What Are YOUR Neighbors Like?

My neighborhood is full of unusual characters, many of which are the reason I don't spend much time in my front yard. The following live either next door or across the street (names have been changed):

Patti: 50-yr-old single woman who used to be a nurse and who suffered some sort of nervous breakdown a few years ago, resulting in the loss of her nursing license. It's sad, but all she can talk about are the lawyers and "white collar criminals" that screwed her over. Or how sick she always is.

Leslie: biologically a 50+ female, but appears to be a man; almost always drunk. Has talked us into letting her borrow our portable CD player, but never returned it on time. When she does, it reeks of cigarette smoke. Has "flirted" with my husband on various occasions telling him "he looks like a man, he walks like a man, he talks like a man....does he know any other MEN?" Yuk. I'd hate to be a fly on the wall in her bedroom.

Billie: another architect who lives next door. He is gay, which is fine with me, but our houses are about 12 feet apart and we have caught glimpses of activities through his window that we would have preferred not to see. His latest potential plan is to move his house to the back of his lot and create a sunken garden in his front yard. Fine...but please don't create a mosquito pit next door to my house.

Jack: 50+ carpenter who lives in a huge house that is filled with lumber, gadgets, and miscellaneous junk/cool stuff. His wife no longer lives there. Although she moved north to take care of her parents, we're sure she's frustrated by living in a house that has been in that state for so long. She's also an architect. I'm sure their house will never be finished, which is sad.

mark, May 12 2005 11:47AM

Gretchen: tall, chemically blonde female in her late 60's. Likes taking frequent walks around the building and complaining about junk mail. Has German accent and generally smells of Manischewitz. Wears either a bathrobe or Chanel (or similar) pant suit. Our building superintendent told us that she has a bad habit of clogging the toilet with paper towels.

paul, May 12 2005 2:14PM

Our upstairs neighboor is married with twins that just started college. Her husband is rarely around, he leaves six in the morning and doesn't get home until eleven pm. The neighbor always stops my girlfriend to complain about him and tells her that he doesn't help pay for anything. That she has to struggle putting two girls through college and pay all the utilities (they live there rent free) She also tells her how much she hates and can't stand him. What I can't figure out is why are they still together?

Sandie, May 12 2005 6:45PM

Constantine & Apollonia: Always cooking meat and potato-type dish. Have VERY LOUD relatives who are regularly present for Sunday dinners and holidays. Latest example being a 1:30 am Greek Easter eve bash. Also have a lot of young visitors who cry/whine. If there are no guests, they are prone to loud arguments. Fond of starting light construction/renovation projects after 10 pm.

When they bought the apartment, Apollonia knocked on our door asking if she could "borrow" my front door key to make a copy at the locksmith's. As I had never met her before, I said that I wasn't comfortable with that and she's given me the cold shoulder ever since.

dawg, May 13 2005 12:55PM

we (me and the wife) live in the city and--sadly--don't know our neighbors. we do, however, have a cast of characters that man the building's front door and they kinda qualify as our neighbors; thusly, THE CAST, as described below (names have been changed):

the captain - glasses, tie, fleece. always there on weekday mornings. nods, says hello, takes rent check 5' to landlord's office.

lucilla - fills in when others are gone. smiles, says hello. certifiably lazy...never really moves from her seat and if you've received a package? forget it; wait for oswego. married to lorenzo. recently had a baby though we never knew she was pregnant.

benjamin - older fellow, wears glasses, always wears a suit. works the night shift (11 til 6-ish). rumored to have been working at the desk for 40 years. very nice guy. cool and calm. am convinced he is/was a musician, perhaps a bass player. vaguely resembles bootsie collins...an uncle? a brother?

big jon - solid. smiles and speaks when one enters or leaves. we feel very safe when he's there (though he's not there often).

lorenzo - the building superintendent. if there (at the desk), he's very briefly filling in for someone else. always has his head in a paper, always has hot coffee, never really is the first to say 'hello.' note, however, that he delivers results when the apartment has a problem (there haven't been many). i have observed his ponytail grow many inches over the months. it is beautiful.

dornobo - small, quiet nice fellow that usually fills in or works the night shift. always carrying a cellphone. usually has a baseball game dialed in on one of those little hand-held radios (with handstrap). at night he's often found lounging (read: asleep) in the "storage" room by the various camera monitors. i usually feel like the desk might as well be empty.

oswego- top notch. short, slightly balding, kind and tired eyes. always says hello, always tells us if a package has arrived (or sometimes if nothing has), always notifies us if one or the other is already upstairs. gave us flowers for our anniversary. encourages dancing every weekend and likes to cook to relax. currently visiting relatives in columbia; we miss him.