When searching for new housing, one becomes very familiar with neighborhoods. After about 3 years of living in or searching desperately in the greater downtown GR area, I’m pretty well-versed in the block-to-block nature of our city. And it’s a hot mess.
Heritage Hill is becoming so expensive, that unless I’m ready to sleep directly on top of someone else’s face in a “charming studio” for the low price of $900 a month, then I’m just plain excommunicated. The outer lying neighborhoods aren’t too sketchy. I checked CrimeMap and the only burglaries and/or robberies were at least a block out in any direction. Eastown isn’t quite as high-priced as the Hill (any hill) but the houses all have somewhere around 17 bedrooms and I’m just not emotionally equipped to live in a three-story commune. I literally can’t. Even.
My two new roommates and I looked at quite a few places over the past month, hoping to stay in our price range and out of the CrimeMapped area, but it seems we’ll have to pick one or the other. A place situated between Fuller and Eastern, south of Wealthy, for instance. Oh yeah. Sketch-a-rific. But the price is right and I’m willing to chance my way through a bullet-ridden summer. How far does a stray bullet go, anyway? We’ll be ok. I’ll just never go outside. Which isn’t that big of a life change for me and my pale expanse of skin. And what exactly are the immediate retaliations for gentrification? Because that is a concern.
An ideal place in Midtown was priced right until you ask about pets. Which would cost me an extra $1500 for the year. Evidently this property management group is under the impression that cats come equipped with Ninja throwing stars and a very serious vendetta against faux-wood flooring. I have it on good authority that they do not have access to asian weaponry, but I’m not so confident on their stance on floors. They’re pretty rude. But not $1500 rude.
This pet-phobic house is in walkable vicinity to one of my new favorite dives on Cherry, The Pickwick. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend it. It was established in 1934 and is literally a hole in the wall among the upper-crust of Maru, Vivant, Grove, Green Well, and others. But it was first and it might be last. The bar is cash only, but they do offer the convenience of an ATM machine against the inner wall. The regulars are delightful in the way that toothless old people are when they drunkenly ramble about Vietnam and comedians from the 50s while playing Cribbage at a nearby table. In fact, the whole place reminds me of my childhood.
Alas, even Pascual and the drinks he insisted on buying us after winning a sizable sum on the Costa Rican soccer game couldn’t seal the deal for the Midtown house. We’ll be back to the Pickwick though, on that you can bet. And apparently also on Costa Rica.