Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Unfortunately, when my contract is up I have to leave my neighborhood.

Mini rant alert.

I'm done.

I love this tiny apartment. I do. Great character, lots of light, excellent design, close to public transportation, etc. However, the noise that spills over from Campo is out of control. I'm noticing more cafes/bars are taking over antique and clothing stores on my street and other streets around here.

I don't even live on the Campo but on a residential side street. Last night around 2:40 a.m., despite wearing ear plugs (which I have to every night when it's nice out), I heard a drunk American student screaming into a megaphone.

I was pissed. A megaphone...really? So I told him to please shut up!

He yelled, "live somewhere else."

"Some of us have to work in the morning."

"Whatever, you won't have a job tomorrow." This witty remark caused the girls he was with to giggle. Then when they were walking down the street, he continued to yell into the megaphone saying, "This is your wake up call."

I had to check my attitude because I was so angry I was tempted to throw on some clothes, walk out, take the megaphone and shoved it down his throat. Usually I'm not a violent person.

Excuse me, he and his dumb ass friends are guests in this city. If he wants to spend his parents study aboard money on getting wasted that's on him but I don't have to hear it on a Monday/week night at almost 3:00 a.m.

When I first moved to Rome I went to a party with G in Prati. I thought, "Man it's so quiet here. I expect to see tumbleweeds rolling down the street." G hates Prati. I don't care. ha

My neighborhood is only going to get worse. At least I don't own. If I had a place in the country or mountain like my neighbors I would stay but I don't.

My contract it not up for a while. Maybe I'll change my mind by then but I doubt it. I'm so over the crowds of students and tourists. So much so that Monti is out for me too. The American Apparel store opening was the start of the Apocalypse.

I'm going to look in Flamino and Prati (not the area close to the Vatican of course). Both are close enough to the Center. I would love to stay in the Center (there are some areas that are quiet like Via Giulia where G. lives) but those areas are out of my price range. I lucked out on my place, paying below market. Another reason I'm salty I have to move. I hope my next landlord is as fantastic as my current one.

Two American expat friends and I were having gelato and walked past Campo a few Fridays ago. I knew things were bad when both of them said, "How can you live here?" They come to Campo all the time but one friend lives near Pz. Vittorio by the train station which is not the quietest area and the other lives in a lively part of Monti.

I don't want to live anywhere near tourist attractions or American students. I want a building that's not above or next door to a cafe/bar/restaurant/karaoke place. Even a clothing store makes me nervous unless the zoning laws are air tight and no disco could be put there.

I know not all students come here and act a fool. But living so close to the Drunken Ship and Sloppy Sams has lowered my tolerance for stupid behavior.


KimB said...

oh MAN. What a pain!!! To have to give up an apartment that's below market rate, with a good landlord, that you LIKE! Because of inane partying kids.

So frustrating!!!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

How rude of that guy and frustrating for you. When we lived in Rome, noise was a constant problem when trying to sleep. We lived above a bar in Piazza Sonnino in Trastevere and I took to insulating between the windows and the taparelle with foam-core board and using a sound-making machine and earplugs. Still didn't drown out the noises below.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Incredibly rude behavior. Wow.

This seems like a new step, though, in the sense that you now know enough about many neighborhoods to know definitively where you would, and would not, want to live.

Petulia said...

I completely agree, and I think in a way this is step two of moving to a new city. The center is amazing, convenient and beautiful, but has a lot of downsides...after a while everyone is bound to move and find his/her own corner of Rome in a more authentic space. That said, I really wish the loud students would go away..that would solve a lot of problems

Skywalker said...

I say don't move - if you love then make the tourons life hell. When that little shit said "move somewhere else" - take an orange/tomato/potato and throw at his little drunk head or better yet, throw water over them. They deserve it.

Their actions are not causing others to move...right? Fight back.

J.Doe said...

I agree with that commenter who said that the guy was incredibly rude.
Do the cops there do anything for drunk A-holes disturbing the peace? It would be a good lesson to all those drunk American student partiers who stateside are probably goodie goodies but abroad act like little uncontrollable monsters.

gibber said...

I'm with Skywalker (of course, be careful!) But seriously, keep that bucket of water handy. how freakin obnoxious!!!!!

Lola said...

You know what the Roman thing to do with noisy people in the street, right? You don't speak, you don't complain, you stay calm while you fill a nice bucket of water and you... dump it all over their giggly/megaphone-clad heads in one steady go. Just like you do with noisy, amorous cats meeowing... Splash!

But one thing is sure, the situation will only worsen before it improves in Campo. You may seriously have to start scouting elsewhere, because noise, rowdy tourists and drunkards are a given there. And the summer intensifies the problem.

Monti is way too expensive, but you could luck out in Flaminio. Prices may be contained in some parts of Prati too. Just lay off Via Candia or Cola di Rienzo: crazy shopping/offices while at night it's deserted and spooky.

As for the immediate future, I don't know what to say except "good luck" and keep the pail handy.

Lola xx

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

kimb - The more I think about it the more annoyed I get. Then again I might be paying a little less because of the noise. One person said...you can't have everything.

ccl - And when it's hot out, of course you want to leave the windows open which is not an option. Trastevere can be very noisy especially by Santa Maria.

jen - true. this was a great area for a new arrival. Close to everything and very central.

petulia - I know the drinking age is lower here so that's one reason so many kids go crazy. It's worse this year than last summer. Also in the center housing and living expenses are higher. Everyone says how great Ferragosto is because the town gets very quiet. However, in my area all the Romans are gone but the tourists are here. It's still loud and busy.

skywalker - last year a neighbor threw a huge bucket of water on the head of three drunk American girls who were yelling. The guy last night wasn't even outside my window but two buildings down. That is how loud he was. I was tempted to hit him with an egg as he walked past my building.

j. doe - my neighbor has called the cops who do talk to the bars/cafes and make them turn down the music after a certain hour. If you are really acting up in Campo the cops are right there. The problem is after I moved in a few little boutiques changed ownership, changing the vibe of the area. The same neighbor said while the area used to be lively back in the day during the summers, it was never like this. At one point, the Campo was so sketchy at night nobody would go there.

gibber - I couldn't believe how rude that guy was. I would never do that in a foreign country or in my own. WTF? I can't stay. I haven't had a good nights sleep in weeks and it's affecting my work and my mood.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

lola - If I had money I would rent a place in the mountains for the rest of the summer and a big chuck of September.

Hopefully by next summer my $$$ situation will have improved and I will do that.

I do like the area around Pz. Mazzini, in Prati. Monti is fantastic and there some incredible apartments there. But you're right, it's very expensive now.

So sad about Campo as I love the Forno, Roscoli etc. oh well. This is my second summer with the madness and I'm over it. :)

Ms. Violetta said...

That must be frustrating! Visualize the type of place you want and even write it down on a piece of paper (even down to how much you want to pay for rent) and carry it in your wallet. I swear that this works. Something better will manifest itself.
Home should be a sanctuary away from the maddening crowds.

Diana Strinati Baur said...

I was kind of amazed at the noise level at the Campo. It tunnels thru. Oy ve those nasty Americans -- I hate it when that happens. I am all for quiet neighborhoods -- the older i get, the more peace and quiet is important to me. Often it takes a little time in a city like Rome to know it enough to find the good deals and to find where you really want to be. You know so much more now.

Anonymous said...

I am in a similar situation, albeit across the Adriatic :) I live in the old part of Athens, and the drunk crowds that pass at night down my (very quiet, pedestrian-only) street are SO obnoxious - I have been so tempted to throw a bucket of water on them, but I know that by the time I get out of bed and get a bucket they will be long gone.

I am going to bear with it though, because it's not as bad off-season, in the winter the windows are closed, and for the rent I'm paying I couldn't find anything as nice even in a crappy neighborhood.

Take care, and please let me know if you ever come over to Greece.


scatteredmoments said...

Are you kidding me?! What a self important, entitled little ass. Who on earth acts like that? You should not have to move because of that jerk and others like him.

You pay to live there and just because it's on the road home from drunkville doesn't mean you should suffer. The lack of respect is staggering. I say keep the bucket of water full and the eggs at the ready.

Tourons- I love that word.

Amanda said...

I studied in Rome earlier this year and was so surprised at the lack of respect shown by the majority of the students. I was having a drink at Magnolia one night (the only Campo bar I ever went to) and some guy came up and started telling me about how he had gotten kicked out the weekend before for pissing all over the bar. And then he acted like I should be impressed and not disgusted. And then there were the people above us who had parties Sunday-Wednesday nights. Loud music, screaming on the balcony, etc.

I don't get it. I like to have fun but I looked the beacon of responsibility here, although I was about 4 years older than the average student so maybe that had something to do with it...

Anyway, terrible you have to leave but good luck! I'm sure it will be nice to get away from the throngs of tourists. I was sick of them after only 4 months.

Anonymous said...

The situation in Campo dei Fiori has gotten progressively worse in the past 10 years, there's actually a neighborhood association that deals with the noise problems and the city even banned the sale of beer bottles after a certain hour to try & reduce the amount of noise (glass clinking & whatnot). Lots of owners have moved and sold/rented out their apartments to foreigners and universities.
I'm with you, I would've probably opened up a can of crazy and gone down into the street in my PJs :)
That said, excessive noise of any sort- from tourists, locals, guests of the city, etc is just NOT acceptable. Quite honestly, it makes no difference to me who it's coming from- it's the fact that some people have ZERO consideration for others that pisses me off.


Ms. Violetta said...

Lack of manners seem to be rampant. I am staying at my family home which backs onto the river. It is a high party zone in the summertime so one must be tolerant as people take tire tubes down the river. The other day, a group of young intoxicated men were being very aggressive and cursing. Even after being politely asked to simmer down (children in area) they threatened to fight us. (elders and a mature female) One guy actually POOPED on an owner's dock. So, what do you do, phone the police? The police actually told us they did not wish to ENDANGER their officer. I guess my point is thi: trying to fight them is wasted energy. There will be only more drunken tourists the next day.

Stacy said...

Ahh that's just crazy. I'm moving to Rome at the end of September so your post was super helpful! The language school I'm attending is in Campo and I thought I would try to find a place nearby-- but scrap that idea!! :o)
I don't know Rome very well, can you give me any suggestions of neighborhoods to search for an apt in (I'm looking for a share)? Affordable, and as far away from the drunken students as possible while still being in (or close to) the center. Thanks!

babyboyla75 said...

That sucks, sorry to hear about that.
It reminds me of when I lived in Hollywood,
years before hollywood and highland and the "big" move from westhollywood of all the clubs and hotels.
It was kind of quite back then , but when all the clubs and bars moved in it got much worse ! and I could never find parking! and the helicopters ! every night !
Young people can be rude.
I hope my new hood is quite :-)
Note to self," bring ear plugs when I move there in two weeks"

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

ms. violetta - it is. during the day it's lovely. At night, a whole different story.

diana - I agree. It is like a funnel of noise. It's the craziest thing! Even if I were 20 the obnoxious folks would get on my nerves but now? I'm def. too old for this. ha

katerina - grazie. During the winter it's not as bad especially on nights when it's raining. But as you know the weather is warm the majority of the year so I don't really get a break from the drunken masses.

scattered - I've never hear that word before. Ha. It's priceless. When that guy said "live somewhere else" I could not believe it. What nerve. I'm sorry, I should move so your stupid drunk ass can yell into a megaphone early on a weekday morning? Touron indeed.

amanda - that story is a little scary. Even at my worst college drinking stage I thought pissing on a bar was gross. Like I said earlier, I understand that some kids go crazy because the drinking age is lower here than in the States but I wonder if the schools tell them anything? I'm not sure what the solution is. The problem is this is such a compact area. It can't handle all the crowds. I feel bad complaining about tourists as they are very important to the economy. I like travelers, tourists are a different story. I see so much outrageous behavior (I'll write about that later).

romerican - I agree it doesn't matter who is being obnoxious. Sometimes very loud Italians are on the phone or talking right below me. I've asked them in Italian to kill that noise and so far they have said sorry and moved away. The drunk American students (and why are they always my fellow Americans? Where are the French or German drunk students?) are a different story probably because they are drunk. One of my neighbors said the same thing, the area has gotten worse. One of the stupid bars on my street (has only been open for a year or so) is closed until September 1. I wish they were closed for good. I get living in a big city, there will be some noise. But excessive noise in non-industrial areas is bs.

ms. violetta - Not sure when it because okay to have no manners. What is going on? I can't believe that man pooped on a neighbors deck. That is disgusting.

stacy - good luck. If you want to be walking distance or v. close to the center I would just focus on the center but look for a quiet street. It should be the first question you ask your roommate. While it would be nice to be close to your school, I do think it's a good idea to avoid Campo. Trastevere on the Santa Cecilia side is quieter than the Santa Maria side. The area around the Vatican is quiet at night...maybe too quiet. Just north of the center, Pz. del Popolo area is quiet but expensive.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

david - if you forget the airplugs every pharmacy in my area sells them. ha.

That area (hollywood) has really changed in the last two years. Right before I left a huge new hotel/apartment/entertainment complex was opening up on Sunset and Vine.

Fern Driscoll said...

What a pity. First, you've got a great rent, and second it's just a pain to move. Hope you find a really super apt. at a great price. Good luck! (I agree with Lola about the water - and your idea of eggs is a find addition. I really don't understand why people of any age think it's either fun or appropriate to get plastered and make a lot of noise.

Stacy said...

Great, I'll start investigating! Thanks!

regina di roma said...

Morons....I worked as a "guide" for a pub crawl for one night many years ago....I think it was just about in front of Sloppy Sams that I came to the realization that I had left America for this reason precisely. Needless to say I quit :)

ieishah said...

unfortunately, our cities (barcelona is NO different) are playgrounds for these kids. they feel the same freedom we feel... they just... you know.... express it in much more annoying and obnoxious ways. i live maybe, a 15 minutes walk away from the very center of bcn (that would be plaza catalunya/las ramblas). i totally lucked out. because young americans have taken to yelling out 'OBAMAAAAA' when i walk past their drunken asses on the ramblas at 4am. couldn't imagine having to deal with that constantly.

Shelley - At Home in Rome said...

I haven't read all the comments so forgive me if I repeat something someone else already said!

One year some American students moved in to the apt. below us and had a terrace that they partied on all night. Same story as you, "please, I have to work, etc." (and work with US college students, no less!) but drunk college kids don't listen to reason. We filed a complaint with the local police. Nothing happened. We finally called the police, but they bumbled it totally and couldn't even manage to find the front door to the apt. The kids saw the cops though and scattered. I think that scared them b/c they finally cooled off after that. And that was a small residential area of Trastevere, as you know not the touristy Trilussa/SMT area.

However, no use in Campo. That place is permanently overtaken by now. It's so sad. I hate to sound like I'm telling you to give up but I seriously think the only viable solution is to move. You won't be able to singlehandledly change anything, and even if you tried to "rebel" or get back at them, you'd still be losing sleep at 3 am which after all is the problem.

Sorry. I totally sympathize and know exactly how you feel.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

fern - I don't understand why either. It's not charming or cute. Plus your judgement is off when you are that drunk. While violent crime in Rome is very rare, I have heard of students being so drunk they fell off bridges!

stacey - prego.

regina - ha! I have yet to step foot in Sloppy Sams or The Drunken Ship. Pub crawls are VERY popular now.

ieishah - Oh no they don't. that is so wrong (and yet kinda funny). the election is over. Barcelona is one of the places on my list to visit when I do get some darn money.

shelley - This is the thing I don't get. I understand wanting to get your party on but if a neighbor asks you to lower the noise during the week in a quiet residential area, why ignore them? Would these kids behave that way at home? I know that in the suburban town I grew up in and the NYC apt. I lived in there would be no tolerance for that crap. So why do they think it's okay to roll like that in Rome? This is not a college town. It's a big city. The nation's capitol, not Spring Break, South Padre Island. I'm shocked that happened to you because your apartment is in a super quiet area.

Valerie said...

How awful to be driven from your home by a bunch of idiot punks! This kind of thing gets me so angry; they are guests and should be respectful of their hosts. If they want to party they should stay at home in their frat house. I know it's too late to turn around the Campo unless the entire neighborhood organizes, but would complaining to the university do any good? I am wondering they even have cultural awareness and assimilation as part of their study-abroad program (Shelley??)

I hope you find a great, affordable and quiet place. There are some nice residential areas near San Giovanni and in Parioli but have no idea how much they cost!

glamah16 said...

That would bug the C*** out of me. It would be a pin to move, but I see your point.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Valerie - that is a good question. I would assume the schools would have some kind of orientation.

glamah16 - We'll see what happens.

Moi said...

what you need is a good hard shoe to throw at him!!! What a jerk!

erin :: the olive notes said...

augh!!!! I think my blood pressure went up just reading this. I completely know what you mean about the crazy noise from seriously about 99% american students. completely sucks.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

moi - a good old one as he wasn't worth a new shoe.

erin - I really don't get it. They should stay home and drink at the frat houses.

Kataroma said...

How horrible. I've seen the Bangladeshi guys who sell trinkets selling those megaphones - I guess any way to make money.

I remember being warned about Campo di Fiori when I first moved here. Back then the issue was kids throwing bottles. Apparently they'd had to station riot police permenently on the square to stop the fights etc which broke out- are they still there?
I was kind of surprised you'd want to live in that area considernig its reputation...but I guess it IS right in the historical centre and good for a newcomer.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

kateroma - I don't get the megaphone thing at all.

I heard about the apartment through an Italian friend in L.A. I knew it was completely renovated and the landlord (his close family) wasn't crazy. Plus Shelley checked out the block and took photos. I knew it was close to Campo but since it wasn't on Campo and had double paned windows (and I used to live in NYC) I thought it would be okay. ha.

No more bottle throwing, just drunk young people.

Anonymous said...

You should check out Pigneto, very up and coming and popular among independent film folks. It's a bit Brooklyn, and well connected to the centre. I've lived here for 3 years and love it. Avoid the "isola pedonale" and via Prenestina as they can get very noisy. The side streets are very quiet at night as it is not a main thoroughfare. You only drive there if you live there or are visiting, not to get somewhere else. Check it out.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

anon - I know the area. I have a few friends who live there. I agree with you about the side streets.

toni said...

i always DID think you were slightly crazy for living there :)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

toni -seeing how I agreed to the apartment before moving here I had no idea the area was so nuts during the summer. It's much better now, maybe because classes have started.