Domeciles

I have come to the conclusion that every house in downtown Toronto is pretty much the same.  Victorian in construct, about 100 years old.  Enter the front door and immediately be faced with the stairs going up.  To your left (or right, depending on the orientation) you will find the living room, then the dining room, then the kitchen.  If you go up the stairs there will be a small bedroom directly at the top of the stairs, the bathroom off to the left (or right, depending on the orientation), a smallish second bedroom and the master bedroom at the front of the house.

There is a similar pattern to all apartments in Los Angeles built after about 1960.  Living room with an “L” alcove that functions as a dining area with the kitchen attached.  Bedroom off to one side, bathroom off to the other, usually with a small area that houses an ENORMOUS amount of closet space.  Some are carpeted.  Some have hardwood (those that do boast about it).  Some have parking.  Some do not (those that do boast a great deal about it).  Essentially you can plunk this floor plan down anywhere and charge a varying amount of rent depending on area and the presence or absence of hardwood and parking.

These are fine.  There are exceptions, like the little cottage versions I have mentioned before.  The first appointment of the day was one such example, and it was a real contender.  Fantastic area, beautiful floors and windows plus a nice little pond/fountain area.  The pond at first viewing was that cloudy colour that happens when you pour Mr Clean into water, but I optimistically decided that it indicated the pond was  disinfected.  Either that or someone was doing their wash.  There was also a good chance that the fountain feature would keep me in a constant state of having to go to the bathroom but considering I am pretty much like that all the time anyway I didn’t think it would make much of a difference.  No parking, but I was sure I could find a local spot to rent.  This just off Melrose, and a block north of the two bedroom I camped in for a weekend the last time I was here.  “Buchan’s” to those of you paying attention.

All in all it was a good day.  I saw a couple of nice singles right on Fairfax that would have done in a pinch.  Parking, hardwood and unusually large kitchens and bathrooms.

I am slowly learning the lingo.  A 1 bedroom has, as one might expect, a separate bedroom.  A single has one living space but the kitchen is a room on its own.  A bachelor is a single room and the kitchen occupies a portion of the one living area.

Some of the places were nice, some kind of boring.  There was one awful exception.  A one bedroom with what was described on the listing as hardwood.  It was laminate.  There was supposed to be a parking spot, but the agent told me there wasn’t.  The rooms were a good size but the views were of walls, the elevator was run down, creaking and terrifying, the halls smelled like old cooking and the “courtyard” was a concrete space that looked like it would best be served as an exercise yard for some prisoners of the Gulag. AND it was expensive.

The last appointment of the day introduced me to my new digs.  A little one bedroom cottage.  Lots of light, lots of charm.  Hardwood floors, a gas stove in a little kitchen.  Both the kitchen and the bathroom had the vintage tiles I am so fond of.  A fantastic area, four blocks from the local Farmer’s Market.  A walk to the local Target.  A walk to the local grocery store.  A walk to the local Trader Joe’s where one can obtain the best guacamole ever.  Notice the “walk” trend?  Could I be happier?  There is no parking, but Jean the landlady has a friend four doors north who rents spaces and she was pretty sure I could get one.  Jean and I got along like a house afire.  SHE didn’t have an issue with my Nationality.  She told me she could guarantee the place was mine.  We hugged when I left.

And did I mention the place is cheap?  A little less that $500 cheaper per month then the place I got kicked out of yesterday that I was willing to sell my soul for.  I am going to have to start putting more stock in this Karma thing, methinks.

I am delighted. 1314 North Formosa for those of you with an affinity for GoogleMaps.

Time to say goodbye to this part of Hollywood. I may find I miss the crazy mannequin army that guards the place, but I do know where to find it.

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