Thursday, February 05, 2009

Dear Assh...uh...I mean neighbor,

This is just one small example of the residual fallout that can occur after a condo owner pays upwards of $50,000 for a deeded parking space in Chicago (See the picture). And no, this was not directed at me---I found it laying on the icy sidewalk before a showing---although, I did once receive a similar love note from a married couple upstairs demanding me to stop smoking cigarettes in my duplex.

I believe the husband's exact words to me began with, "Just so you know, I am an attorney" to which I promptly replied, "What a coincidence, I have an attorney..." and on it went for several months. They ended up selling their condo and moving away and I shortly thereafter, kicked the habit for good. I also brought the buyer for their unit. So there, I won on all counts. It's one of my favorite real estate agent/condo living/unfriendly neighbor stories.

Now I don't know Javier & Laura personally but I do know the River North building they live in and yes, 50K buys you an 8 by 17 foot patch of individually taxed and assessed concrete in the bowels of their garage. It's sick when you start doing the $$ math per square foot for unlivable space. Unbelievable, really.

...And thus, it really pisses an already heavily mortgaged condo owner off when someone else in the building parks his Hummer over the surveyed yellow line and onto their assigned (and also mortgaged) parking space. It makes for unfriendly condo association cookouts on Sunday afternoons in the summer. It makes for dead silence and lack of eye contact during the long elevator rides up to the Eighth Floor. It calls for nasty notes like the one above to make a point. It can even culminate in...yes, fist-a-cuffs.

I've noticed on the news that more than a few people have been clobbered over parking space incidents in this white city since I arrived a dozen years ago. The truth is, guys like Javier can only take so much inconsiderate neighbor-related angst before they snap. It can turn poor girls like Laura into instant median strip mud wrestlers with one honk of the horn too many in rush hour traffic. I've seen it and it ain't pretty. It makes city dwellers in oversized SUVs (which I love by the way---the vehicles, not the people) vessels for bad condo karma, dude.

It makes relying on the CTA for urban transport sound like a good idea. All you have to worry about then is how to spend the extra 50K you pocketed...and of course, all the lunatics on the bus.

Geno Petro

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