Alright, this is the contradiction that is me. ("I am large; I contain multitudes.")
My two front runners for the new apartment are cookie-cutter apartments. Yep. I don't know, maybe it only takes a few really depressing, dark, no-doors-on-the-bathroom places that go for $1200 a month in the City to open one's eyes to the beauty of clean, neat-cornered, be-windowed places of cookie-cutter fame.
And maybe I'm learning that there is a lot of variation in what I've glommed together into one category as cookie-cutter. The very first places we were looking at were very large complexes, one right after another. All with names that suggested that whatever filled that field before was much, much better than what fills it now: Whispering Willows, The Lakes, Oak Grove, Fox Run. You get the idea.
The sense we had the first day we looked at some of these places was of being in a ghetto--these complexes, one piled on top of the other beside the freeway, felt like the place someone decided to pile up all the people who couldn't afford to buy their own home. There was no air. No life.
The two places on the top of my list aren't like that. The first one is a very small complex--maybe 50 units in all (maybe less, can't recall). They are Cape Cod style, whatever that means. I think it means they look a little like cottages, only there are apartments on the first and second floor. This all means that it is small enought that it has the feel of a neighborhood. And there are trees, grass, and bushes around the outside. The biggest selling point is a little wood-burning fireplace in each apartment.
The other place we're considering just intrigues the heck out of me. It is a brand new building project in what I believe is a brand new town. In fact, it's a "master planned community." The apartments are billed as "luxury apartments" and include a built-in microwave, a dishwasher (never, ever had a dishwasher other than my dear partner), and a washer and dryer in the apartment. These places are so new that they're not even quite open yet. So we would be the first ones to ever live in the space. (It's like a little Sims apartment, isn't it?)
Here's the kicker about these two front-runners, though: they are more affordable than the tiny, dark, crummy places in the City. Something to think about.
So tomorrow afternoon we're going out to visit both, after E gets out of school. I am very excited. And I'll be sure to write an update as soon as I can.