I always wanted to have a place of my own in a big city, and I got one. Yesterday.
I am moving to a studio apartment. I have only ever lived alone once before, and it was glorious. Now that I can do so in this city that I hold so dear, I am beside myself with excitement.
My new neighborhood is predominantly Asian, instead of Latino, like my current hood. Burma Superstar is right down the road, a fact that delights me to no end. It will be colder where I will live next, what with the ocean a mere 30 blocks away. I look forward to cheap, fresh seafood, affordable produce from Chinese markets and experiencing new Shanghainese food.
I am a mere four blocks from Golden Gate Park. I plan to make the trek there regularly with my hoop.
My apartment has hardwood floors, a big bay window, lots and lots of sunlight, a breakfast nook with room for a table for two and a giant closet you could put a bed in. There is a 1920s era elevator that is equal parts scary and charming. There are laundry facilities on the first floor. (That laundry part is huge, because I have never had to haul laundered clothes up four blocks of hills, and I don't want to.)
The day I looked at my new home I met, kind of, one of my new neighbors. She is an elderly Chinese woman easily in her 80s who knows not a single word of English. The container that held her take-home soup was compromised, and clear broth ran all down her cane and onto the linoleum floor. She spoke in wildly fast Cantonese, and the building manager who was showing me the place answered her in the same. I looked at Ian and asked if he could understand them. He said no.
"She is speaking too fast?," I asked him.
"That, and because my Chinese isn't all that good," he shrugged.
It is good enough, however, because he was able to make small talk in Mandarin with the landlord while I filled out the application. I think she was taken by his broken attempt to communicate in her first language. I think it may have helped me secure the spot.
The listing is still up at Craigslist, so I took the images from it to share on this blog. The previous tenant didn't care much for art on the walls or anything, but rest assured, my space will be laid out much differently:
Many thanks to my co-pilot and ace navigator Ian for helping me get to the endless number of viewings I went to. Without him I'd have been a crying heap on the street corner.
THINGS I LEARNED WHILE APARTMENT HUNTING:
- Many bathrooms exist inside closets.
- I don't want to live in the Excelsior.
- People in Pacific Heights have hella money.
- Muni doesn't suck that bad at all.
- San Francisco is more dense than I ever knew.
- Stressful situations can put other anxieties on the back burner.
- It takes 40 minutes by bus to get most places in this town.