Tuesday, February 2, 2010


When I arrived at XYZ Umpteenth Street in 1998, I studied the house rules very carefully.

I noted that it was verboten to change anything on the exterior of my unit without permission from the other building residents.

I had the interior of my apartment painted three shades of orchid pink and two shades of apple green.

This elicited sneers and jeers from various people in the building. Besides being mocked during coop meetings, I was actually shrieked at when I stood on the second-floor landing. (To be fair, most of the shrieking was uttered by an opera singer—a genuine prima donkey.)

I was repeatedly informed that my home was simply too feminine.

(Please note that the family who previously occupied apartment 2Q chose bright orange for their walls.)

Several months ago, during one of the meetings, the coop voted to refurbish the common areas of the building. This enterprise would include fresh paint in the hallways.

The online bulletin board of the $%& Unhinged Avenue Owners Corporation provided a ballot. (The front of the building, where Bobo’s Salon has its entrance, bears the address $%& Unhinged Avenue.) Not having a particularly strong opinion regarding new colors for the branches and leaves outside my private nest, I ceded this vote to one of my neighbors.

The work is in progress. Now people in this building anticipate that the combination of blood-red walls and tinkling chandeliers will render an appearance and effect reminiscent of a bordello.

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