Shall I list all these apartment atrocities? Let's go:
- I live just blocks away from the heart of one of Cleveland's best neighborhoods. I'm within walking distance of "downtown" Tremont, a great little area full of delicious restaurants (think Michael Symon!), quirky bars, charming boutiques, & a delicious ice cream shop. How am I supposed to save my pennies when there are so many excellent local businesses deserving of my patronage?
- There's a huge park across the street. Lincoln Park has a playground, a small swimming pool, a gazebo, & tons of green space, which makes it a natural location for outdoor festivals like Taste of Tremont, Cleveland Scene's Ale Fest, & a weekly farmers' market. How will I maintain my indoor-kid street cred if I'm always tempted to go outside?
- I have two enormous bay windows. My apartment is flooded with natural light, such that I don't need to turn on any lights until the sun is almost all the way down. How am I supposed to help out my local electric company if I hardly ever need to use my electricity?
- My kitchen is massive. The size of this kitchen rivals the size of my entire D.C. apartment, with plenty of counter space & gorgeous glass cupboards that run all the way up to the ceiling. How am I supposed to continue to insist that "I don't cook" when this apartment makes me want to try to become a Top Chef?
- I have my own parking spot. For reasons unknown, I am the only tenant in my building who has one of these; everyone else parks on the street, battling the crowd during events &, presumably, snowplows during the winter. How am I supposed to sustain my perpetual car-related anxiety when I have my own reliable, cozy little spot to keep it in?
- All my neighbors are really friendly - all the ones I've met, anyway, which is most of them. How am I supposed to cultivate my notoriously hermit-like ways when my very friendly neighbors are always stopping me to chat & to offer help as I unload things from my car or carry heavy things up the stairs?
- No one lives below me or next door to me. The apartment downstairs is a commercial space that is used very rarely, & there are no units on either side of me - just one to the back, with whom I share only a bathroom wall. How am I supposed to bother aforementioned friendly neighbors with my loud Taylor Swift tunes & top-volume Harry Potter viewings if there's no one around to bother?
- My landlord is lovely. You may recall that I once said she reminded me of "a hybrid of my mother & an older version of myself." So, uh, what's not to like?! But really, she's excellent. How am I supposed to amass ridiculous stories about apartment living when I'm stuck with a totally normal, nice landlord?
Of course, it's not all sunshine (literally) & roses (figuratively, as I have no yard). There are, as with any apartment, plenty of things I actually don't love: Wood floors are a bitch to keep clean, I have a handheld showerhead that makes bathing a real chore, access to the bathroom is through my bedroom, my oven didn't get a proper cleaning before the last tenant moved out (gross), my neighbors to the back seem to throw a lot of parties, I don't have air conditioning, & my bedroom window faces a well-trafficked route to school for a bunch of very loud kids...
But all of those are manageable, especially when I think about the fact that I finally live here now. If I look to my right when I'm crossing the street on my 20-step walk to the closest coffee shop, I can see the small but beautiful Cleveland skyline right there, Terminal Tower framed on either side by my artsy little neighborhood. I swoon every time.
On January 1, 2015, I posted this Facebook status: "I only have one resolution for 2015: Become a Clevelander." I did it, & I love it, & I have no intentions of leaving any time soon. Home, I've finally found you.