Thursday, April 7, 2011

perfect costs as perfect does

the search is on for our new apartment! t and i have already looked at two this morning. all this thinking about relocating really has me thinking more generally about where we live. essentially, it's the perfect neighborhood, as far as city living goes. it's right in the heart of the city, without being noisy. it's as safe as city living can be. the neighbors are a diverse set of characters: young families, old italians, immigrant workers, all ages and races. within two blocks of my apartment are two grocery stores (including whole foods!), a pet store, two coffee shops, several restaurants/bars, a wine & liquor store, mail supply store, playhouse, bike shop and park. my landlords are on the corner, as is a bus stop. and beyond the immediate vicinity, it takes between 5 and 10 minutes to walk to city hall, to the big shops, the tourist destinations, the subway and train stations. t's walk to work is about 15 minutes. i looked up the walkability score of my address yesterday on out of 100 points, it scored a 98.

so those are all awesome things about our neighborhood. as you can imagine, it comes with a price that could be easily avoided by moving to a further out neighborhood. there are lots of cool, up-and-coming neighborhoods full of young, creative people doing interesting things, with housing that is significantly cheaper than the housing in our neighborhood. it happened that we really lucked out and it was pure chance that we found our current firetrap through word of mouth before we had even moved to the Big City. we rent from some old-school neighborhood types that don't know about Craigslist and are charging us less than market value. sometimes when i walk through our neighborhood and look at the amazing houses and beautiful street art and famous eateries, i wonder how we ended up here. that's when i start to think we're crazy for trying to get a better deal here in the neighborhood.

we absolutely have to find a larger space, soon. this tiny apartment has been perfect for the three years i've been in law school. if i were honest, i'd say i could continue to live here a little longer and save money, just to keep the location. but we need access to the outside, beyond an open window on the third floor. t routinely talks about wanting a better apartment. and our friends (who have two incomes) live in an awesome place just a block away. so we're searching, and we're putting up more money for it. but a part of me wonders if it's realistic to expect to find the perfect "next step" apartment in our current neighborhood. i also wonder what it says about us that this is where in the city we've chosen to live. we have friends who pay half what we're willing to pay, for much bigger space, in different areas. when people hear where we live, they peg us as yuppies. when i ask around at shops for potential leads in the neighborhood, i get comments about how hard places are to come by here and how expensive they are.

if we can pull this off, it'll be amazing. i just don't want to go broke doing it. oh, exciting times. i can't wait to see where we end up.

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