Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A few more weeks in the old apartment

This is my apartment building. In a few weeks this will just be a memory of a place I used to live.

The manager slipped a letter under my door telling me I have 60 days to pack up and move because the suite I rent is now up for sale. Not that it matters. I’m leaving anyway. But I’m glad the decision to give up my apartment is now out of my control. It makes leaving a little less painful.

This is one of the best apartments I’ve ever had. It’s big and bright. It has beautiful hardwood floors and lots of windows. The rent was only $795 a month even though they could have easily charged more. They even let me paint the walls purple.

But what really makes this place special is its location. If it were any closer to Stanley Park it would be in the park. I’ve been living here three years and I still can’t get over the view from the front door.

That’s not to say living here hasn’t been without its challenges. The pipes rattle, the appliances are older than I am and the upstairs neighbour listens to Radiohead so loudly it feels like Thom Yorke is in my living room.

I have to wear earplugs at night to drown out the sound of dumpster divers pushing rickety shopping carts full of empty bottles through the alley. So many homeless people urinate below my bedroom window it's practically a public toilet.

My living room faces the parking garage next door, which means my apartment fills with exhaust whenever someone idles their car. And don’t get me started on the unbelievably anal-retentive laundry room schedule -- I’ve already devoted an entire post to that subject!

I will miss some of the cranky, elderly people who live here. But I won’t miss the ones who voted against selling one of the suites to a guy in a wheelchair because they didn’t want to spend the $3,000 it would cost to build a ramp. (The president of the board eventually overruled them.)

I laughed when I saw the real estate agent had listed the building’s wheelchair access as one of its selling features. Of course, there’s no mention about the bitter fight that went down just to get that ramp built in the first place.

Nor does he mention the fact that someone in the building dumps the stack of gay newspapers that get delivered to our door into the garbage every single week. When I complained about this to the manager he shrugged his shoulders and said he had enough battles on his hands, especially since the debate on whether or not to replace the hallway carpet was raging out of control.

In a way, all of the absurd and weird stuff that goes on here is what I'll miss most about this place. I'll even miss the view of the dumpster from the bedroom window.

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