I've written before about where I live. I moved into The Alston summer 2019, not long after it opened. It's part of the new Ronkonkoma Revitalization project. I loved it right away. But there weren't many people living here yet, and once NY Pause hit, it quickly became a ghost town. And that was creepy.
Until many professionals went remote, and by 2021 all 6 buildings were filling up. Today, they are at nearly 100% capacity in any given month.
I suppose I noticed some things had changed. But I didn't notice very much or very often.
I follow them on Instagram, and last summer, I noticed a conversation they were having with someone else on Instagram. She was about to move in. I checked out her profile because she seemed so interesting, and I guess she's a kind of Instagram Influencer. Anyway, I followed her.
Last night, she did one of those Instagram Story "ask me anything" things.
And one of her followers asked her if she liked living here, because they were thinking about moving to The Alston.
Her answer blew me away.
I'm paraphrasing, but she told them that no, she does not enjoy living here. And that she and her husband are moving next month. She said there's dog shit all over the place, the hallways smell of piss (dogs again), there's zero visitor parking, and even though you pay monthly for parking, there are no spots. And they tow you if you park in a non-spot, but, there are no spots. And that cars are stolen from the parking lot.
She said the only thing luxury about the place is the price, and if you feel like paying 3-4k a month for all of that, then go ahead. She told them "don't move here."
And that's when I realized that maybe there's something wrong with me. Because of the cold weather, and Omnicron keeping me away from the gym, I have been taking walks through my building, and the one it is attached to (her building). This also allows me to incorporate stair climbing into my workout. And during these walks, I have almost gagged from the smell of piss when I'm in her building. I thought to myself "but it can't be, who the hell would piss in the hallway?"
For some reason, it never occurred to me that there are people who would let their dogs piss in the hallway. Why didn't I think any further than that? I don't know, I was just glad my hallway didn't smell of piss I guess.
And, since the snowstorm, the outside courtyard in my building has dog poop smeared all over it. I guess people in my building let their dogs poop in the snow in the courtyard, and then the snow melted.
I've been pretending it's mud. Literally walking around it, and thinking to myself "it must be mud."
Is that normal? Let's face it I'm wearing blinders. And I realized that I do the exact same thing with men, and always have. This was like a real epiphany for me. I ignore the dogshit that's so obviously on some men. Like, I don't even see it. But really, I'm pretending I don't. Why?
I don't know.
Am I a cockeyed optimist who always views the glass as half full? Or am I just someone who doesn't enjoy reality and so ignores it?
I really think I'm the latter.
It's also true about the parking, and residents illegally park here all the time. They park in a way that I think their cars could easily be backed into. I honestly did not know some were getting towed. That, I've never seen or heard about.
I'm incredibly privileged in that I work from home, so there's never an issue of my getting home late from work and there's no available spots. And also, I can afford Lyfts. I enjoy drinking when I'm out, so I always take a Lyft anyway. I never don't have a spot. I also know the parking lot here isn't safe at night, and the stolen cars and night time vehicle break-ins I did know about. But the parking lot is in the back, and when I get dropped off, I get dropped off right in front, and walk through the blue-tooth enabled front door. So I never don't have a spot, and I am rarely in the parking lot at night. And so far, nothing has happened to my car. Knock on wood!
So that stuff was easy for me to ignore. But how in hell was I ignoring the smell of urine in building 3's hallways, and how was I pretending the dogshit smeared in my own building's courtyard was mud?
That's like, next-level denial of reality.
That's like when I meet a cute white guy and tell myself he probably didn't vote for Trump, when I know that of course he did. And it ends up that, of course he did. Or when I notice a sudden mood swing in a guy I'm dating, and internally excuse it with "everyone can have a bad day."
I don't hate it here. They have amazing events, and they pick up your garbage nightly when you leave it in the hall right outside your door. But the most important thing about it is security. I do think they need more security in the parking lots at night here. Without a doubt. But since I avoid the parking lot at night, that's not my main security concern. Before here, one of my apartments was in an older complex, but I was really happy there. The location was great. But it was older, and all of the entrances and also your windows were on the ground floor. There was no bluetooth fob entrance, just a regular ole key, and so even your own front door was not very secure. And anyone could walk into your building. And often did.
But I was living with the hot blacksmith then. This was from about 2012 through early 2016. And hot blacksmith had amazing arms. He was huge and so were his arms. He got that the old fashioned way - through his work, not through lifting weights. And he was also very known around our complex, because he chatted up our neighbors, something I really don't do. So everyone knew I was living with this guy who looked like he could snap their necks, and well, he could.
But when he was away for work, I didn't feel safe there. And when we split up there really was no question of my staying there.
Here, I am not on the ground floor. And I have bluetooth locks, and no one can get into the building without a fob, no less into my personal apartment.
When you're a single woman there are many things to consider when choosing a place to live.
So, I still like it here, and it's not about that. It's about my willful delusions. Are they very harmful? I don't know, I think sometimes they are.
But I remember once, when the college professor I spent a decade with, asked me how I could believe something, and I forget what it was about, but I remember my answer. I told him that I'm delusional and if I wasn't delusional, I would have killed myself a long time ago.
Because, even when there is all evidence to the contrary, I always think something wonderful might happen to me. And sometimes, something wonderful does happen to me. And other times, I step in dogshit thinking it's mud.
I guess everything has its ups and downs. Men, me, and The Alston too. I can write openly about it, because 50k people don't read this blog, and I write it mostly for myself. To have a record of things. To keep my writing skills honed. And just because I freaking like to do it. But she has about 50k followers on Instagram. Not a huge following, but many of them are locals to Long Island.
So, I don't know how that's all going to work out for them. It was on her stories, so it will be gone and likely, they will never even know it was there. You can be permanently tarnished by a story that literally disappears into the ether in 24 hours, and you know, there's something interesting about that too. I would say; maybe if someone has tens of thousands of social media followers, you should do something about their hallway smelling of piss. For me it's just more "am I not entertained" over living in these times.
And some self-reflection of course. That's not a bad thing either.