Mama in the City

A blog about raising my family in downtown Vancouver

Our Window Neighbours

At first it might sound a bit creepy or weird, and possibly illegal, but I can assure you that window watching is just part of living in high-rises. Besides having real next door neighbours we also have our 'window neighbours'; people we can see across from us in their apartment while we stand in our apartment. Through the big windows you can often see your neighbours living their lives in all of their glory (sometimes naked glory). No wonder Vancouver has been referred to as 'Glass City'.

In our last condo the building next to us was quite close and we could see right into other peoples living rooms and even bedrooms. Most people left their curtains wide open to ensure they could enjoy the amazing water view. In the meantime, you end up living your life while other people, like me, watch. Oh, look! There are my window neighbours eating their lunch on the couch, watching TV, walking around in their neglige, etc, etc. Yes people, we have caught a few rated R moments in the big gaping windows too.

An old photo, circa 2009, just to show you how close the other building really was.

Window peeping is tiring! Ben fell asleep watching the 2010 Olympics unfold right across the way.

At our old place we got to know our window neighbours over the years. There was 'the family' who had two little girls who did nightly choreographed dance routines and full on games of tag in the living room each night. We window neighboured with a gay couple who eventually became 'the single guy'. We watched his dog roll around on the floor and admired his decor and sense of style. One day we met him at the dog park and learned he was actually an interior designer and told him that we enjoyed his living room style. We also learned that his old dog died when we didn't see him rolling around on the floor anymore.

Peeping into windows happens quite naturally downtown as buildings here are often floor to ceiling glass. We have had little children dance in the windows across the way and Ben jumped up to wave back at them. It is sort of weird but totally cute. I'm sure we have had people peep into our own lives and watch Ben and Josie growing up and playing in her 'playroom'.

I've personally had a few of my own mishaps with window neighbours. Jetting around the apartment half naked trying to find clothes left in the dryer. When I was heavily pregnant with Josie I remember being so hot and too bothered to wear a lot of clothing. I'm sure my own window neighbours were all like, 'Oh, wow and now she is walking around with just a bra and underwear on!'. Then a few weeks later, 'oh look she has had her baby'.

Does anyone else have stories of window neighbours?


Allison Crawley said...

Great post! I laughed and giggled my way through it, especially imagining you all pregnant running around. Reminded me of Rachel in Friends when she was over due and it was a heat wave. LOL

February 6, 2013 at 4:19 PM  

I find this especially entertaining because in my small little town we have no apartment buildings let along window neighbors. I'm a little envious because "people watching" is a secret passion of mine.

February 6, 2013 at 6:05 PM  

Beautiful post! The minutiae of human existence.

We look into our neighbours across the street's front living room window. We know when they eat, watch TV, go to bed, when the kids are wrestling or fighting, and when they get up (curtains open!). They came over to a party at our house one day, and I saw the husband go over to the front window, stare, look back at me and say "wow you can see right into our place!" I felt so embarrassed.

February 6, 2013 at 8:40 PM  

I can completely relate to this after living for 6 years in our townhome that was just across train tracks from a multi-story condo with floor to ceiling windows. I spent so many hours nursing by the window and just watching what went on across the street and observing routines.

In turn, I'm sure they wondered about that loony family who was always dancing. We never put up curtains in our living room because we didn't want to block the view (and/or lazy, but it sounds better the first say!). It drove my Husband nuts that I didn't have regard for staying 100% dressed all the time, but eh...modesty is over-rated :)

Fun post!

February 7, 2013 at 7:35 AM  
liz said...

great post. I miss having window neighbours. My hubby doesn't miss it. But I do.

February 8, 2013 at 1:14 PM  
Chante said...

My friends had an apartment downtown Vancouver and we used to go watch their neighbors all the time. We saw some interesting stuff ;)

February 13, 2013 at 9:58 AM  

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