Dear Neighbor

When I was first made aware that you were building a roof deck (by the incessant hammering and sawing of your laborers,) I thought “How nice for them.” I, living in one of the many apartment structures facing your home, do not have the benefit of owning a roof on which to build. And when you began your foray into what can only be described as a towering, eclectic botanical garden, I thought “How nice for them.” Despite the summer greenery that lines our streets, I have always wanted a patch of grass to call my own. Then when you began to build out your large-scale rooftop entertainment system, I thought “How nice for them.” To be able to view a movie under the stars at will or host a party with nightclub quality audio/visual equipment is surely a city dwellers dream. 

So you can imagine my surprise when last night I realized that your home improvement investment is now shining directly into my bedroom. And not the kind of shine that peeks through the sides of a curtain, easily managed by rolling over in bed to face the other direction (despite this not being the side on which I can easily fall asleep, after decades of trial and error.) Nay, this is not a soft moonlight. This is the kind of light that burns through said curtain, that is used in operating rooms, that is necessary for no other task than blinding. Did I mention that everyone in the surrounding buildings can also see the enormous projection of what you may be entertaining yourself with? Thankfully, last night’s special was reruns of The Shield, a quality show if there ever was one, just a rung below The Wire. 

I know what you’re thinking – we should have known this was coming. After all, last summer we spent weeks on end watching your backyard transform into a petite jungle. High bamboo desperately trying to create a sense of privacy between you and well, the rest of us. The benefit of being three floors up was that while we were working from home, we had a front row view into the daily watering schedule and antics of the local fauna in their new playground. Hummingbirds and bees pollinating are welcome of course, not so much the chipmunks and rats nibbling at tomato plants and sweet seeds they’ve discovered. 

Still, I wish we’d had some insight as to the grandeur of the rooftop project. A little heads up, as it were, that our lives would also be enriched by your property enhancements. Perhaps we’ll see the true benefit when winter comes and your garden sits in a foot (or two) of snow, the weight of which might surely make an impact on a roof that never had so much as a person on it, let alone hundreds of pounds of earth. Now that will be a show worth watching. 


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