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  1. #31
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
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    5,845

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    In this area the management companies for apartment buildings and condo associations contract for trash and recycling services -- the county/city services are only for single family houses. Our whole neighborhood consists of townhouses and garden-style apartments -- 2-3 story apartment buildings with 4-6 units per building -- arranged around courtyards. Half the neighborhood is one condo association (where I live) and the other half is split into smaller condo associations. Unlike bigger apartment buildings, we have no trash chutes or other centralized place to put trash. And we can't store it in large covered trash cans in our yards (like you do in a single family house) because we don't have yards. So we contract for trash pickup 6 days per week. And yes, that is not enough for some people. I went out for a walk last night and was amazed at the lack of garbage -- this seems to be a rare occasion where folks are following the rules. Today we do have trash pickup and also they're picking up the recycling on schedule. So that's one thing that's back to normal. They've also managed to rent additional Bobcats so they are making more progress clearing out the parking lots. Of course the sun and above-freezing temperatures are also helping. The giant pile where I put the snow that was on and around my car is noticeably smaller.

    So, a couple of years ago I rented a storage unit and filled it with things that I wanted to get out of the house while I was having various contractors come in to do work. All the framed pictures that go on the walls, my stereo, my books, old record albums from my younger days, framed photos that were on display on my bookshelves -- it's all in the storage unit. All my summer shoes and sandals are there too, along with some extra bike tires and some things I'm forgetting.

    Last night just as I was going to bed I received an email from the storage company. The roof of the building has collapsed under the weight of the snow. Right now they are waiting to find out when the building will be safe enough for us to go to see what has been damaged by the collapse and the water from the melting snow.

    If a roof is going to collapse, I would prefer that it be the storage building and not my house. So there's that. And most of the things in the storage unit are replaceable. I will be upset if the framed photos are ruined, and a few of the large framed pictures. And the albums can't be replaced -- I could probably buy many of them again, but that's not the same.

    I am working from home again today -- traffic is a mess, worse than usual even though most schools are still closed and the federal government opened late -- so I will try to drive over there later to see how bad things look from the street. And I guess I might as well call my insurance company now to talk about how to proceed if my things are damaged. I've heard horror stories about people being dropped by their homeowners insurance companies after filing a claim -- I hope I don't run into problems.

    On the positive side, things are okay with my parents. The guy who usually shovels snow for them has had some health problems, but he referred his customers to someone else who came and shoveled them and their car out. Though it did take a few days for them to find out what was going on and contact the new guy. But now they're already focusing on other things like planning summer trips.
    Last edited by ny biker; 01-27-2016 at 07:17 AM.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,863
    Wow, NY, you're having such a challenging week! Hope you can catch a break soon.

    Electra Townie 7D

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    774
    I understand better for the garbage removal now. Thanks.

    Yep...you've had a challenging week and it is something! Hoping not too much damaged in your things. The better you can get there, the better chance of saving the stuff from snow, debris, etc.

    Good luck.
    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
    2015 Specialized Crux e5 - aka Bora Bora bike

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,129
    Hope your stuff is not destroyed.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  5. #35
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,845
    I think maybe I got lucky. I just spoke with someone at the storage facility who said that the damage is limited to a small area and only a few units are affected. And it happened in a different part of the building from where my storage unit is. Right now they are only allowing people to access their units during office hours, as a safety precaution. I'll try to visit in a few days just to check things out. But overall it is good news -- I was worried that I would either have to scramble to move my stuff out quickly or have to deal with the hassle of an insurance claim. I'm happy to not have to do either of those things!!

    Meanwhile, the cleanup continues slowly. I think my experience has been pretty typical of most people in this area -- slowly waiting for the snow to be cleared from streets, sidewalks, bus stops, crosswalks, parking lots, etc. Some roads are still unplowed, most are "passable" but that is not the same as normal. We'll be in a melt-refreeze cycle for the next few days so we'll have to look out for black ice at night when temperatures drop. Things should warm up this weekend -- I'd like to think about going for a bike ride outside but I don't know yet if that will be possible.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982
    Good luck whenever you can do a bike ride NY. Today another employee returned from a cruise ship vacation where ship stopped by NYC. So there was a temporary vehicle ban in NYC because of the impassable roads? Wow, that's serious for a big city.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Ugh NY. Hope your stuff is okay and the snow removal starts moving faster as there's less of it (as opposed to slower as it turns to boulders of solid ice ...). Hang in there.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,652
    Glad to hear that your stuff is probably fine, NY. You have had enough trouble with that storm than to have yet another thing to deal with! Has your garbage been picked up?
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  9. #39
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,845
    Thanks so much, ladies. The cleanup continues here. They're saying it's the 4th-worst snow storm we've had in the DC area and it is certainly taking time for everyone to get back to normal. The schools were closed every day last week and one county (about 30 miles west of DC, where they got 30" or more) is starting 2 hours late tomorrow. I was out running errands yesterday and found most roads plowed, some multi-lane roads still having lanes cleared and giant snow piles causing significant blind spots at most intersections. It's still very dangerous for pedestrians in many areas.

    The very good news is that we're getting several days of warm weather -- 50s or 60s during the day and above freezing through the night. This will help a lot with the clean up. Yay melting!!

    My upstairs neighbor is moving out. Since we have trash pickup 6 days per week, the condo rule is that you put stuff out at the curb in securely-tied plastic bags from 6-9 am, and the truck comes through and picks it up during the late morning. Most people realize that this is really quite convenient and are able to abide by the rules. A few folks are too self-absorbed and/or have no problem living in a garbage dump so they put garbage out at night. When this happens the condo association will fine them. Anyway, as the upstairs neighbor has been getting ready to move she has been putting huge piles of trash bags out every night since Wednesday. She did it again last night (Saturday) knowing full well it would sit there for two days. This makes me furious. And there's no excuse for it, she could have put stuff out in the morning instead of at night, she could have made other arrangements for the last few things she needed to toss today, or at least wait until tonight to put it out instead of making her neighbors live with her garbage all weekend.

    Since I am powerless over her self-centered behavior, I am trying to convince myself that she would have put stuff out in the mornings throughout the week if the storm had not suspended trash pickup for several days, but given the situation she was overwhelmed and therefore unable to come up with a way to give a crap about her neighbors while getting ready to move.

    (I'm also terrified that the next upstairs neighbor will be a loud stomping elephant-walker with a noisy hyper dog, like the one who lived there before this garbage-piler moved in. I don't know the owner/landlord for that apartment but I'm thinking about taping a note for them on the door to request -- beg -- that they not rent to anyone with an energetic dog. Cats are fine, lazy dogs are fine, but the ones that run around a lot are like giant bowling balls rolling back and forth and back and forth and back and forth on my head. I might also offer to buy a new soft-close toilet seat for them, because the last two people who lived there slammed the toilet every single time they used it and it drove me nuts. But I digress.)

    I got a late start today but I'm working on getting outside for a quick ride around the neighborhood to enjoy the warm weather while it's here.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,652
    The garbage thing would work my last nerve too, NY. I can't stand it when people are inconsiderate.

    Our apartment complex in NC had a rule about no moving in or out after a certain time of night, and I remember when one young couple flouted that rule, moving in until late, late in the evening, which of course makes tons of noise Drove me batty!

    I hope you get good upstairs neighbors. After living below several sets of "elephants" in various places, we vowed "never again". Our most recent apt. in Mexico, we were in the penthouse, which was a big improvement; however, we found that we could even hear the people below us if they were particularly noisy types. That unit was a vacation rental, so we had everything from super quiet people you never even knew were there to folks who slammed closet and bathroom doors all night long, or so it seemed.

    Crossing fingers for you!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,129
    NY, your description of DC sounds like the Boston area last winter. We were just lucky because where we live has a lot less population density than the suburbs closer to the city, hence, more places to put snow. One of our drives into Boston for our theatre subscription night last February or March was just horrific because of unplowed lanes. I can't even describe what I saw in Boston.
    We are very lucky with the new condo, in terms of noise. No one above us, just 2 sides. We were there this morning, doing work, and i commented that it seems dead. Since this was DH's main concern about multi unit housing, he is happy, but I am sure we will be the ones going in and out the most, especially since we are still working. Others are, too, but they all seem to stay home a lot!
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  12. #42
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,845
    There's not much I can do about people upstairs, but I do hear some sound from downstairs and I am looking into something to improve that situation. My next project will be to replace the old wall-to-wall carpet and with new floors and I was about to move ahead with installation of a hardwood floor. Then one day I realized I was tired of listening to the crying baby downstairs, and tired of being woken up by the vibrations when they run up the stairs from their basement to their main floor early in the morning. So I'm looking into cork floors now. I started the online research last week and went to a few stores yesterday. There aren't as many color choices so I will probably end up with something a bit darker than I had originally chosen for the hardwood floor. And I know it won't completely solve the noise problems. But it should help, and it should also be warmer for my cold feet in the winter.

    One good thing is that I don't have noise problems from the people on either side of me. I can only hear sounds from one of them if there's lots of noise in their kitchen, like people talking very loudly, and that rarely happens. From the townhouse on the other side I can hear one of the dogs barking, but it's a well-trained dog so it's not much of a problem, and I don't hear any other sounds.

    The flooring stores I went to yesterday were in the suburbs just northwest of DC. The area where I live got about 20" of snow, while the suburbs north and west got 30ish inches. The area I was in yesterday wasn't in the hardest-hit area but they definitely had bigger snow piles than we have here. The manager at one of the stores told me that the county was piling lots of snow in a lot down the road from his store, giant piles, like 30 feet high. He mentioned that when it melts it will run off into Rock Creek which runs through a big park in DC, and it won't be clean water so not good for the environment. That's another side to snow and ice in our area -- tons of salt ends up in the rivers and eventually in the Chesapeake Bay.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    NY - Is moving to a new place an option? It seems like the entire situation (snow, noise from above, trash, smells, condo management and snow removal, etc.) is making you pretty unhappy, and I fear there's only so much you can do from inside your unit.

    For the unit above you, you might want to look into noise ordinances (and condo rules) to see if there's anything that's required. If there is, find the owner through the management company or tax records or property records and send them a letter. Otherwise, the new tenant will probably just find a note when they move in. As far as your floor, I wonder whether there is a natural equivalent of a padded laminate. That would probably insulate from noise fairly well.
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  14. #44
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,845
    Unfortunately no, moving is not an option. I own this condo and can't afford to sell it, nor can I afford anything better in this area. The real estate market is still not good for one bedroom condos in this area. This is also the reason I am surrounded by renters. I am doing what I can to make it pleasant on the inside and I do like the improvements that I've made so far. And I'm looking into other things like an air purifier that can be installed as part of the HVAC system.

    I lived in very good apartments in Chicago and Manhattan -- solid pre-war buildings where you barely knew the neighbors existed. But on the other hand I hated the weather in Chicago and there were roaches in my building in NYC -- there's always something. The places I've lived in the DC area have not been nearly as solid -- I don't know if it's because the building quality is worse here overall or if I've just had bad luck. Whatever it is, I just don't have the money to go anywhere else.

    One thing I do know -- I will like my home a lot more when the big pink flowers bloom on the tree across the courtyard in the spring.
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    Last edited by ny biker; 01-31-2016 at 05:38 PM.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueberry View Post
    As far as your floor, I wonder whether there is a natural equivalent of a padded laminate. That would probably insulate from noise fairly well.
    We have cork flooring in our downstairs and love, love, love it.

    It's a superb insulator for both sound and temperature. As far as humidity, it behaves more like hardwood (the space was carpeted when we moved in, and when we tore the carpet out and replaced it with the cork, the humidity dropped by 10 percentage points without making any other changes!). It's just beautiful, and comes in a variety of colors and patterns, both natural and dyed. It hides dings and doesn't stain. Ours is a floating floor, so it isn't suitable for wet spaces, but sealed cork is available. It wasn't cheap, but it's comparable to hardwood, less expensive than some woods.

    Oh, and it's super durable. That was a concern of ours, and one of the things that really sold us on it was that the flooring display store had cork in their highest traffic areas. Where we have ours doesn't get a lot of traffic, but it's been there I think seven or eight years and looks new. My hairstylist has cork floor in her salon, and that DOES get a lot of traffic, including being swept after every haircut, and after several years it hardly shows any wear at all.

    My favorite story about our cork flooring - soon after we installed it, we were replacing our picture tube TV and set it on a window bench. It was a smaller TV, but being a picture tube TV, still at least 50#. When the cushion compressed, the TV fell about a foot and a half onto the floor, right onto a corner of its cabinet. You have to look hard to see the ding in the floor, even though it's maybe 2" in diameter. If we tell the story to someone who doesn't know where the hole is, we have to show them where it is, they can't find it. Best part? The TV still worked after it fell onto the cork-cushioned floor.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 02-02-2016 at 05:07 AM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

 

 

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