• It's safer.
  • This wasn't a big one, because I was never really concerned for my safety at my last place. I decided long ago that I wasn't going to live in fear of anything - life's too short for that shit - so it didn't bother me if I had to park a few blocks away late at night, when no one else seemed to be around except for the cops that walked around the neighborhood after dark (THAT was reassuring). Granted, I'm not likely to be mistaken for a helpless little lass, or even a person with more than $5 in my pocket, but the possibility of theft was not lost on me.

  • We're on the ninth floor.
  • Living on the ground floor sounded great, at first - it was easy to move in and I had my own front door. But after a week or two, I realized that I didn't like people glancing in when I had the curtains open, and that the lock on my door wasn't great, and that there were tall bushes around my corner of the building that could easily hide anyone trying to get in through a window. I had some expensive (or expensive-looking) electronic equipment in there, and since I knew it wouldn't be hard to break in, I usually kept my blinds shut to avoid advertising it to the neighborhood.

    Here, the only people that wander by are nine stories down, and the only people looking through my blinds are the girls across the way (that story in a minute). I like having the blinds open, so the sun can come in, and I don't feel quite to voyeuristic (or voyeuristicized?) here.

  • The neighbors are friendlier.
  • It seems I never related this story here. On the day we moved in, I was taking a quick shower while our impromptu moving crew was relaxing out on the balcony after getting everything inside. Somebody noticed a girl across the courtyard, on a balcony of the opposing building (the south tower of our building, actually), and she was watching them with binoculars. Schmitty found himself a marker, wrote his cell number on my whiteboard, and held it up for her to see. When she called, he invited her and her roommate over, and they spent an hour or two just shooting the shit on our balcony. This is how we came to know Autumn and Jasmyn, who we're seen a few times since then. The other day, after Jym and I went grocery shopping, we were standing at the elevator with big armloads of groceries, waiting to go up. A young couple got in before us, and when they realized they were on the same floor, they offered to help us carry our stuff. Turns out, they're across the hall and one apartment down from us, and promised not to be shy about letting us know if we ever get too loud.

    People say good morning in the elevator. They offer one another a helping hand when someone is trying to get up a few stairs with a stroller. People smile at each other. It's the little things that make this place so much warmer and friendlier, something I never saw in my old neighborhood.

  • We've got a balcony.
  • And it's totally sweet. I know we've been extolling the pool-view virtues of the thing for a while now, but it's so much more than that. I woke up yesterday to a beautiful sunny morning in the mid-70's, so I dragged our little kitchen table out there and did some writing in the sun.

  • Location.
  • We're in the perfect spot. I can Metro home drunk and get back without paying for a cab. I can wander over to a few different bars (and a liquor store).

  • Price.
  • Divide rent three ways and it gets real cheap.

  • It's just so much more awesome, OK?
  • For serious.