Good news- we got an apartment!!
It took a lot of Craigslist browsing, phone calls, and sitting around in leasing offices, but the paperwork is finally all done and the place is ours!
We went on a lot of viewings. There was the fancy apartment with all hardwood floors and a haunted house next door. The tiny apartment with no closets behind the train station. The two-story townhouse forty minutes away on the other side of the river. The cheap apartment in the suburbs we saw on a rainy afternoon. The studio with a breathtaking city vista and a price to match. The place with a 15-month wait list. And a few more. It's all starting to blur together already but I do remember how we ended up here; after being stood up by the leasing agent, I called the office and the girl on the other end of the phone sweet talked me into coming out to another property the following morning. "Oh, you'll love this place for sure! It'll be just what you're looking for!" Oddly enough, she was right.
|Goodwill, my lifelong provider of colorful plates.|
Pet friendly? Check.
Bathtub and washing machine? Check. Even a dishwasher! That I didn't remember how to use after all this time.
Walking distance to public transportation? Check.
Interesting view? Check.
In fact, the only things on the list that we had to compromise on were price and (the always inescapable, unattractively-colored) carpet. But I was totally willing to negotiate on that because THERE IS COLOR on the walls!! How rare is that in a rental?! The agent was apologetic as we walked down the hall towards the front door that day: "The previous tenants painted the walls blue but we can easily repaint them white for you, no problem, just let us know when." Um, how about never?
|Meet the wonderful non-white tea corner!|
So here we are, installed in our new place. It's already feeling pretty cozy. Кит, by the way, is in love with his new surroundings. There's an 8-foot windowsill allowing him to covertly spy on the outside world and his very first wall-to-wall carpet to shed all over.
|As sweet as always!|
|Our "couch". Appropriate shock and awe please, people.|
|Tiny little cups from a secondhand store in Alaska. Have we ever actually used them? No. But someday... :P|
Thus, it appears the minimalism is still a work in progress.
There are a few other details that sold us on the idea of living here. For starters, there's a gym. A gym! We've never lived anywhere with a gym. In fact, I'm not sure we've ever been to a gym together. But this means that surely, yes, someday soon I will be both a minimalist and super-fit. Right?
Although... there are these food carts nearby...
18 of them, in fact.
Well, maybe the food carts and the gym will balance each other out and in the future I'll just be a minimalist with the same body. So far I've not visited a single food cart (nor gone to the gym). D, though, is rapidly becoming a lunchtime expert. It's a-food-cart-a-day lifestyle at the company he works for. This week he's brought home leftover pad thai (twice) and a burrito, yum.
Another plus for this building is its lobby.
A couple events are hosted in the lobby each month and you can help yourself anytime to free wifi. Today I hung out down there for about 30 minutes, studying ANKI and waiting for the mailman to deliver the mail.
We have never ever lived in a building with a lobby. Unless you count the last two apartments in Ukraine. But they came equipped with shout-y desk ladies, so it was more of a dragon's den than a lobby. This feels like a swanky new world. Oh wow, am I a grown up now? :p
Okay, last thing- it's completely and undeniably fall and that's really lifted my spirits.
|How can this beautiful season not boost your mood?|
And then, within a few hours, the mist had vanished. I hope to see it again sometime.
The part of town we live in is fantastic for walking in, exactly what I'd hoped for. In a land of cars, it's fortunate to live in a walkable area. With a nearby university, lots of benches, and tall brick buildings all around, it kind of feels like we're back in Ukraine. I like that.
After a few long months, it feels like things are slowly starting to come together as fall arrives. There's one other bit of good news I'll share with you soon, something that really opened my heart a bit more to this city. And I'm going to keep blogging on this site, despite the now-completely inaccurate title (neither 8 months nor Ukraine!). Oh well, you guys understand how that name came about.
I wanted to finish with a huge THANK YOU to all 46 of you who took last month's survey! Your feedback has really helped me make some decisions about blogging. Many of you are interested in the topic of readjusting to life in the US after several years away. That's coming soon as I finally start to get my feet back under me here. Hope you enjoyed this look at our new stomping grounds in the meantime!