Even thought it’s been two weeks, I feel like I’ve been searching for an apartment since foreeever. I’ve also been known to enjoy the hyperbole. To be honest, I haven’t made that much progress since we last spoke. Er. I wrote. Well, unless you could file ‘knowledge’ or ‘experience’ way under some useful category. For starters, I was offered the teeny tiny bedroom apartment! But…the thought of getting sick and needing to unlock the door to the bathroom made me really nervous. So, alas, I gave that up. But, I really did like the girl who was renting it and we may hang out sometime soon.
I’ve replied to a few other ads. One place initially seemed great –has at least one(if not two) seemingly nice roommate, a rooftop deck, a washer and dryer in the building, a dishwasher, etc etc, and actually comparable to my pad in Chicago. But. And, there’s a BIG but. A coworker lives in this hood(prospect heights) and recently turned me on to a website that dispelled such myths. Check out this article which talks about a mugging AND the POLICE telling a guy to move out of the neighborhood. http://www.dailyheights.com/archives/1127. The guy seems like he’s exaggerating a bit, but it’s only from January of 08 and gives me considerable pause. I’m going to walk around the place tomorrow as there’s another apartment close by I’m seeing, but my stomach is getting all rumbly. I also feel small just thinking about it.
Generally speaking, it feels redundant, or perhaps just obvious, to ask around about neighborhoods. But do it—and to more than just one person. A good friend actually thought the place above was a fine neighborhood – but clearly was a bit idealistic shall we say? I wouldn’t even just take a friend’s word at this point—google the crap out of an address. See if there are restaurants nearby, or a laundromat. Google Maps actually provides this service, where you can type in, literally, anything, “salon” , “grocery”, “thai palace” and you can see what your new hood would have. Another thought would be to actually call up the local Police precinct and hear their thoughts on a neighborhood as they, more than anybody would know. I haven’t done that yet, but if I find a place I love, you bet I will.
This weekend promises at least three more apartment viewings — so I’ll let you know how it goes. Dios!