Loft living is truly an urban living experience. And our loft is great. The concrete floors and pillars, exposed pipes, pocket doors, and 10-feet-tall warehouse windows give our space lots of character. But despite all that concrete reinforcement, there’s still one thing to contend with: neighbors. Even though it has one-of-a-kind features, our building is not sound proof. Because of this, I know my neighbors better than they think—not necessarily by sight. If I happen to hear a familiar voice, grunt, or sneeze around town, I might know exactly where that person lives.
Just by listening I know there’s a Green Bay Packers fan who lives in the unit above us. I know he’s a fan without conversing with him. Say it’s Monday night, Packers vs. Vikings, and the Packers—down by a touchdown—just fumbled the ball. Loud, choice words drift down from above. This makes us laugh—even the cat rattles out of a sound slumber. After recovering the fumble, the Vikings score a touchdown. Now the Packers are down by 14. To the man upstairs, it really can’t get much worse. We hear the cracking sound of plastic as it hits the concrete floor (there goes the remote) and scuffing noises followed by a loud thud. This makes us think Packer Fan is tossing furniture around. Again, we laugh and this time we mute our TV so we can enjoy the entertainment from above.
This neighborly noise is not just limited to humans. Next door is a lovely young woman with a dog named Butters. If our cat Libby meows a little too gratuitously (which never happens), Butters keeps her in check with a series of stern barks. Never mind that Libby is twice Butters’ size. These stern barks are always followed by an even more stern: “Butters, NO!” Oh, the joys our pets—and our neighbors—bring us.