Tuesday, March 31, 2009

California Apartment #3

Though we love the charm of our current apartment, readers of this blog know it falls short in two major areas: no central AC, and an abundance of mosquitoes thanks to ancient, inept screens. We suffered through these for one summer but cannot do it again—or, rather, I, the pregnant girl, cannot do it again. Fortunately, Andrew seems to be on the same page, even though all the box-lifting during our upcoming move will be on his shoulders this time.

Our requirements for our next California apartment are clear: central AC, a washer and drier (or hookups for them), good screens in the windows, and not next to a highway, in a complex that will send me into a Valley of the Dolls-style meltdown. This time around, we’re willing to sacrifice the charm in favor of conveniences and comfort we’ll probably appreciate with a newborn—we’ll get back to charm when we get back East.

We’ve begun our search. At first, we decided to expand our reach beyond Sacramento into suburbs like Natomas and Roseville, just to see what was out there, perhaps in a newer development. But our exploration of Natomas and Roseville came to a quick halt when we failed to find any apartments that didn’t look like prison cells. “Looks like a prison,” we kept remarking. “Prison-like.” “Like being in prison.” Natomas is the kind of place where there are no trees, lots of highways, and an abundance of shopping plazas—like an alien invasion of shopping plazas. (Natomas is where Andrew and I saw a man with a snake around his neck walking across a Wal-Mart parking lot.) Needless to say, we will not be moving there.

So we’re back to searching in Sacramento, as well as in the foothills—Auburn, Nevada City, Grass Valley. I’m actually leaning towards those at this point. They’re cute little towns, very quaint, with a satisfying small-town feeling; I can imagine having a nice summer and fall there, and, eventually, pushing a little stroller around the charming streets. We shall see.

Last night we drove around Sacramento, checking out a few listings, with little luck: almost all of them had window AC units, a sure sign that there’s no central AC. I ask you: how can these people live in the hottest city on earth without central AC? And how did so many people have their windows open last night—windows without screens? Aren’t they attacked by mosquitoes at 3am? Obviously Andrew and I are missing the required tolerances one must have to live here. And so our search—our specific-requirement search—begins.


Michelle said...

I don't think i can overemphasize the need to be able to walk with a newborn. And even better if you can get somewhere on that walk that provides comforting pastries and kind glances.

E.M. said...

I'm envious of You. I'm a Californian currently living in God forsaken Texas. I used to live in the foothills above Marysville just below Grass Valley off of Hway 20 and can't wait for my son to graduate highschool so that we can once again live in the best part of California. Once I move back West I will hopefully never have a reason to travel east of the Rockies. Enjoy your newborn amongst the awesome outdoors and hidden waterfalls that only the locals know.

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