New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine October 2020 free digital issue

HABITAT

ARCHIVE ARTICLE

Status Games

I have found that status is often in the eye of the beholder. I learned this lesson when the building across my narrow street in Tribeca was converted from factory to condo. My fellow shareholders expressed concern about our pending loss of privacy and our rights – based on our status as longtime residents – to have “uncovered” windows. After all, we were here first. Window coverings are the newbies’ problem. 

Except... I soon learned window coverings are my problem too. My status as a 31-year veteran of the neighborhood gave me privilege only if someone else acknowledged it. 

I realized this when one of the new people across the street was throwing a party featuring hardcore porn on his large-screen television the same night I was hosting a 60th birthday party for a group of 50 people. It was easy to see all the action through the uncovered windows. 

Concerned, my husband went across the street to ask our new neighbor to re-angle his television away from the window. After buzzing my husband in and extending an invitation to join his shindig, this new and surprisingly affable neighbor repositioned his television away from the window.

I realized then that one woman’s privilege is another person’s common courtesy. A few weeks later blinds were installed on his windows. And on ours. So much for status. 

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