Tag Archives: neighborhood

In Which I List Thing I Will Miss When We Move

Published / by Kim / 1 Comment on In Which I List Thing I Will Miss When We Move
  • The clop-clop-clop of horses outside my window every day.
  • The Pay Phone Show. (This made the list of things I won’t miss, too. It’s annoying and entertaining all at once.)
  • The view of the woods across the street from my kitchen window. (This is usually what I’m looking at while people stare in at me from the sidewalk.)
  • The short walk that brings me to Eastchester Bay.
  • Having Pelham Bay Park right at my doorstep, literally.
  • Summers when the Metropolitan Opera performs in the park, and I can sit on my stoop and listen to Carmen.
  • The way the sun comes in through the kitchen windows in the morning and hits my prism, sending rainbows all around the room.
  • The crazy variety of birds that show up in the park and in my yard over the course of a year. Ospreys, blackbirds, woodpeckers, orioles, and on and on and on.
  • City Island.
  • Joanne, our neighbor up the block.
  • Tosca, my favorite restaurant for Italian food delivery.
  • The variety of food I can have delivered. Pizza and Chinese are available everywhere, but right now we also have Thai, Indian, two diners and a bar that deliver, more Mexican than you can shake a stick at, two seafood restaurants, several sushi places, Cuban, a place that specializes in only mofongo, and a cafe or two.
  • Easy access to 95 when we want to go north.
  • Bona Vita Key Food with its fantastic deli and crazy impulse buys I can never resist at the register, like jars of pickled peppers or preserved cherries.
  • How all the local delis have mozarella and pasta made in house.
  • The Old Man. Yeah, I’m going to kind of miss the old guy.

Probably not a complete list, but as I was typing someone knocked on the window and made me think of the things I won’t miss again.

Heard any big booms lately?

Published / by Kim / 2 Comments on Heard any big booms lately?

Last week – I think it was Thursday – I heard a huge boom outside. It rattled my windows, set off car alarms, and made the cats thing the end times were nigh. I heard my landlord pounding down the stairs to the basement, and when he rang my doorbell a few minutes later, he said he thought the boiler exploded.

Turns out, the Old Man and I weren’t the only ones hearing booms like that.

The Hatfields & the McCoys

Published / by Kim / 4 Comments on The Hatfields & the McCoys

The Old Man is in a feud with the neighbors.

To be fair, the neighbors are pigs. They have an all concrete backyard where they keep their yellow lab 18 hours a day. They never walk her, and she pees and poops all over the concrete. Then they leave it there for several days. It makes using our backyard, particularly on very hot days, distinctly unpleasant, to say the least. After the Old Man and I had a talk about it one day recently, I’m pretty sure he called the health department on them, because that’s just nasty.

They also have this whiny little kid who drives me insane. He’s about 7 now, I guess, but he seems to have been the same temper tantrum-throwing age for the past 5 years. He’s spoiled rotten. One day, his mom was going out with one of the older kids. It looked like she was going out to run some errands, you know… quick stuff that she wanted to just get out and get done. That kid stood on the front stoop and screamed for 5 minutes straight. Instead of settling him down and telling him no, the father stood there and watched him scream until the mother got out of the car and came back to get him.

This kid is constantly kicking soccer balls over their fence into our yard. Most of them go into my garden and wreak havoc. I’ve asked nicely, time and again, for him to please avoid doing that, to no avail. One afternoon, I picked up one of his balls for the umpteenth time to throw it back into their yard, and the kid shrieked at me, “That’s miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“I know,” I replied tossing it at him, “And keep it in your own yard.”

From that moment on, I started throwing those balls in the trash every time I see them in my yard. I think his father picks through our trash to get them out.

Last year, they had a new roof put on their house. That was good; they really needed it. Problem was, the roofers threw all the old roofing tiles down off the roof onto our side lawn. I was afraid to go to the mailbox for a week, because they weren’t looking where they were throwing stuff, and I nearly got hit a couple of times. As a result of having roofing tiles land all over it at high speed for about 5 straight days, our side lawn was trashed. The Old Man had to completely dig it up and put in a new lawn this spring. He was seriously not amused, and the neighbors basically told him to STFU when he bitched about it to them.

I think things are going to come to a head soon. When the Old Man put the new side lawn in, he also started paying a lot more attention to the front lawn, throwing seed down to fill in some bare patches. To keep people off the new grass – we live on the corner, and people are constantly cutting across the lawn to save themselves 10 feet or so by staying on the sidewalk – he put wooden stakes around the property line and ran some tape between the stakes. I never really paid much attention to what the tape said, but I now know that it says: Caution – Unground Electrical Wire.

How do I know this, you ask? Because this morning I heard banging on my front door, along with frantic bell-ringing. When I stomped down the hall to answer the door, annoyed and ready to bitch out whoever was being so obnoxious about getting my attention, I found myself face to face with about 12 firemen. With a truck and everything.

Apparently, “several neighbors” fear for their safety, what with this buried electrical line and everything. Apparently, someone’s dog was electrocuted in my yard this very morning! And, apparently this is the second dog to be electrocuted in my yard.

Apparently, someone is making spurious complaints to FDNY.

I think the guys couldn’t figure out why I was laughing at first, but I explained to them that no, there is no buried electrical wire. The yard is perfectly safe for people and pets. In fact, I walk around barefoot in the lawn quite often, and I take my cat out there on his leash. They stuck around for a while to wait for the Old Man, then left, asking me to tell him they were there and that they’d be back.

I have no doubt this was the neighbors, trying to get back at the Old Man for calling the health department. I think it may backfire on them, though, because the Old Man is going to talk to FDNY about tracing the call and prosecuting the people behind this “prank.”

These Are the People In My Neighborhood: the Neighborhood

Published / by Kim / 7 Comments on These Are the People In My Neighborhood: the Neighborhood
This entry is part 1 of 9 in the series These Are the People In My Neighborhood

We have a colorful cast of characters in our neighborhood. There’s the old man, weird man, creepy guy, raincoat dude, the whistler, howling Prince, Michael and Brigit, the rabbit, and a host of others. I thought I’d write about each one, but first, the neighborhood itself.

Old neighborhoods develop a personality all their own. You don’t really see that in new developments, where the houses are all built by the same developer and feel all the same (even if they don’t necessarily look the same). Old neighborhoods have years to pick up the flavor of the people who live in them. Sometimes the people change, but the neighborhood seems to keep at least some of the feeling of everyone who passes through. This is especially true in old neighborhoods in cities.

Scott and I live in a neighborhood in the northeast Bronx called “Country Club.” We’ve lived here for nearly 7 years, first in a house just up the block from our current place. When we had to move out of that apartment – the landlord’s daughter got herself knocked up and needed a rent-free place to live, so we got kicked out – our neighbors helped us get this apartment. You see, you can’t just move into this neighborhood from somewhere else. You have to know someone. Ditto for buying. This is nothing official, mind you. It’s just assumed that landlords who rent and people who sell will do it this way.

The makeup of the neighborhood is generally Irish and Italian, with few exceptions. That suits me just fine, my own makeup also being generally Irish and Italian. I think my maiden name – Mantovani – helped pave the way for us here. This is a mainly residential section, with one strip of commercial zoning a few blocks from here. There you can find 3 delis – Italian, of course – a pizza place, a laundromat, and a hair and nail salon, where you can get your 3 inch talons airbrushed and your hair teased high enough to touch the heavens.

Most of the houses near ours are two or three family, but deeper into the neighborhood are million dollar single family homes. We’re right on the coast, so a number of the houses have water views and the water front houses all have boat houses and docks. Yes, this is the Bronx.

Years ago, this was a summer community. In the woods across the street, you can find the remains of brick privacy walls from the old summer cottages. They’re all overgrown now, and the rocks at the beach are covered with graffiti. You can’t swim there anymore. The beach is too littered with broken glass, trash, and used condoms. See? I told you this was really the Bronx.

The largest park in NYC is right across the street from our house. The above mentioned woods are part of the park. We have a police stable in the park and several times a day the police officers ride through the neighborhood. The clop-clop of horses’ hooves is a familiar sound outside my office window.

We’ve been very happy in this neighborhood. It’s quiet (for New York) and the people are friendly. I find the idea that we may have to leave fills me with regret. I like it here. I know home is where the heart is, but this little corner of the Bronx – where I set up my first household with the love of my life – will always feel like a home to me.