I would like to learn to do something wonderful.

Tony & Jhayne

We began with Craigslist ads, scanning through pages of apartments that offered beautiful views in inconvenient neighborhoods or move in bonus televisions instead of laundry rooms, weeding them down until we had four likely candidates, two of which called us back to view.

The first building felt like a horror movie set. Wide, dark hallways lined in red, with wavy leaded windows on the stairs occasionally missing a pane of glass. The building manager was a young man, passably nice, slightly more sleazy than eager, who in another situation I might have liked, but in this time and place felt like a liar. The apartments we were shown were much the same. Old, antique, almost pretty, with hardwood floors, high ceilings, and wide, open windows, great to visit, but not to live in, even the newly renovated ones. The kitchens were cramped hallways thin as the galley of a small sailing ship, with washrooms much the same, but more awkward, and the entire building slanted as if entire rooms had bumped their heads and never quite recovered. The word charming was thrown around, as was quaint. It was a relief to leave it behind.

Our second building, thankfully, was not so disheartening an experience. As buildings go, it was merely uninteresting. The outside looked promising, a great red brick edifice shaped like a castle, and the hallways were nice, as befit its history as a posh art deco hotel, but the room itself was less than inspiring. We were more concerned with the shaky emotional state of the nice, young building manager whose grandmother was in the hospital than for the space she showed us, crooked, cramped, filled constantly the sound of the I5 louder than live music. When we left, we were glad we let her vent about her family, but also that we’d never be back.

Capital Hill is currently bristling with APARTMENT FOR RENT signs, however, so we called and took reference photos of at least one building every block we passed on our way to lunch at the B&O, basing our choices on capricious things like garden friendliness or how much we liked the font of their signs. Though we’d been having a rough start, our mood was far from dire. Instead we were having fun, finding an unexpected delight in our arbitrary superficial judgments. Even better, they snagged us the perfect place.

The phone rang over lunch, “We could come by in half an hour,” we said. “Perfect,” they replied, “Come on down.”

Our first good sign was the woman waiting for us outside, Penny, and our second was her amused reaction to our amused reaction to the “flesh” tone dildo tied to a pair of colour matched expensive leather boots hanging from a telephone wire just across the street. Smiling, competent, she seemed immediately our sort of person. As did the building once we were inside, a 1920’s three story, with six or so apartments on every floor, even the foyer was gorgeous. Someone had come through and meticulously faux finished every wall to be a fancifuly distressed work of art. From then on in, it was all roses. The apartment itself was utterly lovely. Graceful, airy, well balanced, with wide, pretty windows, and incredible light. Describing it feels like trying to capture dance. Even cluttered with the detritus of someone else’s life, it glowed with the possibilities of home.

Tony put the deposit down on Thursday. We move in right after we get back from SF.

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