Critiquing the Viewing of the Dwelling

There are a lot of apartments in this world. Some of them are livable. Lemme tell you what…

There’s a place in the Marina with bay windows and a couple of big bedrooms. Hardwood floors. Private entry. Nice Chinese landlady. View to the bay (just a little). Extra room, almost as big as the bedrooms. Dining room’s gigantic too.

There’s another place in the Mission, on a corner. Got a lot of character and some nice bedrooms, really sunny. Been painted a dozen or more times and we could do the same. Sliding door between the bedrooms. Lots of stuff in the neighborhood, markets and little stores and maybe a crazy-cool neighbor downstairs.

Both places cost the same. They’re both spacious and close enough to public transit. Awesome party houses, if that turned out to be our thing. There are four roommates and we’re split down the middle. Not two and two, but each one of us liking the both of them. We applied to one. The other gets put in tomorrow. How do you decide these things? A coin toss seems somehow inadequate. They’re both good.

Then again, the Mission one is in what some would call “el Barrio.” Those charming taquerias and markets and community parks might harbor gang-bangers at night. The paint is peeling outside and the common courtyard has stained asphalt and a half-dozen neighbor’s windows. Loud music bumped from the place next-door, and I’d assume more of the same. The guy downstairs could just as easily be crazy-crazy. Valencia, the cool street in the Mission, is way farther than I’d like it. I think it’s also possible there’s ten people living next door.

But in contrast, the Marina spot is as boring as a lobotomy. There are enough cool restaurants to shake a toothpick at. A flavorless, bland and splintered toothpick. Union street is close, at several blocks away, and has lots of charming… upscale shops. Every room is ample (and then some) save for the kitchen—which wraps around both the hot water heater and the recycling and the back door and indeed, despite it’s granite-osity, still manages to seem cramped and uninviting. Did I mention that this place is situated on the main highway? Yeah, that’s our doorstep.

I’m not sure if I told everyone who reads this yet: me and three others are currently seeking an apartment in San Francisco. We’ve been living together in a small room on the fifth floor of a hostel in the Financial District, one that now houses a total of six, and we really want to move out by April 1st.

We’re gonna get a cat.