Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Be it ever so humble... welcome to Bonar Avenue

Well, here it is & here I am—typing from my new (well, new to me) apartment in Waynesburg, Pa.  My sister Shawn, her husband Jim & his older son Michael arrived at my place in Pittsburgh this past Friday with a U-Haul, and thanks to their very generous help (and my brother-in-law’s skills at assembling furniture—the dining set I bought from IKEA and the bookcases I got for my livingroom & bedroom were still in flat boxes) by Sunday morning there wasn’t a moving carton, bag or tool in sight. 

There’s still plenty to do, as the walls are mostly bare and I need to find a new armchair for the living room.  But the hard part is done, and I can’t thank Jim & Shawn enough.  To say I’m in their debt would be an understatement—I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for their help.

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Steps leading upstairs to my apartment; the first door on the right & wow, artwork in the hallways—just like on tv

Here’s some pics of the place so far—it’s certainly not one of your more modern apartment buildings, but so what, it has a kitschy charm all it’s own. The owners seem kind and honest, and take great pride in the property. 

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No more digital thermostats!  When I asked Sue (my landlord) how I adjust the heat this winter, she said “you turn the knob on your radiators on or off”

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One of the two “industrial” bookcases my brother-in-law Jim assembled for me; doesn’t it look great?   (The other one is in the bedroom.)

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My new couch was waiting for me the morning I moved in, thanks to my landlord who went to the furniture store & picked it up for me!  

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My galley kitchen, sure do love all the windows in here—and a gas range, that’s a first for me

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My new table & chairs from IKEA—I’m going back this weekend to get some seat cushions

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I’m really digging the green-tile & pedestal sink, this puts my bath in Pittsburgh to shame

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The bedroom, and everybody’s favorite room in the apartment—I’m not doing it justice, it’s twice as wide as seen here, with a large closet, dresser & another window on the opposite side

What’s ironic about moving here is how the other tenants see me; at my former place in Pittsburgh, the building had been overtaken by millennials, who regarded myself & three other tenants (Bill, Jim & Theresa) as the “old timers”.  Here, I’m currently the youngest tenant--as several of my new neighbors have let me know.  “Oh, you’re the young man from the city!”  Yep, that’s me.  Smile

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Twelve days and counting until the big move… glad but a little sad to see the old place go

 

This past Friday I was on the phone with Verizon, terminating my phone & internet effective the last week of September.  Unlike my other utilities which took all of 10 minutes to cancel, Verizon wasn’t letting me go that easily.  (They told me they couldn’t do a thing without my account number, which I didn’t have as my bill has been auto-paid thru my bank for the past several years; when I finally found an old paper bill, I discovered it was my phone number!  They couldn’t have told me that upfront?!)  Douglas, are you sure you want to do this??  Yes.  You don’t want to move your services to your new address??  No.  We hate to lose your business, you’ve been at this phone number since October 1, 1994.  Wait, 1994?  I’ve been in this apartment even longer than I thought.

Before moving here, I lived farther outside the city in Sharpsburg.  Our main street had no less than 13 bars, and a Stop N’ Go directly across from my place had the distinction of being the most-robbed convenience store in Allegheny County.  I had a wooden balcony you couldn’t go out on (it was black from being on the main drag) and a little laundry room (with no washer, only a dryer & laundry sink where I washed all my clothes out by hand).  Still, it was my first apartment in the city and man, I loved it.

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The Sharpsburg apartment, 1989-1994; it sure was blue!

I had so much fun there; I did my share of dating, and my sister Shawn visited every other weekend.  And then one day I came home from work to find a Sheriff’s Notice on the front door; the other tenant & myself were being evicted.  The owner (a compulsive gambler) had not been making tax or mortgage payments on the property, and been served with a foreclosure notice.  When I shared the bad news with my office, my IT manager suggested I move to Bellevue.  Dougie it has a movie theater, grocery store, banks, shopping—you can walk to everything.  (I didn’t drive at the time so that was a big plus.)  “It’s also a dry town, not a bar for miles.”  I was sold.

I made appointments to see a couple apartments for rent (both basement setups & big let-downs) but it was after checking out the second one that I saw Monroe Apts over the hillside, and told my friend Elisa (who’d grown up in the area and was tagging along) that’s where I wanted to live.  I said “I’m going to be just like Mary Richards, who left her apartment house on Weatherly and moved into a high-rise closer to the city!”  Elisa said “Who’s Mary Richards?”

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My current place on Monroe (before I got my flat-screen tv and some other things)

 

And here I’ve been, ever since.  I’m a little excited, a little nervous but I’m ready to move on.  To be honest, I’ve been ready for awhile--the building changed ownership several years ago, from a private owner who screened tenants carefully and took great care maintaining the property, to the current slumlords who’ve let the place go downhill.

Still, for what it’s worth… it was a good run.  Smile

 

           

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