Friday, October 2, 2015

Bad Neighbors on a Bad Block

You have to admit, 2nd Ave. between Blanchard & Lenora is not a good block.  There are only four real businesses, one of which seems to draw a lot of unsavory types.  There is also the El Rey with its sundry crazy people.  Most are OK, but a few are constantly panhandling or compulsively rummaging through every trash can they run across.  It's not the greatest block.  In fact, it's bad.

For years and years, Action Small Appliance was my downstairs neighbor.  They were great.  You never knew they were there, they were so quiet.  Well, they moved over to Bellevue and the storefront was vacant for quite a while.  Then this summer, it became a workspace called Common Area Maintenance - not a very catchy name, but it wasn't my call.  There was a lot of renovation that went on.  I was OK with that activity, because it didn't seem to go on for too long at a stretch.  It only became slightly annoying when they added a sound system.  This wasn't just some stereo; it was a small PA that could generate a lot of volume.  Sometimes it did just that.  Being directly upstairs wasn't a treat, especially since they seemed to play fairly bland pop music along the lines of Fleetwood Mac and Bruce Springsteen.  I kind of expected artists to have a little more adventurous taste in music, but alas.  After having quite a loud event when the space was mostly remodeled, things settled down.  I figured that would be like that forever.  We would coexist with mutual respect and so forth.  That's how it was for the most part.  Well, earlier in the week they hung up these signs in the hallway:
OK, so last night started out fine.  I figured that they were going to be adults about this.  Everything was quiet and nice, but at nine, it turned into a mini-rave/dance party/disco complete with bad boots-and-pants electro.  The volume kept going up until almost everything was shaking in my apartment.  I figured things would shut down at 10, per building rules.  They did not.  The volume kept going up over the next hour and the sidewalk out front was a sea of loud conversation.  It was just awful.  There was no escaping it.  With each passing minute, I got angrier.  By 11:00, I had had enough.  I went downstairs, found the DJ and told him to shut it down or I was gonna call the cops.  I was referred to the guy who organized it.  He was clearly on drugs.  He kept calling me "sir," like I was some miffed restaurant patron and promised to shut the whole thing down.  He didn't.  I called the cops.  In fact, I called them three times over the next 45 minutes.  They never showed, though I did see no less than three police cars pass by without stopping.  The music finally shut off around midnight, but that just meant that everybody was out on the sidewalk, talking very loudly.  I finally had to shout from my window for them to go home circa 12:30.  I wasn't rude, I didn't swear; I just reminded them that people live in this building.  Whaddaya know, folks, people live in Belltown!  Ain't that a thing?  Well, I hope I can come to your houses and apartments, play loud music and shout at my friends, too!  What jolly fun!

OK, so bottom line: they're bad neighbors.  I have separate issues with the cops, namely that they didn't show, but this was a real shitty thing for these gallery folk to do to their neighbors.  I know the old trick: invite the whole building and be as loud as you want, because everybody was invited/warned.  Sorry guys, it doesn't work that way.  I'm told that they're going to have more events like this in the future.  Uh, no they're not.  They're either going to be a gallery, not a club, or they're going to leave the neighborhood.  They can make noise until 10:00, but after that, they shut it down.  From now on, at one minute after ten, I call the cops.  I don't want this to become a war, but it may come to that.  I believe they rely on grants to operate, so when it comes time for more funding, I can round up a bunch of people from this building to speak against it.  It's great to live with mutual respect with your neighbors.  The gallery mooks crossed a line last night and I'm very unhappy having them in this building.          

1 comment:

LisaKayLindsay said...

Ugh! I hope you are able to get the cops to respond next time and they (CAM) - yes they're full name is odd - to comply. When are people going to remember that people actually live downtown. I even noticed that on First Hill when I lived there. It's not just hospitals there, people live there too.