Nearly three years after I first returned to the East Bay following a year of exile in Los Angeles, and nearly one year after I once again left the East Bay to begin a new life in Squaresville, Molly and I will be returning to the warm bosom of the greater Oakland area in a few short weeks. We found ourselves another apartment in Alameda. This will mean a much shorter commute for Molly and a much longer commute for me, but given the location of my new job it's the most sensible arrangement of things.
We had initially planned to move to Rockridge, then we hoped to move to Rockridge, then we gave up on Rockridge and decided to return to Alameda. We realized that Rockridge is a hard place to move to, because (1) it's a neighborhood, not a city, so there just aren't that many units around, and (2) the units that are available are expensive and in demand. We also discovered that a lot of lessors who advertise on Craigslist have no problem falsely claiming that their properties are in Rockridge when in fact their properties are nowhere near Rockridge. North Berkeley presented itself as an alternative, but Molly was skittish about any outside possibility of living amongst college students, with their loud parties and unchecked ambition. We were familiar with Alameda, the Bay Area's best kept secret, having spent two years there. So we're sticking with what works.
Here are some features of our new apartment/apartment complex that differ substantially from any apartment I've ever lived in:
Tennis courts. These are useless to me because I don't play tennis and have no desire to learn (learning golf has been enough of a disaster). But knowing they're there will make me feel very hoity-toity.
Basketball courts. Likewise, these will not be used by me, but knowing they're there will reduce some of the pomposity occasioned by the tennis courts.
Dishwasher. This is huge.
Electric fireplace. Not a fireplace with an electric starter, mind you, but a full-on, no-actual-fire, electric simulation of a fireplace. It's basically a really fancy lightbulb. It also has a built-in heater, so you can run the electric fireplace in the summer and freak out the cats, or in winter with the built-in heater fired up (hurr!) and exploit the fake fire potential to its fullest extent. This is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard of.
Proximity to a kite surfing outpost. This may or may not be used by us, depending on how successfully I can lobby Molly.
Abandoned, unusable storage shed that's probably full of dead bodies. When the woman told us about this she got all excited because she knew I was a laywer and had found an opportunity to tell us all about how they obtained the property through a receivership. This enthusiasm was reprised later when she told us how it's a misdemeanor to bounce a rental deposit check, and how I must know that because I'm a lawyer. Apparently some people think that all lawyers know everything about law. That's not true. There's a lot of law out there, most lawyers are specialized, and most lawyers don't even know anything about the law that they specialize in. That's what Lexis is for.
We move in three weeks. We're hiring professional movers to break all of our stuff this time around, so I'll dispense with the plea for help with the lifting and carrying.