Thursday, September 4, 2008

My apartment.

Note: I had been debating for a couple of days where to host the new blog, as I love my personal blog hosting site but it doesn't allow anonymous comments. I do have the time to write this much every day, but what you're seeing right now is the backups I didn't have any place for.

As a personal choice that's based on a lot of factors, I don't plan to ever have children. My friends are of the age where they're starting to have kids, though, which means I'm going to be the faux-aunt with all kinds of stupid stories. The one I'm currently crafting is of my first apartment in San Francisco.

Also, I'm a New Yorker at heart, which means I'm obsessed with talking about real estate.  And I don't have a job, which means I have twenty-four uninterrupted hours a day where I can jump on craigslist and see every single place in the city that I can't afford.

Searching for apartments in large cities develops unique characteristics in people. My favorite is an ability to see through the bullshit. This unique characteristic only actually works once you've been in the city and you've seen a couple of apartments so you can compare what you've seen to what the listing said. A listing for my apartment, for example, would use words like "cozy" or "charming". It will talk up the location. And the bay window. And sure, all of those things are accurate, but can we be honest?

I live in a room. A room that is smaller than my former kitchen and manages to encompass a bathroom, a closet, a "kitchen" (upper and lower cabinets in an alcove, sink, no stove, mini-fridge with television sitting on top of it that I intend to never turn on), a futon and a two-person dining table.

The things that will make my mother cringe (oh, for reference, she might get to be The Mother when we get into her slightly passive-aggressive support of the decisions her completely out-of-control daughter tends to make) are the reasons she will never live in a super large city. In 2002, we lived in a fairly large midwestern city. We had a two bedroom apartment that, well, did the job. We needed a place to live and it fit the bill. The living room was large enough for a couch, a loveseat and a recliner. It had a dining room, it had a spacious enough kitchen, it had two bedrooms and two bathrooms. 

It was $545 a month.

So it is much to her dismay, I could imagine, that I currently am paying $600 for a studio where I cannot make food. (I have been previously employed as a food writer and I just left a fully-stocked, beautiful kitchen to move someplace with a mini-fridge. The mission has takeout.) Me? I'm elated. Go to craigslist and look up apartments in the mission for $600. Let me know what you come up with. (Then, please forward the links to me.)

The shower is sort of non-functional. I've painted all sorts of colorful pictures of it for my friends recently, so I'll spare them here. They involved tying dogs to the wall and punching them in the kidneys and oh, it's just a story for young audiences. I chopped all my hair off before moving here, and it's a good thing, because I would have been standing there for twenty minutes attempting to wash the shampoo out of it. But it gets me somewhat clean as long as I take the time investment, and I appreciate that. Especially because I ride a bike, and can we talk about the heat wave that's currently enveloping this area? Gross.

The thing is, though, much like my first college apartment - consequently ALSO up four flights of stairs, except I wasn't carrying a 25+ pound bicycle then) - this apartment is mine, and I will wax poetic about it for years to come. I hate my shower, I want to make pasta, I can barely get a gallon of milk in my mini-fridge - None of these things are important. I have a bed to sleep in and what is, legitimately, a beautiful bay window to look out all day while I troll the internet for jobs on my stolen internet connection. There is enough room for me, a bicycle, and occasionally The Roommate if he drops by after a day at work. I can't quite figure out if I'd be able to make this arrangement work permanently - and also, the rent goes up to $950 in October - but it's a start. I'm luckier than most people.

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