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View Full Version : High Rise Living - The ethical elima of watching your 'neighbors'



ChicagoChicago
Jan 9, 2009, 7:39 PM
My wife and I live in Chicago, and as a result have neighbors that we can hear above and below us, and ones that we see all around us. A few of them have elected to save money on blinds...if you get my drift.

Specifically, we have good friends that live on the 38th floor of a building at State and Grand in Chicago, and they have refused to put up blinds and just ‘pretend’ that others respect their privacy. But is it even considered privacy when you don’t attempt to conceal yourself? I’ve seen many a telescope positioned in front of the plate glass windows that line high-rise buildings in Chicago, and I’m pretty sure they aren’t there for star gazing.

Personally, I have no problem with the idea of having a telescope there. After all, it is your view… Thoughts?

Reverberation
Jan 9, 2009, 7:58 PM
Good question. Is privacy invaded when there is no effort toward having it?

Matty
Jan 9, 2009, 8:17 PM
^ No. If you can't go through the very simple and basic act of putting up and using blinds, you can't expect any real privacy. People will look through your window. Besides, unless it's your bathroom or bedroom, is it really that big of an invasion, anyway? Who is going to want to stare as you watch TV in your living room, or sit down to dinner?

Sound insulation is another story.

Saddle Man
Jan 9, 2009, 8:19 PM
People will watch other people do just about anything. No matter boring. I watch my neighbors. Especially the ones that like to be naked all of the time. :)

natelox
Jan 9, 2009, 8:26 PM
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047396/

Chase Unperson
Jan 10, 2009, 3:17 PM
I spent a year on the 59th floor on the north facing side of the Hanock Center and one year on the sw corner of the 46th floor. I had a telescope and binoculars and the most I saw was a fat guy watching TV with his shirt off. Kind of a bummer. I was always hoping to see someone have sex, or using blow or involved in a crime.

10023
Jan 10, 2009, 6:39 PM
This is pretty typical. What's the point of having big floor-to-ceiling glass windows if you keep the blinds closed all the time? Most people have blinds or curtains on the window facing their bed, if there's a building across the street, and bathrooms tend to be interior... who cares whether people can see into your living room / kitchen?

seaskyfan
Jan 10, 2009, 7:07 PM
Seems like a lot of folks are pretty consistent about closing the blinds/curtains when they first move in then slowly forget about it. Casually noticing what folks are up to seems fine - training a telescope on a specific unit seems kind of stalky.

wrab
Jan 10, 2009, 8:34 PM
(Dup)

wrab
Jan 10, 2009, 8:43 PM
A good flick to rent on the public-view nature of glass-wall living, if you can find it, is Jacques Tati's Play Time (1967). It's sort of a meditation on life amidst Modernism, among other things. Very funny - lots of visual gags.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y150/wjcordier/Playtimeoriginalposter-1.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c8/Playtimeoriginalposter.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y150/wjcordier/Play_Time_apartments.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/8c/Play_Time_apartments.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y150/wjcordier/Play_Time_screenshot-1.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/91/Play_Time_screenshot.jpg

-----

And, of course, Rear Window, which exploits the creepier voyeuristic side of city living.
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y150/wjcordier/Rearwindowposter.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rearwindowposter.jpg

-----

Something that really hit me when I first moved to Chicago was how indifferent residents often seemed to drapes & shades, not just in the highrises, but at street level as well. More so than, say, NYC.

the urban politician
Jan 10, 2009, 8:46 PM
I live in a scenario where hundreds of units in 2 buildings can stare at me as long as they want (I wouldn't blame them, who wouldn't want to see my ripped 6-pack and pectorals all day long?).

Seriously though, it is one's own personal responsibility in this setting to protect his or her own privacy. Buy some blinds! Lord knows I'm not a peeping tom, but if some smoking hot babe was undressing in the window across the street I would most certainly glance in her direction.

crooked rain
Jan 11, 2009, 1:14 AM
Agree with the above - if you don't shut the blinds, people are going to notice what you are up to. Especially if they see skin. I've lived in a place that looked directly into my neighbour's before. You try not to look, but you can't help but notice what is going on once in a while.

If you're to cheap to buy blinds or curtains, you deserve to have your life be a public peep show.

mhays
Jan 11, 2009, 8:02 AM
To live like that takes either an exhibitionist or someone who truly doesn't care at all.

Many architects seem to think a lot of people are in one of those groups.

Personally, I don't feel relaxed if I think someone might be watching. My blinds are shut at least at night, and only open (turned flat) during the day, i.e. only on weekends.

lawfin
Jan 11, 2009, 9:17 AM
Either way I don't give a rats ass

Aleks
Jan 11, 2009, 9:46 AM
Mehh.. I don't really care if someone watches me... I don't live in a skyscraper. BUT.... When I do, I'll make sure to let everyone here know so they stare at me... Especially because most of the people who live in expensive apartments don't have better things to do...

Anyways, I used to visit my friend in downtown Seattle and once I saw 3 great things at the same time [in different apartments].

1) Three dildo's on someone's window.
2) A couple having sex.
3) A bag of marijuana.

Being naturally attracted to skyscrapers, I turned around and looked at the night skyline.

SpongeG
Jan 11, 2009, 11:48 PM
my friends who live in the west end - the highrise area downtown - all watch other buildings with and without binoculars

so much to see

one guy used to live in a building and there was a single guy in the building across from him who used to have sex with the windows open knowing he was being watched - even did it on the balcony a few times apparently

the fascination i suppose passes but its pretty human to wanna watch

Samwill89
Jan 11, 2009, 11:55 PM
This is a very, very, VERY interesting thread! :)

photoLith
Jan 11, 2009, 11:56 PM
Hey, if theres a sexy girl in the building across from me than I hope to crap she doesnt have blinds!

Ardent
Jan 12, 2009, 1:12 AM
My wife and I live in Chicago, and as a result have neighbors that we can hear above and below us, and ones that we see all around us. A few of them have elected to save money on blinds...if you get my drift.

Specifically, we have good friends that live on the 38th floor of a building at State and Grand in Chicago, and they have refused to put up blinds and just ‘pretend’ that others respect their privacy. But is it even considered privacy when you don’t attempt to conceal yourself? I’ve seen many a telescope positioned in front of the plate glass windows that line high-rise buildings in Chicago, and I’m pretty sure they aren’t there for star gazing.

Personally, I have no problem with the idea of having a telescope there. After all, it is your view… Thoughts?

Close your curtains/blinds and wear ear plugs for bed.

Unless of course you are a pervert, then leave your curtains/blinds wide open and buy a big telescope.

Visualize
Jan 12, 2009, 3:09 AM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/4/4d/Mr_brooks_ver2_xlg.jpg/200px- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Brooks

Watch this really good movie and then you might question leaving your blinds open.

Strange Meat
Jan 12, 2009, 2:04 PM
A few stories about this...

One, at a converted loft warehouse downtown, I was at work, called outside by co-workers, told to look at the top floor, and I see a girl leaning out the window. Kinda normal, until I noticed a guy approach her from behind and start goin' to town. After a minute or two, I start mocking them, and they saw me, called work, and told them to stop watching them fuck. That was pretty priceless.

Two, the building across from mine, when I step out for a smoke, I look down and can see into the garden level of the next building. I mean, I try not to stare, but it's kind of in my field of vision. I've seen the girl there walk around naked, get eaten out on her kitchen floor, etc. I mean, I feel kinda creepy about it, but, what are you gonna do.

You can also see some interesting things in people's windows in my neighborhood, but, being that it's not a highrise part of town, it's usually peoples garden levels.

glowrock
Jan 12, 2009, 2:50 PM
You certainly have had some great views there, Snodrifter! :)

Aaron (Glowrock)

trvlr70
Jan 12, 2009, 6:53 PM
I have this eternal dilema with my partner who always closes every shutter, blind, curtain, etc. in our residence.

Partner's response: "But people can see in!"
My response: "But I can see out!".....which I consider a more important value.

If someone would be so bored as to watch me, then good for them. I could care less.

rockyi
Jan 13, 2009, 12:25 AM
The blinds on my windows that face the courtyard of my building are always closed at night. I don't care if I'm just watching TV or on the computer, I don't want somebody watching me. The blinds on the windows in the back of my apartment are always open. I do have a high powered telescope and many neighbors windows in view, even a highrise with floor to ceiling windows a couple of blocks away but I actually don't have the urge to spy on anyone. We're not known for attractive people around here.
The telescope was given to me by a friend who didn't want it so I ended up with it but will give it away to whoever wants it. the thing is HUGE!

fflint
Jan 13, 2009, 8:10 PM
There's a reason most front windows in my neighborhood are uncovered for most of the night--neighborhood security.

We all see into each others' living rooms and kitchens, so there's an unspoken "no staring" rule between neighbors--but we hella stare at suspicious characters down on the sidewalks and the street. I'm not the only person to lean out an open window and scare away a would-be bicycle thief, car thief, and other assorted douchebags.

jonjj
Jan 13, 2009, 11:47 PM
Here in Baltimore, we have our rows with what we call "Sallyways", little, narrow pieces of land between the homes toward the back. Well, on the phone with pops in Florida and across the Sallyway--an unbelievably good looking gal naked from the waist up doing ironing. She is my neighbor's girlfriend. It was a nice day and she saw me on the phone and yelled, Good Morning and just kept on ironing. Told pops what was happening when he heard me laughing. She never cared. Anyway, she and boyfriend always walk around naked and sometimes doing some interesting things. I just take it as city-living and go on with my day. After a while, it is like a rerun.

BTinSF
Jan 23, 2009, 1:43 AM
I've always considered these bathrooms a good enough reason to spend the ridiculous amount of money it costs to stay at the Mandarin Oriental San Francisco:

http://media.expedia.com/hotels/1000000/10000/6600/6505/6505_51_b.jpg
Source: http://www.expedia.com/pub/agent.dll?qscr=dspv

No darned curtains here! Shower in front of the world!

SLO
Jan 23, 2009, 3:08 AM
^^^Ive got no problem with that....