Home > Bitching, New York > The Time I Realized Big Brother Was Watching Me

The Time I Realized Big Brother Was Watching Me

Most of these stories have taken place in the past, but this one just happened this week.

I currently live in Stuyvesant Town, a huge residential complex in Manhattan that consists of 35 apartment buildings and, together with neighboring Peter Cooper Village, house over 25,000 people. It’s a big place that looks somehow both campus-like and vaguely prison-like. The complex was originally built after WWII to house returning soldiers and their families. Now it is home to retirees in rent-stabilized units and tons of screaming NYU undergraduate students.

I fall somewhere in between. I have the mannerisms of an old lady, but the liquor cabinet of an undergrad.

Anyway, it’s well known that Stuy-Town is crawling with cameras. Perched on light poles and on every building, it’s hard to tread on the grounds without being monitored. Someone else who lives here said that he tried to go on the roof of his apartment once, but was immediately caught by security guards who had seen him on camera.

Safe, perhaps, but also downright creepy.

I went to the management office the other day to ask a question about my rent bill. But as soon as you walk in, the first thing you see is a legitimate command center. Behind a thick layer of glass is a team of security staff monitoring an entire WALL of TV screens that show every hallway and path in the complex. Buttons are lighting up, alarms are beeping, phones are ringing, and it’s fucking terrifying. You expect Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman to be hunched over the nuclear missile launch keys, in between making sure dogs don’t poop in unauthorized areas.

Having this security room in such a public location shows that Stuy-Town is NOT fucking around. They are all up in your shit at all times, and there is no escape.

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