Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Adventures in Real Estate: Prologue

My lovely roommate and I have been apartment hunting. This never goes especially well for us, but it usually involves a good story or two. At the very least, we meet some interesting characters. Over the next few weeks, I plan to recount some of our stories thus far-- we've made friends-- and what are sure to be ridiculous tales as we approach the end of our lease on June 30.

For now though, a retelling of some of last summer's travails in apartment hunting. It's good to understand exactly how simultaneously high and low our standards are-- seriously, you have to be pretty bizarre to impress us at this point.

Looking forward to sharing the post-game report for the 2008 season,

June 24, 2007

A few weeks ago I did something funny to my right foot. When the pain refused to go away for good, I went to a podiatrist, feeling like a huge wuss who was whining about a little throb, but it turned out I had actually hurt myself. I have a stress fracture (right foot, third metatarsal, for all our premed friends). Fortunately I caught it before I ran on it enough to make an actual break, but unfortunately I'm not allowed to run for a month.

What do you do when you can't run? I drive 7 hours and then walk 5 miles a day for two days (yeah, my foot is not so happy with me right now). After my 8:00 doctor appointment Wednesday, I got in my car, picked up Marissa, and we trekked down to D.C. to apartment hunt. Immediately upon arrival, we met up with Strand and went to a Nats-Tigers game (go Tigers), and the next morning we embarked on what we termed "guerrilla real estate"-- wandering around Dupont, Logan Circle, Foggy Bottom, Mass Ave., and Rosslyn (VA) calling anyone advertising vacancies. Picture me dragging my clubfoot, because I was wearing one Rainbow flipflop and my velcro surgical sandal. I looked like a preppy cripple-- people offered me their seats on the Metro, I looked that gimpy.

We also got in touch with a realtor, and embarked upon what I called "Will Rogers Follies". The realtor's name was Will Rogers-- seriously, I can't make this stuff up. Will Rogers showed us two properties. About five blocks away from the first one, Marissa and I broke into a rendition of "In the Ghetto". But then Will Rogers drove us to apartment number 2. The address was 2907 18th Street. I thought to myself, "Wait a minute... that's the bar strip in Adams Morgan. This can't end well." Will Rogers wandered up and down the wrong street for a while ("Can either of you see the lockbox?" he said, at the door of what turned out to be 2907 Ontario Road), but then he found 18th. Sure enough, we were two doors down from Brass Monkey, Spaghetti Garden, Nolan's, and the infamous Dan's Cafe, which I frequently describe as the greatest, most terrifying, broke-down dive bar ever (we think the bartenders are homeless, no lie). Marissa and I realized we could not possibly live here and remain gainfully employed, explaining to our parents, "No, you don't understand. We had never been there sober before. I have been the loud, drunk girl on that street, and if I lived there I would come outside at 3 a.m. and kill me."

After taking our leave of Will Rogers, we looked at a few more apartments before we faced the choice between taking a nap in our hotel and buying a bucket of beers at Front Page. In a totally uncharacteristic move, we chose to crash-- I blame my third metatarsal. We rallied to go to dinner and drinking with my uncle and then met Strand for another beer in the hotel bar. Again, I blame my cloven hoof for our inability to drag ourselves to Georgetown for $2 Coronas. Not varsity behavior, but I think a real sports injury might qualify me for the drinking DL if the bar is over a mile away.

Long story short, Marissa and I got pretty frustrated, especially after seeing a beautiful building that turned out to be on the edge of a seedy neighborhood and experiencing kind of a general lack of 2 bedroom apartments for less than $300000000 and our firstborns. We have not given up hope, but we have also not yet signed a lease. Of course we will keep you updated. We deeply believe that the right apartment will come along and we will know it when we see it. It had better, because we are planning a sweet housewarming party, and we need a place to have it.