This New Condo is often invaded by strange noises... tapping sounds, whoooshing sounds, a sound almost like an empty mayonnaise jar being opened in a canyon that comes from my utility closet, the occasional dog bark from the hall or an emergency vehicle siren from the street. I've learned to ignore most of them. I've said it a million times, but the place is still partly under construction and some noise is part of the deal until they get it all put together.
Thursday morning I was woken up by a new sound... a little like one of those pneumatic guns they use to put the lug nuts back on your car when you get your tire changed by a mechanic. It's a high pitched whirrrrrrrrrrrr... Usually short little blasts of it. Well on Thursday I heard a similar sound coming from outside my window. Softer though, and for long stretches of time. It's not often the sounds come from outside my window... usually they are interior based noises, from below or from the hallway. Thanks to the unusual, exterior, quality of this sound I was intrigued enough to step out on my balcony and have a look. Couldn't see a thing... figured it was some kind of construction ventriloquism. They were screwing something in somewhere else but the sound was manifesting itself in a beam or a joist or whatever they build buildings with that was near my living room windows.
That was about 8am. 'Round 2pm I head out for work. Notice on my way out that they have put some new wall fabric up in my elevator vestibule... looks nice. In the lobby I notice the construction carpet is gone and there are stacks of wood floors waiting to be put down, cool. Check my mail... Rolling Stone with Snoop Dogg on the cover, good reading on the train. Head out onto the street, it's finally cool in Atlanta and the brisk air invigorates me. As I turn to walk up the street towards the train station I notice a couple scissor lifts just ahead of me. So I tilt my head back to follow the kris crossing arms of the lift and up at the top, I see two guys installing this:
Directly beneath my balcony there is a GIANT NEON BUFFALO alerting passers by that my building is home to a Ted's Montana Grill. For those of you not familiar, Ted's is an upscale chain that specializes in hearty meals that feature bison meat from Ted Turner's Montana ranch. More importantly for me, it also specializes in a full bar.
The sign is HUGE... let me give you some perspective:
See the silver ladder? There is a full grown man at the top of that ladder! Compare him to the sign. It has to be 5 feet tall and 6 feet long. It's covered in yellow neon, and it's outside my window.
Well, I'm being dramatic, it's not DIRECTLY outside my window. It's underneath my balcony, which is why I couldn't see it when I stepped out to look for the source of the noise. You have to lean over the railing, but when you do, here is the perspective from above:
It hasn't even been ON yet (Ted's is supposed to open in two days... I don't see that happening), so I don't know the effect it will have on my nightly life. I also kind of like it to be honest. It's kind of kitschy, like something you'd see off to the side of Route 66. It could have been just a generic, fluorescent box sign like you see over the storefronts in so many mini-malls. I also have a great way to tell people how to find me! Look for the giant neon buffalo! Final judgment will be withheld till after they throw the power switch.
Just a quick note in closing. I have been very cautious about how much I should say about my actual location. My thinking is that I'll be able to be more honest if I am a little vague about the latitude and longitude on which This New Condo sits. My thoughts keep going back to a post on Soliloqueer that I originally discovered on BGB where Dave laments about having told too many people about his blog and how that prevents him sometimes from being as honest as he'd like. I've been reading lots of blogs from all over the world, and it seems to me that even though some of you all post very clear photos of places and faces it would be hard for me to identify an exact location and I'd probably not recognize most of you if I passed you on the street. Ultimately I decided that my need to write about my new neon animal friends was more important than my need to stay completely anonymous. Hopefully my next post won't be about my new stalker.