing the cons much more than the pros. I'm ready to be in our new house.

When we first moved in, we had a little run in with our neighbors in Apartment 1B. (Remember this?) I felt so defeated, and we'd only been in our loft for 1 week. I knew noise would be an issue for us in our current digs. With two small kids that cry, yell and scream on a regular basis, I knew we might not have it easy with our neighbors. I know from experience that you can hear us when you are walking through the building lobby. I only hope our noise is somewhat contained - there is no one below us and I hope, given how high our ceilings are, that those above us don't hear much. That leaves our neighbors on either side - the ones in Apartment 1D still smile at us in the hallway when we see them...a good sign, right?

Our apartment door is visible just behind the wall of mailboxes...

As for the hipsters in Apartment 1B, they moved out at the beginning of January and the apartment has been vacant until this past weekend. With the apartment vacant for a month, I realized just how loud our previous neighbors were. We used to hear the pumping and thumping of their surround sound at night, to the point that we could just about determine what they were watching (such violent taste in movies). They had two giant and very loud dogs - a St. Bernard and a large black lab - that just about brought the walls down whenever their owners were gone. But even more bothersome than the tv and the dogs, were their arguments. Neanderthal guy, as we affectionately called our neighbor with the giant black truck and preference for wife-beater tees, was a shouter. And his girlfriend was a yeller. They would have epic fights which you could hear word for word while standing in our bedroom closet. He was tired of her nagging, she was tired of him in general. I'm pretty sure they broke up and then moved out. Good riddance.

As of this weekend, we have new neighbors in Apartment 1B. They knocked on our door Saturday evening as I was putting the kids to bed. They wanted to tell us they would be hanging a tv on the wall and to apologize in advance for the noise. Ha! I introduced them to our little noisemakers and assured them it was no problem. What a different first interaction compared to the one we had with the previous occupants. But alas, I think Apartment 1B is cursed.

With a full belly from a Superbowl/birthday party and a kicking, restless Charlie (still sick) in bed next to me, I couldn't fall asleep last night. That's when I heard it - the yelling from next door. It surprised me - after a month of having no neighbors, I'd gotten used to the quiet. Our nice new neighbors that apologized in advance for drilling into our joint brick wall, were having a loud and angry argument. There was cursing and yelling - mostly in a woman's voice as the deeper male voice doesn't carry through the walls. I don't know what they were saying, but it made me think - is it the curse of that apartment? Or is it simply an aspect of communal living that I've forgotten? I haven't lived in an apartment building since graduate school, having rented houses both in St. Louis and when I first moved to KC. Is it because we're living in a loft building downtown with a younger crowd? Are the arguments and fighting a reflection of youthful, bad relationships? Or is it that all couples argue and we just usually aren't privy to hearing them in the middle of the night when tucked into our own houses? I wonder....

But I only wonder for as long as they are keeping me awake. I am past the stage in my life of being curious about the lives of others. I don't really care to know the stories behind their arguments or, for that matter, to know their preference in movies. And I'm sure they would do just fine without knowing about our kids' sleep issues. When our house is done this Spring, I will say good-bye to apartment living and to knowing more than I ever want to about my neighbors' personal lives.


  1. It has been almost 10 years since I have done the apartment life. I would say when I stay in hotels or something I definately hear more. But I think it is mostly you being in tune with it because of your children. The "Mama Bear". Maybe when you were single and there before, it was not as big an issue because you just thought of yourself.
    But, I might have to also agree with the curse of Apartment 1B, that is crazy.
    Spring is just around the corner.


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