My journey to find an apartment in Portland has been a long one, but I’m thrilled to say that I finally found a place and signed the lease! Originally, I planned to find an open room in a house with 2-3 other roommates. After sending out about 70 emails in two weeks and getting only 20 replies – half of which were downright bizarre or awkward, for example: “Hi u sound like a good roommate do u want to live with me and my boyfriend? He’s in a band so u have to be ok with late night practice.” NOPE. “Hello Katie, you sound like a lovely young woman. I have a room in my basement available if you would like to live with my family. We are a couple with three kids ages 9, 3, and 4 months.” NO WAY. “I know you would like to live close to the city but I have a farm 30 miles away from Portland if you are interested.” WHAT?
This search was the source of much frustration and confusion, but the payoff finally came when I received an email from my roommate-to-be Emmaline. Her situation wasn’t *exactly* what I was looking for – she had an apartment alone and wanted to find a different place with a roommate – but her first email was long and detailed (a dream come true for a control freak like myself!) and gave me a good sense of who she is. We have been emailing and talking on the phone for the past month while trying to find an available apartment and the communication has been so clear and easy-going! I feel like we will be great roommates.
A little about our place – it is a 2 bedroom/1 bath apartment in a small 6-unit complex in the inner SE (this area is on the eastern edge of the “hipster downtown”). Emmaline and I really wanted to find a place within walking distance from all the best places in town, especially since she doesn’t have a car! The apartment doesn’t allow pets which puts my dreams of a kitten on hold, but that’s fine since kittehs are expensive to feed and take care of! I’ve just channeled all of my energy into making DIY projects for my room (I’ll blog later with pictures of each!)
The above map shows the Portland metro area with labels of a few important landmarks in my life. As you can see, the place I lived in the summer was so far away! It would take me about 15-20 minutes to drive to work every morning and a solid 30 to drive to my friend Katie’s house. I felt so reliant on friends whenever we would go out on the weekends because it was impossible to walk home or take a taxi ($$$) so I usually ended up sleeping at their place or not drinking. Plus, even going downtown in the daytime required me to pay for parking or spend 30-40 minutes on public transportation. Now, I can just walk!
This map is zoomed in on downtown and my apartment. During the summer, I would run from my apartment to the University of Portland and back and that was exactly 3 miles. It felt like nothing and only took 20 minutes! If I want to do that same workout at my new apartment, I’ll be able to run downtown! But on a more important note, my apartment is super close to all of the best bars. It is only 2 miles away from my favorite bar, Rontom’s, and even shorter if I use side-streets! I’m sure my friends will use my place to crash and I’m bringing an air mattress just for them! The entire rectangle from my apartment to the waterfront is completely made up of cafes, little shops, and bars, meanwhile the traditional downtown (CBD or central business district) is mainly businesses and scuzzy clubs. I’m so excited that we found a place in such a perfect location!
It is a bit scary moving into a place sight unseen, but that’s how I’ve lived the past 4 years and it has always worked out. Plus the landlady was kind enough to send us a YouTube tour of the place. Emmaline visited and chatted with the current resident and said it was so nice. The current resident is also leaving me a twin mattress and box spring for free! So much better than the double-tall air mattress I was planning on living with!
I’ll update you all with a full photo-tour once we move everything in and get settled in!