July 30th, 2006

Narrate like whoa

You Can't Find Home Again

In the grand list of Most Stressful Things to Do, finding an apartment ranks pretty highly. Finding an apartment in the Bay Area towards the end of summer, however? Even more stressful. Wait, wait, it gets better. Finding an apartment in the East Bay when you're living on the Peninsula and commuting with your uncle? Wait, WAIT. Finding an apartment when, out of five weekends, you work four of them and go home for one of them? It's downright maddening.

I started actively looking about three weeks ago, but it was really for my own sake because I had no way of visiting the places I was interested in, and even if I did, I wasn't ready to make a decision. I had to see a few places before I could commit to somewhere, right? Hell, I found a place on Craigslist that looked really good on a Friday. By Monday, the listing had been deleted. That's how fast apartments go around here. And I was only using Craigslist because hell if I knew where else to look.

My requirements were few: I wanted a one-bedroom under $1,000 that was near a BART station. Preferably near downtown Berkeley, as that's where all the cool stuff was. I soon discovered that really wasn't a possibility, so I concentrated my search around Ashby BART. Even then, though, my pickings were slim. A couple people, however, had suggested north Oakland, and one day I idly moved my Craigslist search to the north Oakland/Temescal area and, to my surprise, I found a lot more choices and, more importantly, choices that looked more appealing, apartment-wise. As long as I stayed close to Macarthur BART, I could walk to the station and take the Emery Go Round to work.

My relatives, it seemed, were going on vacation for over a week, leaving me to fend for myself. What this meant, however, was that my commute was my own, and I could finally spend a great deal of consecutive time looking at potential places to live.

The hunt was on.

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