Weekend Plans Post: My First Apartment

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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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12 Responses

  1. Avatar Fish
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    says:

    The apartment I lived in right after I PCS’d here cost $1000/month in 1997. Looks like they’ve been renovated and now rent is $1250/month. Not bad.Report

  2. fillyjonk fillyjonk
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    says:

    Location matters, I guess. My first apartment, late 80s into early 90s was in downtown Ann Arbor, in a secure building*. A studio, at $600 a month. Water and heat/AC were paid for, and maybe electric too? I don’t remember if I had an account.

    (*I had looked at some of the old-house apartments that were cheaper and most of them had front doors one good kick would stove in, and the interiors were not any more secure. I was having some…issues…at that time and needed to be somewhere I could lock certain people out of)

    It was small and sometimes depressing but it was secure and wasn’t a bad place to live. I was six stories up and had a nice view. I shudder to think what it would rent for now. (The building – Maynard House – still stands but the University has taken it over and rents it out as apartment-housing for students. I bet I wouldn’t recognize the place if I went back)

    More recently, here, I had a 2-bedroom for $350 a month – I moved out of that in 2001. It was a very basic apartment with ugly Berber carpeting and not enough lighting and I paid for electrical (the heat and ac were electric, and I think the hot water heater was too). It was not as nice as the Ann Arbor apartment in some ways, for one, the walls were MUCH thinner and I could hear my upstairs neighbors playing first-person shooter games into the wee smalls. And I could smell their cigarettes. And they’d flick their butts down onto my patio, even though I asked them not to. Though in retrospect that was probably preferable to the time during the dry spell when one went wide of the mark and burned part of the lawn up….

    I moved out because I bought a house. I bought a house (before I had tenure, even) because the management complained I had too many books and they posed a “fire hazard” (the books were all neatly on shelves, it was NOT a Collier Brothers situation). I figured it wasn’t worth fighting and I was NOT going to rent a storage unit (which they so conveniently said they had available to rent) for my books, so I just bought a house.

    (If my books caught fire, there’d have to already be a fire in the apartment, or it would have to be above 451 degrees Fahrenheit in there, in either of those cases the landlord would have bigger problems than that I had several hundreds of books)

    I own far more books now. That landlord can suck it.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to fillyjonk
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      says:

      Oh my gosh! Ann Arbor! We had moved to New York by that point but my aunt was still living with my grandparents in Chelsea! (We moved away from Canton which was a sneeze-and-you-miss-it township next to Plymouth.)

      Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        IIRC, Chelsea was where the Jiffy Mix milling plant was. I remember we drove past there a few times on field trips for the botany classes I took. (I didn’t have a car when I lived in Ann Arbor; parking was ridiculous)Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to fillyjonk
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          says:

          Yep, the Jiffy Mix plant was on the other side of town from Gran’s. (If your car pool ever stopped for gas in Chelsea, you had a shot at getting gas across the street from Gran’s house! (probably not, unless you drove through town to get it))

          I imagine that Ann Arbor in 1988 is another country completely from what it’s doing now.Report

          • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            I have not been back there since. I also haven’t been back to the town I grew up in (NE Ohio) since 1989, when my parents moved away from there. I’ve looked it up online and the little downtown has become SO much more “corporate” (e.g., Talbot’s and Starbucks replacing the little individual-owned businesses that used to be there. The bookstore – the Learned Owl – is probably the only shop that’s still there that i remember from my childhood)

            I HAVE been back to where I went to grad school; my mom still lives in that town. It has changed a lot in 20 years. The town where I live now has changed a lot, too, but I think you notice the changes less when you live in a place.Report

  3. Avatar Michael Cain
    Ignored
    says:

    You prompted me to spend some time with Google Maps this morning.

    All of the apartments I lived in during college have been razed and replaced with commercial property, churches, something. I assume rental prices in those student ghettos have gone up a lot as the supply declined. My first apartment was an easy walk/bicycle ride from campus. If the apartment still existed that wouldn’t be true: it would be on the wrong side of a four-lane parkway that didn’t exist then with no convenient crossing. The apartment and assorted houses I lived in while I was in New Jersey are still standing. Aside from the trees being much larger, they all look relatively unchanged. The house in Colorado where I’ve lived for the last 32 years (less two weeks) is still here, of course, also with much bigger trees.Report

  4. Avatar Anne
    Ignored
    says:

    Nice post Jay, I had moved out at 18 with my sister and a boyfriend at 18 but this made me think of my first apartment on my own at age 25 in the early 90’s. It was right off Pearl and Colfax in Denver. 1910 building with teeny apartments. It was 320ish square fee for I think $285/month You’d come in the front door and small bathroom on left and the living room/bedroom on your right. Had a full size Murphy bed that rolled into the wall above which was a well, full bed size closet. next to which was a minuscule galley kitchen with half sized appliances and no counter to speak of. On the plus side it had a tiny balcony that I shared with Augie the guy next door. Actually kind of loved that apartment. Taki’s Golden Bowl and a Mexican place that made fresh tortillas were right out on Colfax. I had heard they combined two apartments to make condos out of them at one point but I went to google maps to look and apparently the apartments are now a parking lot for Natural Grocers and Taki’s is now a McDonaldsReport

  5. Avatar Aaron David
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    says:

    Ooo, that first apartment. Right. I moved out at 18, even though I was a townie. I moved out because a month or so post HS, my friend Fil and I hitchhiked and generally bummed around the British isles and when I retruned (one heck of story there!) my soon-to-be step mother had moved in. Well, the two of us are like oil and water, so out I went. My mother owned a property management company, and hooked me and another friend up with a special deal. You see, she had a building, a converted mansion (though you had to look really close to see that) that was going to be renovated, but as the tenants, many long term, were moving out she needed someone around to be there until the end, but could move out quickly. So, there I was. One block from downtown, no one in the building but Jonno and I. Oh, it was good!Report

  6. Avatar Marchmaine
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    says:

    Bopped around in apartments with roommates during grad school… but the first place I’d call my own was the “honeymoon” cottage my wife and I moved into just below Skyline Drive. Lovely views, beautiful sunsets. We got married, moved cross country, started new jobs and set-up house in the same week. Not sure I’d advise a young couple to do that… then again, not sure that I wouldn’t.

    For the Minnesota faction here, I met my wife in St. Paul where I was living with a pal on Cathedral Hill a couple blocks from W.A.Frost… I understand its almost trendy to live there now.Report

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