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. Continue reading →