Larique!

I actually have a kind of fond memory of good old Larique. Even though I spent a night of terror, the sheer nerve the man had…breathtaking.

Larique sent a request to book our place for his birthday. He was from a town in upstate NY, which pre-pandemic I was always leery of other New Yorkers wanting to stay . (now with remote work, and everyone playing catch up with friends it’s a different story, but back then it was a big old red flag). I felt like if he had all these friends in the city wanting to celebrate, surely some of his homies would take him in and let them stay at their place.

But, whatever. He said that he planned to arrive and hoped it would be okay if he had “a few friends over” before going out to a club to celebrate. When he said a “few friends”, I got the impression it might be like three or four. I specifically mention in the listing that no guests other than the people making the reservation come over, just to try to get the idea across that I don’t want you making friends with all the patrons at the bar and inviting them over for a 4 am coke fest when the bar closes.

He was incredibly polite, friendly, and respectable in his communications, which just annoyed me more and raised that red flag higher. The more people lean into being awesome, the shadier they are. I knew I was in for something, but – I wanted the money, and he wanted a place to do whatever he was about to do.

I heard Larique arrive. Our gate creaks open, and I am the ultimate nosy neighbor hiding behind my curtains surveying the scene. Things were calm for a bit..

As nightfall comes around, people start arriving. The gate is creaking open on a steady basis, the door to the air bnb is slamming shut every two minutes, and I can hear the toilet flushing at regular intervals. The music starts increasing in volume. I am sending the guy texts every five minutes saying ” Can you turn the volume down? There can’t be this many people here”.

I am starting to totally freak out. It sounds like an R&B nightclub down there, it’s a school night, and my uptight millennial neighbors are asking what is going on. The girl across the courtyard wakes up at the crack of dawn to work a farmers market, and boy is she going to be pissed if this goes on all night. Millennial neighbors leave to get dinner or something while I promise to get the situation under control and apologize profusely. At this point, people are hanging out in the courtyard, smoking, drinking, it’s basically a full on party. People are hootin’ and hollerin”, and I’d estimate 50 people were here.

I kept texting Larique saying “seriously, dude, you need to get these people the fuck out. I did not agree to this”.

I am not a confrontational person. I HATE situations where I have to attempt to be. I hate even texting bullshit like this, let alone go down there and shake my fist. Plus, I just do not look like a bad ass. I am an aging woman who weighs around a hundred pounds and probably would not be taken seriously at all if I tried to directly address the issue. Plus, frankly, I did not want to deal with that shit. It was far better to remain anonymous.

I started to freak out. oooooohhhhhh…….what am I going to do?

I finally decided to call 311, the non emergency line to report a noise complaint. I knew there was a very good chance that nobody would ever follow up on it, at least not within 24 hours. I had a friend down the block that regularly called in complaints on her neighbors and she would bitch and moan that nobody ever followed up until well after the event.. But I *DO* remember being young and underage, and the cops showing up was instant pandemonium.

The operator at 311 was kind of a dud. I tried to explain to him that I had rented out an apartment on Air BNB and it had gotten out of hand and I needed help. He did not understand what Air BNB was. Then, I just said, “okay – I’d like to call in a noise complaint”. He asked for my address, which I provided, then asked for the address where the noise was coming from. He was completely confused when I said “I know man, I am calling in a noise complaint on myself”. ….. He claimed he put in the request for officers to arrive, but who knows? None showed up to no surprise.

However, I felt mentally emboldened by this. I texted Larique and said ” My neighbors are really pissed and just called the cops on a noise complaint. Just FYI”

It was like the parting of the Red Sea. I think I heard a whistle and some shouting, the music got shut down, and suddenly within five minutes or so every single person in that basement was outside, headed somewhere away from my house.

Right around this time the Millennial neighbors returned home. There was a bunch of confetti and shit in the courtyard, but they missed most of the action. A few minutes after they got home, they texted me to say the internet was down. I had to reset the router in the basement.

I was pretty convinced everybody was gone, so I snuck in the apartment real quick to access the router. (I would normally not do this without permission, but seriously, fuck them). There were an impressive amount of liquor bottles strewn about, and the kitchenette had been turned into a full on banquet with warming tables featuring chicken, rice, you name it.

The next day things mellowed out significantly. Nobody came around. I could smell pot and hear Larique and a friend or two laughing, but nothing to be upset about. I did worry what I was in for when they left though, as far as clean up. And I felt like my ass was clenched in alarm the entire duration of their stay.

The day they left, I braced myself. I went downstairs and looked to see the damage… I was SHOCKED to find that not only did the place look pretty decent (maybe in need of a vacuum), but all of the trash had been removed. Not a liquor bottle in sight, no cans, no food trays, no nothing. And outside, our garbage cans were empty. They took it all with them when they left!!!

The whole time he was staying her, I was just poised and READY to write the worst review ever. I was almost hoping to see utter destruction and a horrible aftermath. But, turned out to be just a regular day. I figured there was NO WAY Larique would leave a review for this place, because how it works is both the host and the guest write reviews, but they only go online if both parties write one. And clearly, I’d write a terrible review, right? Additionally, you cannot read the other review until you write your own.

But Larique wrote a review. And I HAD to read it. Larique was the worst guest ever, but I give him major props for not only clearing out the party at a critical time, but totally cleaning the crime scene. I thought long and hard about it, and ended up saying something like ” Well, Larique seemed like he was trying to throw a party at first, but he did move them out to another location and even took his garbage with him when he left, so kudos”

Larique left the best review we had had to date, and said ” I;d give this place ten stars if I could. Seemed like a cabin in the Poconos. Host is very responsive and texts back in minutes, if not seconds.”

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