the dirty dozen: admonitions from the management

01 As a precaution, anyone who is quarantined in their apartment, please do not go out into the hallway for any reason. Please place your garbage outside your door from 10AM - 12 noon and 1:00PM - 2:30PM and we will dispose of your household trash and recycle items only. No bulk items, please.

02 We know there are people who are contagious within our buildings and we know a small number have tested positive for the coronavirus. We expect all those who have tested positive to remain in their apartments and adhere to the rules set forth by the CDC, NYC & NYS. As a precaution, anyone who is quarantined in their apartment, please do not go out into the hallway for any reason.

03 As with any emergency situation, everyone is involved to some extent and we cannot be in all places at all times. If anyone knows of an elderly shareholder who needs checking, please let us know. If you believe, as a neighbor you can be helpful to someone, while maintaining social distance and appropriate precautions, please try to help. Help can be as simple as, "a question" - "Do you need anything?" If we can help, let us know.

04 People using the laundry room must be there when the wash and dry cycle ends. No one should have to wait because of your lack of time management or caring and no one should have to choose between removing your laundry or returning to their apartment. As a safety measure, cooperators should try to refrain from using the room when half the machines are in use and NEVER use a laundry cart for their dirty laundry.

05 It is difficult enough to keep the recommended six or more feet of distance from others on sidewalks and in stores. In an elevator it is impossible. If you call for an elevator and there are people already in it, please consider letting the car go without you and wait for the next one. A minute of two of time can save a person from being exposed.

06 Respect must be shown to our maintenance staff as they are working under incredible stress. Remember, they also have families and one of our men was spat on by a cooperator who wasn't happy with a situation. This despicable behavior will not be tolerated.

07 We are having issues with dogs barking in apartments. Obviously, dogs will bark. Shareholders, please find a way to quiet your animal when it barks incessantly. Anyone leaving a barking dog unattended in their apartment will receive a quality of life fine. It is not fair for people to have a dog and then not be present at a time when no one should be going anywhere.

08 The laundry rooms are at capacity. Please be courteous, do not take-up additional machines, return to the rooms promptly and do not leave your laundry in the washers or dryers for others to deal with. Never use a laundry cart for anything other than clean laundry.

09 Noise complaints continue in all forms including loud music, ball playing in hallways and apartments and slamming doors. The doors could be because of the high winds we have had lately. The other reasons are more within your purview.

10 The hallway is not an extension of your apartment. Open doors with children playing from single families or different families represent a risk to everyone. We are continuing to clean and sanitize all hallways and this level of activity defeats our purpose. As hard as it is to keep children occupied and indoors, do so for the well-being of all.

11 The laundry rooms should not be places where people congregate. Yes, there are televisions there, but so are they in your apartments. Please be courteous to new arrivals in the laundry rooms - do your business and return upstairs.

12 We do not have the staff to issue memos under every door at this time.


the clerk at the post office gives H and F's letter back to me; there's no point in stamping it with the meter, since there's no postal service from america to israel. i carry the letter back to their apartment, where a little purple bag hangs on the front door's knob: it's a bottle of DKNY perfume, a gift. they have asked me to knock instead of dematerializing when i drop off their groceries so that they can give me 'the little something' in person, and i thank them profusely. they ask if i'm going home to work, what do i do, and i tell them i'm a writer. "do you write for the times?" just once. "you must live in my father's apartment!" F's family was among the original tenants when our apartments were built in the late '50s; the woman who purchased his father's place from him loved their immigration story so much that she was going to pitch it, per H. not me, i live in the building right across the street, but it is a wonderful story. i congratulated them on their six children, 30 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

the cashiers at trader joe's are always fascinated by what the neighbors request, as am i. H and F have (mostly) pumped the brakes on chocolate-covered macaroons and are now enamored with raw fermented sauerkraut (five large jars in the last two weeks). they also wanted six large onions; "they're really up to something," the cashier noted. "and so are you! what are you making?" minestrone. "what is minestrone?" it's— "is it italian peasant soup?" yeah, pretty much.


i thought for a week or so that i was accumulating soot as i ran errands and walked up to the rubber track ten blocks north of houston, but i appear to be developing...a tan? the speckled filth on my forehead and cheeks is definitely freckles, and joe says the back of my neck has lost its customary translucence. i was decent about getting out of the house in the before times — though i worked out indoors, i made it into the neighborhood at least once a day, and i walked to soho for my weekly bookstore shifts and to and from chinatown to catch the subway up to the bird hospital — but i guess, surprise surprise, taking a daily late-afternoon walk with joe and, now, spending an hour a day up at the track is, despite the mostly-grey-and-rainy weather we've been having, the sort of thing that toasts a gal. i wish i could report that this stirred something in me, but it's just a thing, like the acne i've been getting from my masks and the welts i get under my breasts when i run several days in a row.

i run all the days in a row, now; it's about a mile up to the track, which is just enough time to make respectable progress on my pokémon situation (david bowie, my gyarados, is such a powerful boy) before lurching through a minimum of 13 jogged laps and a lot of strolling. the track surface mimics the spring of my beloved treadmills, i have the lanes more or less to myself when it's windy and/or raining, and the strip of grass between me and the east river promenade teems with fledgling robins and juvenile squirrels (who have yet to learn, a month in, that there's no angle in dashing across the track to forage for food on the astroturf at its center). when i'm facing north i can see the power station that blew during hurricane sandy and denied us electricity for a week; when i loop around south the williamsburg bridge eats the horizon. i couldn't tell you why ferry traffic has been up for the past two months, but i swear that it has, and racing the boats up- and downriver is delightful, even though i always, always lose. on the best days they carry salt air up from the harbor. i am wearing a neon fanny pack without irony. send help.