Thursday, August 21, 2003

Apartment Hunting....Part Deux....(the search continues)

Because the first Tour of Chicago apartments didn't yield a gem, I wandered the streets of Wrigleyville on Monday, searching for more candidates. And found several. In addition, I made an appointment with a real estate agent to look at several in the Logan Square/Bucktown neighborhoods.

Yesterday was the culmination of that effort. Surprisingly, after having a boring-as-hell day on Tuesday, yesterday turned out to be as busy as hell.

It all actually started on Tuesday, when I adecided to actually get up off my lazy butt and get motivated. I went to the tax office in the afternoon, and while there, decided to check the Loyola email system. For what, I don't know, but it turned out that my professor in Oxford, who runs the ethics part of first year orientation, needed discussion leaders for Wednesday, and would I be able to help?

Now this presented a problem, since he needed me at 11, and my appointment to look at apartments was also at 11. But one quick call later, and I'd pushed it back to 12. So I called him and told him I'd be there. Of course, he asked me to come at 8:45 to pick up the materials I'd need.

So me, in all my genius, decided I should a.) save money and b.) save time, by taking the train into the Loop. I caught the 7:00 am shuttle bus to the train station (cost: $1.25, reduced by the driver to $1.00 when I mentioned I had no change, and she wanted to get going). I then hopped on the 7:25 express train to Chicago - only to find out that back in January, the Metra ticket agent had given me a Zone E ticket, when I really needed a Zone F ticket. So I had to cough up an additional buck. Argh.

Halfway to Chicago, it dawned on me that the evening shuttles only ran until 6:30, and I had an appointment on Belmont and Seminary at 6:00. There was no way I'd be able to make the last shuttle, so I'd just signed myself up for a two-mile walk from the train station to my apartment. Genius.

Then things really started to go into the toilet. The discussion group didn't get started on time, so instead of ending at 11:50 we ended at 12:05. Five minutes after I was supposed to be at the real estate agent's. Fortunately, his 1:00 was seeing the same apartments I was, so we just picked her up at 1:05, and kept on going. Unfortunately, I was supposed to be done by 1:30, and we didn't finish until 2:00, which made me late for another appointment. That appointment ran long, too, so I wound up being late to my 4:00 (none of these were near each other, and I had built time in for travel, but obviously not enough). I wound up grabbing a Whopper at the State of Illinois building food court and trying to eat it on the 'L' on the way to the 4:00. It worked for a bit, but then I started getting sauce my only decent pair of shorts.

The 4:00 appointment turned out to be a very nice apartment. I was stunned, actually, since everything I've looked at so far has been disappointing, to say the least. I told the lady I'll be in touch, and unless something better comes along (typical guy frame of mind there) I will. But right now, it's the leader.

I can't be as nice about the 6:00, which was the only appointment I made it to on time (actually early). First, I wound up standing around waiting with someone who's (male) roommate had already looked at the apartment, and all she "needed to do was look at it." That, of course, implies that boyfriend liked the place, and that they might be ready to sign on the lease. Then, Brad (landlord), showed up. Brad didn't have the right keys, which proved frustrating (I wanted to say something nasty, but couldn't, since this only seemed to be par for the course on this apartment hunt). Angie was obviously pissed off at this, but after a bit, Brad managed to open up the apartment and let us in. In the meantime, another potential tenant arrived for a look.

It took about three seconds to rule the place out. Supposedly the place had recently been "gut rehabbed," but if that was the case, then the previous tenant (who had supposedly moved out only the day before) had really trashed the place. I wasn't buying it, nor was the other woman. We both took a quick look around, and bolted. Angie, however, remained behind, talking to Brad. The main positive was that the other woman turned out to be very nice, and pleasant to talk to - and fairly attractive (Angie was as well - I'm looking forward to living in the city). We chatted for a few minutes, before we both had to leave, and to my surprise, she gave me her card and told me to keep in touch...

I walked about half a mile back to my friend Tim's apartment (I'd walked there earlier, too, in between the 4:00 and 6:00 appointments), and we had dinner at Sabo, a nice place on Southport, not far from his apartment. I wound up catching the Brown line 'L' back downtown, making it the third line I'd ridden that day (after the Red line and Blue line), and wound up getting back to Naperville at 10:30 (the evening conductor never noticed I had the wrong ticket). It took me around 40 minutes to walk back to the apartment (after the requisite stop at the DQ for a Snickers Blizzard). But at least it was a nice night.

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