Published on

Lighter Side of Foreclosures

Martha Rosenberg

Apartment living is cool--compared to living with your parents or in the dorm. But the second time around, after you've owned a home, it is deja rue. Parking

Gas may be $4 a gallon but you can't beat the convenience of getting charcoal briquettes, kitty litter or a bag of ice from the supermarket door to yours in seven minutes. Except for apartment dwellers who often need a shuttle--and a visa--to get from the building's parking to their front door. And that's not counting apartments with no off street parking to begin with whose tenants' have a second job known as circling the block.


Thanks to sublets, no security deposit offers and the elastic definition of friends, the exact denizens of an apartment complex are always changing. And so are the security risks as front doors are left open for Vinnie the dealer's delivery. Still there's something worse than the unsavory neighbors above and next door to you with their smoke and 24/7 music: the unsavory neighbor who also has a key to your apartment known as the building super.


Take the cascade of ad circulars that arrive daily as junk mail, multiply it by 50, add the assorted door hangers for free pizza delivery and cut-rate tune-ups and 30 phones books and you have the contents of the average apartment building's mail tray/recycling bin. How secure is any package with value in this environment? How likely are you to find the Attempt-To-Deliver notice meant for you when eight have been grease taped to the door? Why is the only locked and safe mail compartment five inches by two inches?

Laundry Room


Our Summer Campaign Is Underway

Support Common Dreams Today

Independent News and Views Putting People Over Profit

The only thing worse than the "coin-op" washers and driers in the catacombs known as the laundry room is finding them broken or not having quarters. Then there's the fixed settings which boil your clothes during the wash cycle and barely kiss them with heat in the drier--the better for you to contemplate the outsized and past retirement garments in the lost and found box, hoping to never knowingly meet their owners.


No one has cockroaches. But apartment dwellers put up with their share of water bugs and palmetto bugs (the winged apparition called the "State Bird" in Louisiana and Florida.) The only thing worse than seeing dead cockroaches when you view an apartment is seeing live ones--or finding either in the refrigerator. "Honest" building manager who admit they spray for the bug problem should fool no one. That just means you'll have resistant bugs and pesticide fumes every month.

Address shame

After once residing at 18 Cherry Lane, it can be humiliating to have to write "Apt. 207" for a return address--or "Apt. 1803 South B rear." One recent returnee to apartment living tried to disguise her dwelling demotion by writing suite 1803 South B rear for a return address. Unfortunately a salesman selling phone systems for businesses showed up at her door.

Martha Rosenberg is a cartoonist for the Evanston Roundtable in Evanston, Illinois.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Share This Article

More in: