Friday, July 6, 2007

For Jolene

My mom and I had a "game" we liked to play on Sundays when I was growing up. We'd look through the real estate section of the Sunday paper and each select the house we liked. Cost was not a barrier in this game. Because one would assume that one has just won the lottery the previous evening. Sometimes we would follow up with checking out the model homes at a new subdivision in the afternoon. My mom said that they were a great place in which to get decorating ideas. This is the same mother who would sometimes suggest a Saturday afternoon trip to the hardware store. Not to buy anything per se. Just to browse. A miter saw can still make the woman drool.

Lately I have subjected Jolene to this game to some extent. Ever since the Cohens moved to Berkeley, in fact. Occasionally I email her links to cool houses for sale that I have spotted around town or on the internet.

I started to get a little stir crazy with this not working thing. Two weeks off is plenty of time for me. Especially since I am not doing the professional partygirl thing these days. My wallet thanks me for that. Leaves a lot more money to spend on other stuff. Like food. Books. The new pan. Clothes. You get the picture. So what to do? Take a bunch of photos for Jolene.

Obviously these folks don't know how I love to shop. The shrink is cheaper.

Now these first couple of houses look like the some of the ones I drool over in the Sunday ads. But would I really want to live in a neighborhood like this? Because looking at homes like these I can see how BWB refers to Berkeley as being suburbia. It's kind of like the feeling I get driving through St. Francis Woods in San Francisco.

And then reality sets in. I dream of the day when I will finally own a place. But then there's that problem I was discussing with one of my neighbors on the back stairs the other night. (I was taking out the trash. She was having a cigarette and a glass of wine. Because that's the kind of place in which I live. Cocktails and cigs on the front or back stairs.) I love my neighborhood and really can't imagine living anywhere else.

I love the mixture of single family homes...

with four-plexes and duplexes ...

with funky apartment buildings.

And houses that once were houses but now are dental offices. Actually now there are a great number of houses that were first houses and then became dental/medical offices and now are houses once more. Because the dentists decided that there was more money to be made out of renting the places out than to keep them as offices.

This is the longest that I have stayed at any one address except for that place I sometimes try to forget -- my mom's house. For the first time ever, though, I have a hard time trying to imagine living anywhere else.

Oh, and if I don't get back to work soon, I am sure there will be more photos taken around town appearing here. Because I'm going just a wee bit stir crazy.

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