It happens that I live next to a big public school on the Upper West Side. The name is Joan of Arc.
This past week, I’ve been entertaining thoughts of burning it down.
Buyers in the country are understandably chary of living next to a chicken farm. They worry about the smell. Those in the city are wary of buying a condo or co-op next a playground. They are concerned about noise and rowdy behavior.
Of course, I knew about such issues when I moved back to Manhattan from Washington, D.C. and rented the apartment in which I now live on short notice. A year after living in the place, I bought it.
Yes, there was noise from entering and exiting students three times a day – morning, noon and afternoon. But it hardly bothered me, even though I live on the first floor and work in my home office practically on the sidewalk.
Everything changed more than a week ago, when the preliminary work of installing new windows began. The process of erecting scaffolding around the school started after school hours and continued until midnight.
I’m talking about hammering, clanging and shouting that disturbed the sleep of almost everyone in my building – children who need to be awake in school and employed individuals who need to avoid nodding off around conference tables.
Worse, a member of the Board of Directors (of which I’m president) who investigated came upon some disquieting information. Although he discovered that three different contractors were involved and subjected himself to profanities in the process of that discovery, he managed to learn that New York City had issued a permit allowing the performance of work until the witching hour.
Talks with school officials are contemplated, but the board believes that the most effective route to ending the outrage may be through Gail Brewer, our representative on the City Council.
We’ll see what happens. Meantime, don’t let me near any matchbooks and don’t call me too early.
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022