Ironic that one of the main reasons I'm moving out of my current place is because of the constant yelling of the black guy downstairs... and the first thing I hear upon carting a few boxes into my new place earlier this week: a black maintenance-guy yelling on the phone in the work-room next door to my new apartment. I only had a few things to transport on the day that I picked up my key; the whole 20 minutes, though, the guy was yelling and I could hear him all through my apartment.
I've been moving a few boxes at a time since last Friday. The real movers will come this Thursday to do the heavy furniture; in the meantime, my goal is to transport odds-n-ends from a room a day through Wednesday.
Although my new apartment is huge (you could actually roller-skate in my living room), the down-side is: While I'm paying a lot for my apartment, there are many other lesser-priced apartments surrounding it. The complex ranges from efficiencies to 3-bedrooms. (I've got a 2/2.) I didn't think that much of it when the apartment manager first took me on a tour weeks ago: The place looked well-tended and seemed quiet during our tour. One thing I noticed, though, on the day that I took the tour and signed my lease: In the building overlooking my small backyard-to-be: Three chairs and a grill outside one apartment. Now, TWO chairs might indicate a couple who liked to sit outside and chat quietly amongst themselves. But THREE chairs?
While I was moving in this weekend, I unfortunately proved my instincts right: During both Saturday and Sunday while moving, a trio of raggedy-looking "Dudes" were hanging out and smoking there. Two were raggedy 20-somethings; the third was a raggedy late-40-something. I said "hello" the first time I passed them carrying a box. As I marched on back and forth with my boxes, the Dudes would stop their conversation and stare. I nodded the first few times, then got annoyed. (Mind your business, Dudes!) Caught a bit of their conversation as I passed: One guy had had his driver's license revoked but hoped to have it reinstated soon.
Over 2 days of my hauling boxes with these guys staring: Their apartment building overlooking mine housed smaller 1-bedroom units. What were two 20-somethings and a 40-something doing living together? Their collective haggard look (and collective dog-walking -- all 3 of the same guys -- which I noticed on one of my later delivery trips) indicated not that they were gay, but that they were sharing something of a halfway house, recuperating and smoking-rather-than-drinking together for $945 per month.
Good for them. But bad for me, since their 3-seat stoop directly overlooks what I'd thought was a bonus of my new place: a backyard. It ain't no backyard for me with 3 Dudes hanging out just above it.
In other Moving-In News: The parking lot where I parked while hauling boxes abutted a small backyard of a tenant's apartment. At 9am Sunday when I arrived, a rough-looking white guy and a couple of Hispanic women were out at their backyard table smoking. I said "Good morning" the first time I passed, but not one of them replied. (I always find that odd: Not responding to a direct greeting!) I had several loads to pick up from my car, and so passed their area several times. I always looked over at them to potentially greet, but not once did they acknowledge me, even though I was a mere 3 feet away from them.
I think my take-away is: If you get a raise and have more money to spend on a place... Get a place where your fellow tenants' income is similar to yours. Not some apparent "mixed-income" refuge that you must share with the Shitty Poor. (As opposed to "The Poor Who Are Trying," as I once was.)
I wonder where/when/with whom I'll begin to live my life.