The front door to the building was a solid heavy door, with a filthy cracked transom above. When I moved in, the only light in the stairwell was on the second landing, by my front door. To turn on this light you had to walk up a flight of stairs in close to pitch black darkness to get to the working light switch. This made me uneasy, to say the least.
It didn’t dawn on me for awhile how narrow everything in this building was. I was too caught in the disorienting trauma of selling and moving and lawyers to be able to see much.
The movers couldn’t fit my Ikea bookcases into the apartment because of the very narrow clearances. Including the handrail – the stairwell was less than 32 ” wide. The hallway in the apartment was under 32″ wide. The rooms were small, like they took a normally sized apartment and shrunk it, until it felt subtley wrong.
The landlord told me the upstairs tenants were a female couple with a child. The day after I moved in was a Sunday at the end of October. Incredibly loud music from upstairs infested my apartment. I figured that maybe the kid was playing music while the parents were out. I couldn’t stand it, so I just left. It was chilly and gloomy and I walked to Goodwill. Everything felt horrible. The apartment was bad enough to be humiliating plus now someone else’s fucking music chased me out.
The landlord got his cousin to finally fix the switch in the stairwell in December. The weird thing was that his cousin kept referring to him with a completely different name. I couldn’t believe the tenants upstairs had been living with this completely unsafe stairwell since they moved in in April !