Wednesday, January 4

Do people in Midtown even wash their clothes?

The apartment hunt continues. Fruitlessly for now.

Monday I conned Phil into coming with me to look at an old Victorian house on Bellevue/Vinton that had been converted into apartments. The maintenance man (who smelled beer-licious) met us there and took us straight through some dude's apartment to get to the vacant one. That kind of creeped us out. Apparently, said dude was getting evicted at the end of the month, so the maintenance man wanted to be sure we knew that apartment would be available too. So we walked carefully through the apartment, taking note of its features when they weren't covered in random stuff from some person's life. It smelled weird in there; he had a snake in a tank, and Phil said he saw a little mouse hopping around inside.

When we finally got through to the actual apartment that was for rent, I was smitten with the stupid little decorative things: stained glass panels above the doorways, big bright windows, a huge window bench that opens up for storage, a fireplace in the bedroom, etc. But there were other things that I knew would be trouble: the tacky brass chandelier with no bulbs, the old rusty doorknobs that a 4-year-old could break if he really put his mind to it, the yellow dishwasher (when's the last decade they made yellow dishwashers?). The good thing was that the place had new central heat and air units. And the ad said it had a washer and dryer. Turns out you have to go outside and into the creepy-ass, moldy, dank basement to get to them. And everyone in the house shares the washer and dryer. I don't even like to go into well-lit basements in houses I know aren't haunted. There's no telling what spiritual residue might reside down there among the Snuggle sheets and Tide!

Of course, this place is located right on the corner of a street I've been told is a mite undesirable. It's just a couple of blocks north of a street that is pretty much the ghetto expressway, and I'd like to try to avoid that if I could.

Phil thought he had secured a place to live in the house with the Makeshift Music kids, but the real estate company called today — even after he toured the place and said "I'll take it" yesterday — and said they're selling that house so he might want to find someplace else to live. So he's back at square one, where I've made a little seating area and set up a buffet of cheese and whine for guests.

Today I have an appointment at 2 to tour a place around Poplar and Auburndale. It's a pretty big two-bedroom with a laundry facility in the building. I swear, it's impossible to find apartments with W/D hookups. The apartment complexes must have a seedy deal with the local laundromats. Gah, this is the peril of trying to find an apartment in a part of town that hasn't seen much new growth in many years. Everything is old and charming as hell and I love it for all of that, but I'm looking for that elusive "Old Midtown charm, new Memphis convenience!" kind of place.

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