Public Comment

Noisy Berkeley Neighbors Revisited

By John Vinopal
Wednesday September 07, 2011 - 05:03:00 PM

With a second commentary regarding the vicissitudes of City living, I wonder if the first commentator might reflect on her good fortune to live next to a law-abiding neighbor who has an afternoon party once a year rather than a group house of howling students? If this is not consolation enough, she might further reflect on not living next to an elementary school (daytime yelling), a middle school (same plus trash), the high school (add car radios), or southside in general (all of the above plus public urination). 

I may be particularly unsympathetic because I read the first commentary during my neighbor's week-long infestation of tile-cutting contractors, but this does seem to be something endemic of Berkeley: if someone is having a good time, someone else seems dead set against it even if they're being wildly unrealistic. 

As a reformed (ie: aged) student hooligan myself, I empathize with both the Parker street neighbors and the hooligans. Why did the City permit the construction of a student clown-car in the shape of a SFR? What kind of student were they imagining wanted to live with 20 others? (Hint: ask District 7.) As Measure R proved, Downtown is the only place left in the City to build student slums because no other district wants the blight of additional concrete soft-story monsters (or their Trojan kin). 

But not all vicissitudes are bad! I would like to heartily thank the North Berkeley association, council-members, and the forbearance of the North Berkeley neighbors who helped make the Chez Panisse streetside cafe and Cheeseboard's party such a lovely time. Likewise the Downtown movie nights: packed with people. Or the Wednesday food truck brigade: ridiculous lines. These are events that one personally might not like, but their popularity shows they help make up for the lousy parts of living in a City. I'd still prefer my neighbor had a rooster rather than their seemingly incessant leaf-blowing, but the consolation of a streetside glass of wine helps. 

Please more events like these, and please stop building student slums downtown.