The Louds.

I forgot to add this detail of the trip: We did Airbnb for the first time. As children get older, it’s harder to travel with them unless you’re a very rich person and can get a second room. When we’re in normal cities, we go for a two-room suite, but a destination city during season? We need an alternative. Airbnb it was.

We ended up with half a shotgun house in the Uptown neighborhood, and that part of it was great; you really do get a different sense of a city when you stay in a neighborhood. Ours seemed to be yuppifying from African-American to brussels sprout-eating hipster. The property next door was being renovated out to the lot line and up into a second floor, and the carpenters arrived at 8 a.m. every morning to BAM BAM BAM for a while, and then leave.

But the main thing was that it was a classic New Orleans shotgun duplex, which meant it was a) small (to live in, that is), and b) loud. Oh, so loud. Our neighbors the first night played their music at top volume, and I mean top volume. I was five minutes from knocking on the door when they went out, only to return at 5 a.m. and STOMP STOMP STOMP around their side for a while. As a means of not going insane, I reflected on other noisy lodgings of my life, both my own and others’. When Alan first took his job here, the paper put him up for a month in a furnished apartment in Royal Oak, where, he reported, the couple in the unit above had loud, scream-y sex every night at 11:08 on the dot; it lasted for just a few minutes and wrapped by 11:15 or so. I recalled neighbors whose arguments I could clearly hear through the walls, babies crying.

When I was a reading tutor, I had to meet my student at her apartment, in a subsidized-housing development in Fort Wayne. It was a warm night, and the overwhelming impression was of the thrumming noise — every window broadcast the sound of television dramas, music, domestic affairs.

I tried to think what it would be like to live next to the Hip-Hop Clydesdales all the time, not just for one night. It made me very grateful I don’t.

Pretty good read in Bridge today, about how a beloved ski resort in northern Michigan became a ruin. Laff line:

But anyone in Leelanau County who wanted local government to condemn and seize the long-shuttered resort faced an uphill battle. The seven-seat County Commission, controlled by small-government, Tea Party activists, expressed concern with Haugen’s efforts to inspect Sugar Loaf, with some citing United Nations conspiracy theories as a basis to thwart economic development plans in general.

Sorry for the late update today. Just flat ran out of gas last night. Fueled by coffee this morning, however, I wish you a great day.

Posted at 8:16 am in Same ol' same ol' |

30 responses to “The Louds.”

  1. Kirk said on February 27, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Seeing the handwriting on the wall, Ohio legislative morons have withdrawn their “religious freedom” bill.

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  2. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 27, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Coffee, chocolate, and corn chips. They’ve gotten me through much!

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  3. LAMary said on February 27, 2014 at 9:58 am

    I had a neighgor who had sex with her boyfriend every night at 11:30. You could tell when it was about to happen because they would put Stairway to Heaven on the stereo. This was the seventies.

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    • nancy said on February 27, 2014 at 10:08 am

      …as if you needed to add that.

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  4. Maggie Jochild said on February 27, 2014 at 10:21 am

    I had a middle-aged guy living over me in San Fran who had sex every afternoon with his faking-it girlfriend while his elderly mother (with whom he lived) was out at bingo. Their music of choice was “Rainy Night in Georgia.” I’ve loathed that song ever since.

    Here in Austin, I lived downstairs from a 20-something straight couple who had sex three times a week with much thumping but no soundtrack. It never lasted longer than 2 minutes; I and visiting friends often timed it. At the conclusion, someone got up and hurried off to the bathroom, where there was a flush followed by the shower running. And that, my friends, is why lesbians don’t need to recruit.

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  5. brian stouder said on February 27, 2014 at 10:37 am

    If you go to Springfield, Illinois, there is one high-rise hotel that looks just like a golf tee.

    Some years ago, they held the Lincoln Colloquium in the convention area in this hotel, and they offered a nice break on rooms there – so I ended up with a room up near the top of the tower.

    One evening, as I was speaking to Pam on the phone (she only rarely comes to these things with me…for some reason!), a couple in the next room went into an absolute frenzy.

    Really, the rattling and vocalizations were so pronounced that it seemed to me that THAT was the game; a sort of accidently-on-purpose form of exhibitionism.

    (talk about your emancipation proclamations…!)

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  6. Judybusy said on February 27, 2014 at 10:39 am

    In 1988, my then-husband and I were live-in attendents for two men with developmental disabilities. We lived on the bottom half of a duplex, below two women who were born-again Christians. They tried to convert us, until we made it super clear we were having none of it. Then, the noise began: in the middle of the night, night after night, there would be loud bumping and banging, as if furniture were being lifted and dropped. There was also shouting, but too indistinct to figure out what they were saying–it sounded like arguing. We tried working with the landlords, but finally had to move. Happily, our new place was nicer, a block away from a food co-op, and the home of my first garden as a grown-up. There was a magnolia tree in the back yard. Our upstairs neighbors gave me a terra cotta chicken-shaped pot that I have to this day. We all lived there for four years, until I graduated from the UW, loan-free thanks to that job. Oh, geez, I jsut remembered: the next door neighbor had this weird teepee-shaped structure and would hang deer to bleed out during hunting season. But it was still a great place!

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  7. coozledad said on February 27, 2014 at 10:53 am

    they would put Stairway to Heaven on the stereo
    It makes me wonder how the choreography went for that. Undressing during the recorder intro? A brief fumbling around while Robert Plant serves up his critique of late century female consumerism? Docking achieved during the three chord part? Girl on top for the guitar solo?
    Cigarettes for the coda?

    Am I overthinking this?

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  8. Peter said on February 27, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Cooz, maybe they were forward thinking and did the nasty to the Richard Cheese version – it’s a few minutes shorter and has a more appropriate ending.

    Maggie, when we were newlyweds, the couple above us would have VERY loud sex whenever grandma would take the baby out for a walk. Every time we heard the stroller wheels bounce on the stairs my wife’s face would turn ashen – “T minus 5 minutes to liftoff”.

    I’m still convinced that if you made a video of those two going at it and showed it to a high school health class unplanned pregnancies would drop by at least half.

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  9. Scout said on February 27, 2014 at 11:35 am

    In the late seventies my now ex-hub and I lived in an apartment under a couple that started their mating ritual with chasing. Back and forth the entire length of the apartment, much screaming and hysterical laughing. Then the capture and literal banging noises. Then without fail, her crying – loudly. Every night. We could barely look them in the eye when we saw them.

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  10. alex said on February 27, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Offhand I can’t recall any neighbors who were noisy while doin’ the nasty, but quite a few in a neighboring high-rise who were indifferent to being seen by people in other buildings.

    For a time, my next-door neighbors in that condo were an abused woman and her strapping prize of a husband, one of those narcissistic types who dressed flashy and drove fancy cars and could be seen all about the neighborhood flirting with other women. He thought he was hot shit. And he used to beat his wife so badly that it would rattle the dishes in my kitchen cabinets every time she’d hit the wall there.

    I complained to the building management and was told “Sorry, that’s a law enforcement issue. Call the police if you don’t like it.” Evidently someone tipped him off that I’d said something because after that the guy became rather menacing. “So we’re too noisy for ya?” he’d say to me in passing. I don’t regret my decision not to call the police. He would have started kicking my ass instead.

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  11. beb said on February 27, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    A quick walk-thru on the question of whether you’re religious freedom is being jeopardized.

    On how to suppress unplanned pregnancies… There was a video going around a couple years ago of some girls watching a video of a normal, live, human birth. The look of horror and nausea on their faces suggested that they might not ever have sex again in their lives.

    My parents owned 5 acres. We were technically in the country even though the city’s boundary ended up at the far end of Dad’s land. There was maybe a hundred yards between our house and any of our neighbors. That was nice. Of course, it was also back when people did not make loud noises, put their speakers in the windows for people to “enjoy” their choice of music, or have cars that could rattle your windows. The sad thing about the loud noise murder case in Florida is that I know how that man felt. One of many reasons why I will never have a gun in my house….

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  12. Basset said on February 27, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    When Basset Jr. was about Kate’s age we took a family trip to Portland and nearby attractions, including the Columbia River gorge… where we stayed in a duplex guest house with a shared hot tub on the back deck. A pair of thirtysomething newlyweds had the other side and behaved pretty much as you’d expect, audibly and with amazing stamina as we were trying to get to sleep. Sometime in the small hours I got up for a drink of water and fumbled for the kitchen light switch, accidentally hit the outside light. Oops, sorry… they barely noticed.

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  13. Sherri said on February 27, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    You’d think a simple thought experiment would stop the “religious liberty” types: what if Kroger, for example, had a Muslim CEO, and he decided that because of his religious beliefs, Kroger was no longer going to sell pork or alcohol? But then I realized, no, they’d just want to pass a law banning Muslims from being CEO’s of American companies.

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  14. coozledad said on February 27, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    they’d just want to pass a law banning Muslims from being CEO’s of American companies

    Fox News would have a hard time with that- particularly if the ban extended to major shareholders. The right just needs a villain to pit their yokels against, until it turns out the villain has money. Lots and lots of money.

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  15. DanB said on February 27, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    You don’t even have to get that hypothetical- there are already issues about Muslim cab drivers refusing to pick up passengers who are carrying alcohol or have dogs:

    As the article points out, the same crowd arguing for “religious freedom” aren’t so sympathetic to them.

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  16. Judybusy said on February 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    DanB, not surprised Minneapolis was the site of that issue. We use a cab a couple of times a year to and from the airport. Almost all of our cab drivers here are Somalis. The white guy I had last year tried to bait me (at 4:30 in the morning) about all those epople who get cab rides for medical appointments, after I sleepily answered I was a social worker for the county. I had to tell him four or five times, “Sir, I’m going on vacation. I will not discuss this with you,” before I finally just switched topics to snorkeling. He then asked if I could wear my glasses under my snorkel mask.

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  17. Scout said on February 27, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Vacation apartments are a great way to go. After researching hotel accomondations (holy crap, expensive!) and hostels (too old for that) when we went to Barcelona and Paris several years ago, we decided to look into vacation rentals. We had the coolest places, and we were actually in residential neighborhoods. I did a whole lot of research before booking and we decided to stay within walking distance of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and in a residential neighborhood not far from The Louvre in Paris. We’re planning a trip to Portland this fall and we have already secured a guest house in a really cute neighborhood.

    I didn’t make it to the AZ Capital last night, but I did listen to the press conference at home. I was not surprised but very relieved that Jan B decided to veto. What did surprise me was that after waiting so long to say or do anything about SB1062 she didn’t pander to the crazies.

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  18. Dexter said on February 27, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    “Stairway…” is snuggling-only music. Motorhead is head-banging music. Love-banging tunes? To each her own, maybe you can find a new fave here, maybe not. I mean, Tom Waits won’t work, but Joni Mitchell and Otis Redding and Dave Mason and Traffic might, but that ain’t hip no-mo, and I have no idea what the young-uns have on their music systems these hot bedroom nights.

    Like all of us, I could type many paragraphs on sounds of the bedroom night I have heard, but I’ll share just one: I lived for a few years in a brand-new townhouse. In this case the townhouse was in a connected long block of housing, upstairs and downstairs, very nice. But there was this wall thing. The single 20-something woman next door entertained a married man almost every night. I knew them both from work. The married man was nearly 50, and after work he’d spend hours in a bar and then come and , well…bang this woman very loudly. She was cool, but he’d scream “Oh JEEZUSSS, yes yes YESSS” and a few other phrases so vulgar I don’t feel like transcribing them here. Then after about a half hour, home to his wife.
    So, one day I told a friend abut the extra-loud session my wife I endured listening to the night before, and I mean I had no fucking idea he’d go tell the woman what I had said! But she was cool. She told the rat bastard to tell me , “We heard you two too.” Fuck. Busted.

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  19. Laurie said on February 27, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    You all have captured many of the obvious types of noise offenders so far, and I will add a couple from my own experience. First apartment in Boston, which I was very excited about–older-man alcoholic lived next door. Every evening without fail he started shouting abuse at his developmentally delayed son, e.g., “you effing retard,” over and over. I complained to management and it would stop for a day or two and then start up again. I had a studio so I couldn’t get away at all. Broke my heart in more ways than one. I was very young at the time and now I would pursue it harder, including to the local authorities. Another time, I rented a walk-out basement from what seemed like a nice couple, retirees from an international agency. Turns out they ran basically a social center for the expatriate community, entertaining virtually every night until very late, after which, the wife, loaded, would pick a screaming fight with hubby. Nothing like having to go up and ask your landlord to keep it down at 1 a.m. ’cause you have to go to work, and be screamed at yourself. Then there’s the symphony of bodily elimination sounds from above in cheapo buildings–all of which go for top dollar in the D.C. area, of course. Plus the place I had in Boston where the Orthodox Jewish couple below me (I am Catholic) set up their hukkah (holiday hut) for Sukkot on my badly needed parking space and refused to move it. I was the only Gentile in the triple-decker–I didn’t win that one. We live in a noisy world. I now own an array of white-noise machines and couldn’t live without them at home or traveling. Unfortunately, perpetual construction seems practically a given, and I have had it in hotels from Singapore to Ireland to Delaware. It’s one reason I don’t travel much.

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  20. Sherri said on February 27, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Remember all the Sturm und Drang over the Obamacare web site? Well, Oregon contracted the job out to Oracle, and that hasn’t worked well at all:

    That article also references a study that found that 2/3 of all big software projects run over budget, are late, and don’t provide the promised functionality. Like I’ve said all along, software is hard.

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  21. alex said on February 27, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Hey, Brian, have you checked out the Health Department restaurant pix that debuted yesterday? I tried viewing it multiple times and couldn’t get it to work until just now — must have been some, er, bugs in the system.

    Atz’ Ice Cream is no loss, I guess, but I’ll really miss the Rib Room. After seeing the dead rat ain’t no way I’m going back there. And I don’t even the Rib Room being mentioned on the news. Asakusa always struck me as such a squeaky-clean place, and Naked Tschopstix also. The pictures of their dark undersides have so thoroughly killed my appetite that I’ll probably go without dinner tonight.

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  22. Basset said on February 27, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    I could mentally call up twelve of the fifty, and none of the top five… recognized a couple more but couldn’t remember how they went. Better than I expected. “Close to the Edge” oughta be on the list, though, along with all of Linda Ronstadt’s “What’s New” album and most of “Olias of Sunhillow.”

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  23. Deborah said on February 27, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now it’s just a sprinkling for the May Queen. Sorry, but it’s one of my favorites.

    I spent an interesting day at the Rio Arriba county seat, Tierra Amarilla, to voice opposition to an Abiquiu neighbor operating a rescue dog shelter. Thankfully her application was denied. Boy was she a basket case, she was her own worst enemy. She dressed bizarrely, frizzy multicolored hair (blue, pink, grey). She wore a sleeveless shirt and had lots of arm tats. She was probably in her 50s. Her property is a rats nest and she has had up to 35 dogs on the 1/2 acre. Her dad owns the land. She kept contradicting herself in her statement and rebuttal. It was really kind of sad but on the other hand who wants dog abuse.

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  24. coozledad said on February 27, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    At one point I might have considered this a sex music. Now I think it might be a better death music. It could be both, like a brunch.

    You’ve got to go easy on the tablas. They get sore sometimes.

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  25. Connie said on February 27, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    I was alone in my Canal St NO hotel room when a kind of wailing and keening noise came from the next room late one night. I found it frightening, as if someone were being murdered and was considering calling security when the voice suddenly said “Do it to me now.”

    Late one night we got the last room at the Day’s Inn at the Farmer City Illinois exit. Our 9 year old had gone to sleep in one bed, and in the other bed we giggled to listen to what was going on next door, hoping the noise did not wake up our kid. Then we got to listen to the post coital conversation from which it became clear they were a truck driver and a woman he picked up in the nearby bar. We were trying to not pay attention when the woman said, “And she had the nerve to call me f**king trailer park trash.” We laughed ourselves to sleep.

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  26. Deborah said on February 27, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    I’ve only overheard sex in a hotel once, in the Mercer Hotel in Soho in NYC, a quite pricey place with paper thin walls. Another time at a bad motel in Farmington, NM we had to endure our neighbor’s cigaret cough all night, and the there was another time where someone in a neighboring room somewhere, I forget where, had monumental flatulence. Amazing.

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  27. LAMary said on February 27, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    I think it’s a spring clean for the May Queen. At least that’s what I’ve been told.

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  28. basset said on February 27, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    We ate at Naked Tchopstix on the way back from Michigan after Christmas, pulled into the hotel, think it was a Hilton Garden Inn, across the parking lot and it was close and didn’t look bad. Meal was OK but nothing special, not gonna go back there no more though.

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  29. alex said on February 27, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    I’m still retching over the fact that I had dinner in this place one night last week.

    I must say, though, there was a time when I was a lot less squeamish and the authorities were evidently a lot less thorough. I remember about 30 years ago going to Hall’s aptly named Old Gas House where people were totally oblivious to the kalamata olives with antennae walking around in the salad bar.

    Restaurant patrons were even more blasé in Chicago in the ’80s. One Sunday morning, having brunch with some old-school queens in a hip place on the southeast corner of North Avenue, Milwaukee and Damen, someone said to me “Hey, honey, your broach is moving!” I looked down to see a cockroach as big as a mouse trying to make itself at home over my left tit. With two hands I gave my sweater a quick tug, stretched it tight as a drum and twanged the danged thing across the room.

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