Where to Live: A Scouting Mission
0 comment Wednesday, October 8, 2014 |
Tuesday, I went on a mission, to decide where I should live in Washington, DC. While my girlfriend, Karen, has been gracious enough to host me in her apartment since I moved, and while I'm looking for a job, I don't have quite enough room to stretch out... and by that I mean there is no place to store my 1977 Schwinn Paramount tandem.
I've been hitting the Craigslist posts pretty religiously, and finally thought I had something great. It was a big house on the Red Line, and the roommate was a geochemist who knew a lot about vulcanology. For those of you who know me, what better arrangement than living with someone knowledgeable about aa and pahoehoe? The only problem was because it was late at night, freezing, and last minute when Karen and I visited (by car), I didn't have any idea about getting to and from the area by bike. So the next day, I decided to scout my potential living situation.
My goal was to use the same process that I tried in Denver, it goes roughly like this:
1) Find where you work, or will likely work
2) Find where you will spend a bunch of time
3) Decide to live somewhere in between the two that is accessible by bike
In Denver it worked great, I worked downtown, went to D.U. almost every day, and lived near 8th Ave and Inca, four blocks from the Cherry Creek Bike path that would take me between those places. D.C., is much more expensive in certain areas, and living at the midpoint was not a realistic option, especially with 6 bikes to accomodate.
This time I thought a little out of the way might be OK, so I tried this route:

Getting from Karen's house (denoted by the orange text "special lady") to the house (blue X marked "too far") took a little over four miles. Getting from there to work (denoted as "Daily Grind", and no, I don't work at a coffee shop), took about five and a half. Returning to Karen's took another two and a quarter. Perhaps I was influenced by the recent deep freezes, or perhaps it's the reckless taxis, or the harrowing tactics of all D.C. delivery drivers, but I just felt like if I could avoid the extra commute miles, I ought to.
I checked out another place for the same price right across Rock Creek Park from Karen's apartment, about one and a third miles away (denoted by the fuscia X and "OK"). It had about as much space, with much closer proximity to the places I want to be. For all of you economists reading, I bet you are asking, "well, if it's closer, and the same price, there must be some trade off, high crime, no roof, a loud nightclub upstairs, etc. to justify the low relative price."
Correct! The trade off is that one of my roommates will be a six year old boy. I haven't met the kid yet, but his mom, Colleen, tells me he's a real swell kid, and that he frightens her when he bombs the hill into the park on his bike to see how fast he can go. Sounds like we'll probably get along. Only time will tell, but there is this luxury that most D.C. residents don't get, I have a private bathroom and office, and plenty of safe basement for my fleet of bikes.

Labels: , ,