It seems all of us (or at least most of us) here at One Fine Philly have recently relocated or will soon. I'm jumping into the fray -- my lease isn't up until end of December, but there are a lot more properties on the market now than there will be over the Xmas-New Year's holiday. And who really wants to move New Year's Day? I plan to cultivate quite a hangover, and I wouldn't want relocation plans interfering.
Anyway, I was looking in the South of Federal, East of Broad area. Italian Market, Bella Vista, call it what you will -- it's where I work (!Employment = Yay!) and it's convenient to public transportation. But the neighborhood is apparently a little to up-and-came, and I need more up-and-coming, financially speaking. With a job in arts, it simply isn't wise to have rent exceed 3 weeks' pay. Although I do like pasta ... and cereal. My beer tastes are a bit more refined, though, so I can't exactly spend ALL my money on rent.
A dear friend lives in Point Breeze, and I've admired her house the whole time I've known her. Gorgeously rehabbed, on a fairly quiet side street, with a deluxe kitchen, back yard, finished basement, central air, and laundry room ... it's a dream! Point Breeze has a bad rap as a drug drop zone -- apparently, the mafia would drop the drugs right on Point Breeze Ave. and the dealers would head up and down that street, delivering to the north and south. Fun! But when I've visited at night, I've met with friendly older generations sitting on their front steps, watching as children play and talking quietly. I've been introduced to at least six new neighbors in two visits. And more importantly, I've been able to imagine Luke playing in the nearby park, riding his bike down the side streets, and playing with kids his age.
So when a house that was EXACTLY like my friend's, rehabbed by the same owner, became available, I jumped! Unfortunately, I should have jumped a couple of weeks earlier -- someone had put a deposit down right before me, but because of a mix-up I thought for a day and a half that I had the place. Talk about letdown! I consoled myself with the distance from the Broad Street line and the necessity of cabs late at night. Still, it felt like a blow -- I had started thinking about where my furniture would go, what colors to paint the walls ... the works.
Just tonight I found another house in the neighborhood. Different owner this time, but SAME BLOCK as my friend, on her sweet side street. Not quite as nice a rehab, but still very nice ... and somewhat cheaper rent, which is all good! I refuse to get my hopes up as high as they were, but I still find myself thinking ...
could this be home?
Maybe this is all too intimate to be interesting, dear readers. But I do know this: we all feel the pull of a place that's more than just where we keep our stuff. A place we can curl up and feel comfort. A place to bring friends, a place to bring family. A place that wraps us in its arms at the end of a rough day, where we can say, "it's good to be home."
I'm hoping that by the New Year, I'll be home.