I have hosted over 35 guests in my apartment over the past three years with an average rating of 4.8 stars. Jan was truly unlike any guest I ever had. If you are considering booking, please take a look at past reviews to get a well-rounded understanding of this apartment.
Keep in mind: Jan had never used Airbnb. Her daughter, who lives in my neighborhood, reached out to me initially and asked two questions: what my address is and how many flights of stairs up my apartment is. Having vetted the place, Jan's daughter had her mother book the apartment. Typically I would not accept a reservation from a guest who has no prior reviews or experience on Airbnb, but I was willing in this case since her daughter had made arrangement.
Jan is from a very different part of the US, not a major city, so she was quite unprepared I think for staying in a private apartment in Brooklyn. Since she had never used Airbnb before, I believe she was expecting an experience closer to a hotel. There was also some misunderstandings about cleaning, and I admit it could have been better. The guest requested to check in earlier than usual so I asked cleaner to come early and finish before she arrived, however the cleaner rushed through job and didn't take as good of care as she normally does. I apologized for that and did my best to remedy the situation.
Regarding the "dangerous" staircase Jan refers to, I have lived in apartment for 7 years, and 8 other people live in the building. We all use the staircase on a daily basis. There is a slight slant to the staircase, as almost all staircases in historic buildings in New York (or any other city in the world), but it is not dangerous or unsafe.
I believe the paranoid tone of Jan's remarks are indicative of "cultural differences." Some people find the presence of graffiti part of the experience of a city, others find it characteristic of "crime," "danger," and "vandalism." Some people find an old staircase in a historic building charming or just a natural fact of age, others grow paranoid and see only danger.
Finally, as Jan explains, I did indeed try to improve the situation to the best of my ability and was very responsive in the first hours they arrived. However, it soon became clear that this guest was describing a reality very different than the one I experience and every other guest has experienced.
I can fix what I can control. But I cannot make a 100 year old building new or a private apartment a hotel.