Sunday, February 10, 2008

These are my people

When Biker Boy and I decided we were going to move in together, we started looking at apartments and were astounded at the crappiness of the two-bedroom units available in the general area in which we wanted to live (Uptownish, with the emphasis on ish - we wanted to be able to be close to major bus lines, including express busses to the University, but looking out the window everyday at the monstrosity that is Calhoun square was not an option for me).

Anyway, the first apartment we looked at was an okay apartment with lots of closets in a squat brick building. The second apartment we looked at was carpeted with a brown shag that bore the stench of years of incontinent cats and a fair amount of fur and, as the realtor told us as if it were a selling point, had a family of raccoons living in the tree just outside the living room window. The third apartment we looked at was about $50 a month outside our budget, had crumbling retaining walls on the outside, and broken windows on the inside. The benefit was that we could have a dog there, but the cost and the shabbiness were a bit prohibitive. The next apartment we looked at must have been vacated by people in the meth business because I have never seen a cooktop so destroyed. As an added bonus, there were feces smeared on the walls and blood on the carpet. The next place we looked at had what the resident manager told us was a small mouse problem. The next place we looked at was a really big one bedroom at the garden level. It was cheap and subterranean and I couldn't imagine waking up every day and facing the gloom that was that apartment.

We went back to the very first apartment we looked at and settled for an okay apartment with lots of closets. But after all those other crappy apartments, what seemed okay at the time was simply fabulous.

And here we are. At 716. The outside of the apartment building is not attractive. It's a combo of brick and stucco and has a flat roof. Who builds a building with a flat roof in a state where it snows six months of the year? But the apartments inside are pretty nice. Hardwood floors throughout, dishwasher in each unit, each unit is a corner unit because there are only four apartments on each level, and, you know, no feces smeared anywhere.

Our next door neighbor is an opera singer. He sings all the time. Usually just as we're about to watch a movie or go to bed. He's also very normal looking. Every time I see him, he's wearing a trucker hat, so I refer to him as Ashton Kutcher. Because my pop culture references must be dated. He has very loud sex about once a fortnight and we are always very pleased for him.

Our neighbors downstairs are the resident managers. They've lived in the building for fifteen years. She wears oversized shirts and leggings. Every day. I have seen her leaving for work dressed like that. I wonder what she does for a living. He is big and grumpy and shovels somewhat obsessively. The other day it snowed for like two seconds and he was out there, shoveling the dusting that was half melted before he was finished. They have knocked on our door several times to tell us we are being too loud. They fight at the top of their lungs over things like renewable energy resources and what brand of beer is best. I wish I didn't know this, but you can hear them in our apartment like the fighting is happening in our apartment.

Once I heard an unbelievable painful noise, like an animal being tortured. I turned to Biker Boy and asked if it was a cat. He said, "I think it was a child." There is a baby in our apartment building, across the hall from us, who screams all the time. When we are in the hallway, it is inevitable that the child will be screaming his/her fool head off. Biker Boy does not desire children and this is not helping.

The couple across the hall from us seem like very nice people. They have a ginormous cat. They also still have a wreath on their apartment door and their Christmas tree up.

Welcome to my small piece of Minneapolis. I love this town.

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