The apartment may have been run down, but it was one of the best spots in the city to watch the annual fireworks in Memorial Park.
The kids in 3G held sparklers out into the night, eyes wide with wonder at the dancing lights that bathed their faces with color.
An earsplitting wail filled 2G, and the new parents cursed as they left the window to comfort their newborn baby.
The girl in 5A sat in the dark, watching expressionlessly as color washed over the wall, unsure whether she loved fireworks or hated them or why she should even care.
A dozen people had packed into 1C to watch Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum save the world from aliens.
The man in 4E crushed a can and let it fall to the sidewalk before reaching for another, waving off the girlfriend who encouraged him to take it easy.
They guys in 3A had an honest-to-god charcoal grill in their tiny kitchen, fan blowing greasy burger smoke into the night.
The lady in 1E cried herself to sleep, wondering where her son was and which of the explosions might be a gunshot.
* * *
Story by Gregory M. Fox