apartment number nine

crazy week, i say.

ah well, it is over, and ended on a good note. today i saw two apartments and drove by four more that may (or may not, in one case) be worth taking a closer look at. i am no longer petrified about finding a decent place in time for us to move.

i began the apartment quest this morning in swissvale, looking a two bedroom duplex that was actually on floors two and three – begging the question what, exactly, is a “duplex”? seems to me this was more likely just a house divided into apartments, but that was just my impression. my other impression was that i am not interested in lowering my standard of living at this point in my life, therefore this apartment is not for me. the steps were so steep i needed to hold on to the railing, and i couldn’t even imagine navigating them with a baby in tow. the bedroom layout was doable – although avi’s room would have been exceedingly tiny – but the bathroom is on the second (first) floor and the bedrooms are on the third (second) floor, and we swore we would never do that again after our first house in lawrenceville. the basement was disgusting, and although it contained laundry hookups, the state of things was such that i would be very concerned about my clothing becoming more dirty down there, and that doesn’t seem to make such sense.

because i am incapable of dealing with slum landlords in an honest manner, i dutifully took pictures the whole time, and even took a rental application. it was just easier to play along than admit OH MY GOD ARE YOU KIDDING? I WOULD NOT HAVE LIVED LIKE THIS IN COLLEGE!

on my way back down the hill i stopped and took pictures of the outside of the place i’m seeing tomorrow. it is not the most perfect location, but it does have a deck. it is also very well kept from the outside (something the previous place was lacking as well – and i consider that a very good early warning sign). for those two reasons it is at least worth taking a look at 10:30am on a sunday.

i drove down into swisshelm park and took a couple more pictures of the outsides of places i’m going to see next week. i also tried to find a specific three bedroom condo on wayne street that i’m very excited about, but i didn’t have the house number and it is a very long street. driving around over there did make me feel better about the neighborhood, though. since i was originally looking for something in regent square, it is pleasing to know that much of what i wanted can be had in a different form elsewhere.

i decided to stop in forest hills on the way home and see a duplex on avenue a that is right around the corner from my dear friend monica and her husband pete. monica is eight months pregnant, and it is hard not to play the wouldn’t-it-be-fun-if-i-lived-here-with-my-baby-while-you-lived-
there-with-yours game. david and marisa also live in forest hills, so we figured it was worth taking a second look at if we got the bonus of nearby friends.

what a darling little house! it was made so much better by the fact that the current tenents were showing me around, so they got to really share all the idiosyncracies (not many) and issues (very few) they’ve experienced over the six years they’ve lived there! it is a two bedroom with an unfinished basement, but my goodness is it in excellent condition! i would have no problem whatsoever putting my desk and art stuff and computer things down there, or perhaps putting some mats down on the floor and creating a play space for avi. really, i was amazed at this basement. there is a fireplace in the living room, tons of closets, and a huge deck off the living room (huge for us, anyway). it has forced air heat and central air. the kitchen is small, but it has a dishwasher and disposal, and it’s way more intelligently laid out than our current small kitchen. the bathroom needs a bit of caulking, and the carpet needs to be replaced, but both of these are things that the folks living there were confident would be done after they moved out. all in all, i spent almost an hour there, taking many pictures and trying to picture our things rather than theirs in every room.

later this afternoon, my mom and i took avi to an arts and crafts show at the expo mart, because sometimes it’s fun to be the coolest kids in the room, you know? seriously, places like that you get about 5% useful stuff to look at and about 95% absolute crap, but my mom and i have a good time making fun of people and occaisonally finding a gem. today it was wine, believe it or not. quaker ridge winery was there with samples (holy fuck! at a craft show?!) and we ended up buying three bottles of wine. the apple spice is really amazing, and we also each got a bottle of burgundy. what fun! who knew?

finally on the way home, i ran through regent square searching for this supposed duplex that i’m seeing on tuesday. i was pretty dismayed to discover that it is much further into wilkinsburg proper than i’m interested in, so i guess i saved myself the trip next week. after seeing the wonderful little house in forest hills today, i feel like i have a better understanding of what’s out there, so i’m not willing to waste my time seeing places i can tell from the outside aren’t worth it. i should have done that this morning, but the landlord was RIGHT THERE, but this time i can head him off at the pass and just skip the unpleasantries.

whew, that was just today. i’m not even going to delve into the previous few days. i’ll go see the apartment tomorrow morning, then we have family night with d’s family in the evening. monday is hell day – teaching, tutoring, then my last printmaking studio till the next session. everyone’s on spring break next week and the week after, so i better stock up on my young adult fiction from mrs. meyers’ sixth grade classroom. i’ll have plenty of time to read.

today’s title is from the musical stand by your man


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