When my manager chose me to come work out here, he told me to find a place to live, and that I had a budget of up to $2500 a month to work with. It's weird to think that's more than I spent on rent in an entire year when I lived at the fantastic Brittany Apartments, but it's really not that much by New York standards (when I was here in '03, I paid about $700 a month for a dorm room--bed, desk, closet and that's it, plus one bathroom for about 30 people).
After checking out Craig's List for a few days, I ultimately found the place I'm in now for $2000 (unfortunately, my employers aren't letting me pocket the difference). I found some places that seemed better (closer to work, in better neighborhoods, more expensive--the higher the price, the better the quality, right?--and some other reasons that I'll get into shortly), but those subletters didn't respond to my e-mails.
But I'm happy with my apartment. And now I'm going to take you on a virtual tour. I'm sure this is the post my mom has been waiting for (actually, she's probably still waiting for the first post to load; my parents have a ridiculously slow Internet connection).
A view of those 48 steps I have to climb every time I come home. This is the first photo to appear in my blog (not counting that beautie of me in a hoodie there in the sidebar). Worth the wait, eh?
My door. As you can see, I'm trying to "take care of that Tigers hat", and its new BYU counterpart. I fasten the chain for aesthetic reasons; if some unsavory character managed to get past the deadbolt, I don't think that chain would offer much resistance.
The bathroom is immediately to the left upon entering the apartment. I have a low-flow toilet, and it's kind of strange; after my frequent fast food meals, I inevitably have to use it, and it almost inevitably doesn't, um, go down right; sometimes I have to flush a second time, sometimes I have to do more unspeakable things, but it eventually works and it NEVER overflows, which is even more important because that half of the apartment is sloped (you can't really tell from the picture)--more on that later. Now that you're all thoroughly disturbed, let's move on...
If I want to shave or do anything else that requires hot water, I have to turn the tap on and let it run for about five minutes. Fortunately, once I've got hot water in one place (bathroom sink, shower or kitchen sink) it doesn't take long to heat up in another. (Not pictured: soap.)
The apartment came "fully furnished", and everything is in decent or better shape...except this. The shower is also low-flow, but I've gotten used to it, and I try to ignore the disgusting mess on the wall, but that's hard to do when pieces of plaster fall in the tub while you're in it. As a result, it gets quite dirty, and I frequently have to use Drano and wipe out the tub to get rid of the dirt and dust that collects. This is by far the 2nd-most disturbing sight in the apartment...
...and this is the most disturbing. That's right, an entertainment center with nothing in there to entertain me. For virtually every apartment I looked into renting, "fully furnished" usually included a TV with cable, and usually wireless Internet, but not this one. Instead, I use it as an ironing board and takeout menu holder. On top you can see the juice box I got upon my spelling bee elimination.
Here's my living/dining room. As you can see, I don't always hang my jeans up. Seeing them in the photo means I was either wearing my Homer Simpson pajama pants, dress slacks, or was not wearing pants. Hopefully it wasn't the latter, since there are no curtains in this room. The big couch isn't very comfortable, neither is the desk chair, but the love seat isn't bad. I spend most of my time in the apartment sitting in the chair, staring at my computer (the apartment didn't come with Internet, but I've been able to piggyback on an unsecured wireless network pretty effectively. Thank you, dlink, whoever you are).
Many of the apartments posted on Craig's List had "lots of light" as a big selling point, which I found amusing at the time, but it turns out it's a pretty big deal. This is the view from the window near the desk, which isn't great, but at least I can see a little bit of sky and a little bit of Jackie Robinson Park.
Next to the desk is the master bedroom. You'd better believe I'm the master around these parts.
I once heard one of my favorite comedians say making your bed after you get out of it is like tying your shoes after you take them off. That makes a lot of sense to me...except it makes it sound like you should make your bed while you're in it.
There's another bedroom on the other side of the living room. I wanted to get a 2-bedroom place, so I could more easily have friends stay over. (Spots are filling up fast! Reserve yours today!) I slept here the first few nights, because my manager Jeremy was here with his new wife (they were married last summer). Surprisingly (and very thankfully), it didn't end up being awkward, and I slept ok on this bed despite the lack of a boxspring.
There's a pretty fancy armoire in the smaller bedroom, including a snazzy picture of a Chicago water tower. Unfortunately, no soup recipes inside.
With an armoire, it's all about the details. In the center of the bottom drawer (which my fine photography skills managed to not capture in the previous picture) is the design on the left, which looks just like a poodle's head. However, the handles are the same design, but flipped upside down, which makes it look like Mer-Man. Or maybe Krusty the Clown.
Finally, we have the kitchen. Here, the slope of the apartment seems more pronounced. You could actually thwart an intruder Home Alone style by opening the microwave door as they run into the kitchen, as gravity gives it some pretty good natural spring-loaded action. I haven't tried baking a cake yet (I don't usually put forth that much effort in the kitchen), but I don't think it would turn out very well. More often than not, the sink is filled with dirty bowls and spoons (I don't have a dishwasher, and breakfast is the only meal I consistently eat in the apartment).
When I moved in, I was given a key to the roof, but I'm a busy man and haven't had time to check it out yet. I wonder if there's a pool up there. That would be awesome.
There you have it...my swingin' bachelor pad. It's not a studio or a loft or anything really "New York-y", but it's home. And you're all invited to crash here when you come to town. Leave trash on the curb for pick-up Monday, Wednesday and Friday.