It’s been a month you guys!
We can still see the rug on our bedroom floor, and the only thing under the bed are dust bunnies and the occasional cat.
I don’t have anything super-noteworthy to say, I just wanted to mark the day. It really is hard to believe we’ve been living a month in our new place. Some eclectic observations:
- I don’t miss our old neighborhood as much as I thought I would. Is that disloyal? I’m not sure yet. Part of the reason is that we still live in the same city and maybe 80% of our time is spent in the same spaces as before the move. Hanna and I both miss walking passed the brookline booksmith more days than not, and being near Trader Joe’s, and 4A Coffee on Harvard Ave. but other than that … I’m so actively happy to be where we are in so many ways, I don’t have room to miss the old. I wonder if I ever will? Maybe I’m done with that chapter and ready to move on.
- Maple trees have a distinctive presence and sound to them; I grew up in a house surrounded by old maples and hadn’t realized until moving to JP that I missed them. Now when its windy or rains and I hear the trees outside I can relax. Sleeping has been a wonderful thing because the sounds are right again.
- Having a porch expands the size of our apartment beyond its already wonderfully expansive 860 square feet.
- A ceiling fan (in our living room) is amazing as a tool for cooling the space on hot days.
- Kitchen counters! Kitchen counters! Kitchen counters!
- For some reason, Hanna and I decided to start using the dishwasher when we moved here, despite the fact we never used the “adult box” that was in our old apartment. I am really surprised at how much it lowers the stress level of our evenings and makes cooking together a pleasurable activity. Sometimes, labor-saving devices are worth the hype.
- We now live in a neighborhood with a much higher Latino/a population than Allston, and that’s something else that feels like home (Michigan) to me in a way I hadn’t noticed missing until we were passing neighbors on our way home with a much broader range of ethnic diversity than on our previous commute. Even the music from the car stereos that pass our front windows feels more familiar. (And yum! the Cuban restaurant up the road makes the best horchata!).
- Gentrification. It’s a thing, and I’ve been thinking about it. I have days where I’m like, “What’s so elitist and destructive about wanting to live within walking distance of where you work?” That is, after all, the way most workers have gotten to work for centuries. But I’m also aware that as early-career professionals, Hanna and I fit a profile — one of people who are actively courted and catered to. While our neighbors here are often invisible at best and actively erased at worst. According to the Boston Globe, only about 15% of market-rate housing in JP is “affordable” … for families making $80k per year. There’s a lot of upward pressure on this already impossible market. We’re working to do what we can not to contribute to that, while embracing JP as a (hopefully long-term) home for us as well.
- Did I mention how wonderful a back porch is to enjoy?
- And neighbors that invite you to their barbecues instead of engaging in intimate partner violence on a near-nightly basis?