There Goes the Neighborhood

  • Posted on August 8, 2009 at 7:33 am

So, I’m awake.  It’s 7:33 a.m. on a Saturday morning and I’m awake.  Anyone want to know how I got awake at 7:33 a.m. on Saturday morning?  As you can tell by the tone of my writing I’m not happy about being awake at 7:33 a.m. on Saturday morning.

I was all snuggled down in the warmth of my bed and blankies.  I wasn’t having any dreams of any kind, just nicely sleeping.  Saturday morning is my holy day of sleeping so to speak.  It is my sacred time to just sleep until I wake up.  I don’t like being woke up on Saturday morning especially out of a dead sleep. 

My ears captured a sound, a loud enough sound that caused my eyes to pop open to see what the sound was and my mind was left thinking wtf?  My other neighbors have told me about this very thing.  My other neighbors have complained to the police, the social services and the landlord.  But, as usual nothing has been done and probably won’t be.  I woke up this morning to a female yelling very loudly at her approximately three year old kids (I don’t know exactly how old, I’m just guessing at the ages) "Get to fucking bed you fucking little fuck fuckers."  Then there was a loud bang on the floor / my ceiling enough to cause the light shade to quiver in it’s place and threaten to come crashing down.  The child began to cry and then Mommy (at least I’m assuming it’s Mommy) so gently screamed, "Stop your fucking crying you little fucker and get your fucking ass to bed!" 

I, being the not-so-genteele creature after being woke up at 7:00 a.m. by blatant child abuse, yelled without thinking – "Knock it off or I’m calling the cops. Stop yelling at that kid it’s just a baby."  I was mad.  Really mad.  I thought I was mad about being woke up but discovered that I was mad about that but more mad that she yelled at that little kid like that.  She stopped yelling.

My neighbors have told me that this goes on everyday while I’m at work.  They call the landlord to tell them this is going on and it needs to stop.  One has called social services and one has called the cops.  On Tuesday, when I was home sick, trying to sleep the noise went on and on and on.  Yelling and fighting and bickering.  I can understand when you have six people living in a two bedroom apartment that things can get a little tense, especially when two of the six are teenagers.  But, is it necessary to have the whole family screaming at these two little kids relentlessly all day long?  Or, at each other? 

Shortly after I first moved into this apartment I had two college girls who lived above me.  There were lots of college kids who lived here.  I was a little apprehensive about what might happen with college kids living above me, but, I didn’t hear a thing.  They would have friends over, listen to music and drink (these girls were over 21) and nothing.  Not a sound.  In fact, the whole building was quiet with a majority of college student tenants. 

In the last four years the neighborhood has gone to hell in a handbasket.  Gang graffiti on the buildings — including the businesses — thugs hanging out in the laundry room (the landlord finally put locks on the outside doors), fights, home invasions, an attempted stabbing, an attempted mugging at the bar down the block, domestic violence, child abuse, beer bottles and garbage everywhere.  The washers and dryers have been broken into so many times that it’s surprising that they even still work.  And the icing on the cake in the regard of the washers, two weeks ago someone decided they would make a good bathroom and I’m not talking the liquid kind! 

When I first moved into the building there were flowers planted and tended too outside, now there’s just weeds.  People would say, "Hi" to each other and stop to talk in the hallway or at the mailboxes.  People would look out for other people’s children as they headed off to the school across the street.  Everybody knew everybody.  It was good.  Now, most of the good people have left.  The rest of us are biding our time to leave.  If you complain to the property manager she says, "If you don’t like it move."  If you call the Safe Housing Officer she says the same thing.  Not because she wants too, but, because she knows that there is no ordinance to give the police department or the city power to control these types of things.  Moorhead has ordinances in place for this very reason.  If you contact your City Commissioner about drafting fair and equitable, similar ordinances in Fargo you’re wasting your time. 

Just wait.  One of these days you’re going to read a story in the Forum of how one of these little kids that live around here have been killed.  Or one of the innocent by-standing kids from the school across the street or one of the faculty have been injured or killed because of the state of this neighborhood.  And then commentors are going to ask, "How did this happen?  I didn’t know this kind of thing happened in Fargo." 

The police department is not the designated community daycare provider.  It is not their responsibility to repeatedly go to the same places over and over and over to tell the same people to knock it off.  They can’t really do anything else because there’s no city ordinance that gives them any sort of authority at all.  Unless someone has been hurt in some way or is engaged in an unlawful act.  They can’t force an eviction and there’s no consequences to the landlords. 

There was two elderly women, one moved out and the other is scared to death to come out of her apartment.  She’s on a waiting list to move into a retirement community.  I hope her name comes up soon because I don’t know how much more she can take.  She is constantly harrassed by the kids.  She’s 78 years old.  One day they pushed her in the hallway.  How brave and admirable is that?  I have to admit that I’m a little scared living here.  I fully intend on moving in the Spring but I have to wait until then so I have the funds to move into a decent neighborhood.  One where this particular landlord does not own property at all.  In fact, I want to be at least 10 blocks away from any of their buildings because I understand that all of their buildings are like this — complete and utter constant chaos.  

I give up.  I surrender.  They can have the buildings and the neighborhood.  I’m out! 

4 Comments on There Goes the Neighborhood

  1. Ms. C says:

    I don’t know the neighborhood, but pray tell who is the property owner/manager?

    It sounds like a horrible situation and I am deeply disappointed that the City of Fargo (and County of Cass) has done nothing to address the things that are within their power to address – particularly Social Services’ inability to act upon the $%#@^&! parents that live above you who are, at the least, verbally abusing their kids.

    Go to the City and County Commission meetings and tell them on the record about your building. That way the City of Fargo and Cass County are on notice of the dangerous and unsavory conditions and will be less able to avoid liability when someone is hurt and gross negligence is shown in court.

    So sad to hear your complex has become such a pit. :-(


  2. wanderer says:

    Holy smokes! Sounds bad. I went through apartment living, but never had it this bad. Sounds like a ghetto.
    And pushing around a 78 year old lady? Whats that? If I witnessed that, I’d have put their heads through a wall.
    I wish you well in your move. No place is completely void of problems, but better neighborhoods will minimize the troubles.
    Fargo/Moorhead ain’t small town anymore, is it.

  3. PriaireWoman says:

    I went back and drifted in out of sleep for until now. She just told the little girl that she is a rotten little bitch. I’m guessing that some of you are wondering why don’t I just call the cops? And what do you think will happen to me if I do? Or my car? The cops are well aware of this landlord. When you talk to anyone of them and mention the name they go, “oh…” and then there’s silence. Probably because they know that they can’t do anything and it’s just one of hundred similar problems in their buildings. This is one of the reasons that I support more police officers for the city of Fargo. If we can’t pass laws (oridnances to control the chaos) then we at least need to expand the army.

    I did contact David Piepkorn about this and even sent him the Moorhead City Ordinances. I received an email back from him at the end of last year not seeing it on the Commission Meeting minutes after he promised he would address it, stating that he and Chief Ternes were working on it. Yeah, he’s a liar and I won’t be voting for him again. His wife used to work at McKinely Elementary. You would think that he would give a crap about the kids who have to walk through this ‘hood’ to get there.

  4. Ms. C says:


    So disturbing to hear about the horrid woman upstairs…isn’t there anyone in that household who can protect those children?

    The whole situation sickens me. If you are so inclined you could send me the address and apartment number of the horrible woman and the folks that pushed the elderly lady and I will make some personal calls to folks who should be able to make something happen (

    My goodness – very disturbing and terribly disheartening that no one has done anything. I’d love to slap and do some cussing at that bad mommy. :-(


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