Sunday, August 17, 2008

porter square for the duration

i found a sublet! and the entire experience has been so lovely that it is kind of reinforcing everything i started this project to embody (and it hasn't even gotten off the ground yet!)

plodding home from the gym friday after work, i idly decided that this would be the weekend i would get this taken care of. i've been looking pretty steadily since i found my new apartment, but i think i just decided that two weeks was enough time, and this was when i was going to make it happen.

saturday i saw a craigslist posting for a sublet ending october 1 (perfect!) but starting immediately - eek! still, i figured i'd get in touch with them and go see the place, and then see what i decided. i spent most of the day hanging out with a friend, and eventually made an appointment to see the place at 9pm. and i loved it! it's a 4 or 5br, 2 bath space that takes up the upper two stories of a three story house. it has two balconies, a nice big backyard, a large kitchen, two living rooms and a guest room, and it's two minutes' walk away from the porter square t station. i got a great feeling from the house and the new roommates, and i have been saying for a couple of weeks that porter square is the last frontier.

i work at kendall, stayed off of central when i was visiting boston, currently live in harvard and was couchsurfing at davis when i first arrived. i am frequently in inman on walks to the cbc, occasionally find myself around lechmere, and have even spent a bit of time in union square. all i need to do now is get comfortable in avon hill, teele square and porter, and all of cambridge will have become my playground in three short months.

anyway, the catch was: how was i going to find someone to take my current room on almost no notice? i decided to work my hardest to make that happen, but not stress about it - if it turned into a big ordeal, it almost certainly wasn't supposed to work out and i'd find something else.

i posted it on facebook, on couchsurfing, on the csail listserv. i asked my housemates. one of them said that she wouldn't mind someone from craigslist, which is the one thing i wasn't doing because i wasn't sure if craigslist could be relied upon to turn up someone i felt comfortable leaving in my place on such short notice. so, i posted it (no pictures) and waited.

i heard from ten people in as many hours, but i made my first concrete appointment with the first person who wrote back. he liked the place, so i canceled all my scheduled appointments and called my potential new housemate to see if her room was still available. and it was! so then i packed up all my stuff. it has only taken me an HOUR; i'm so impressed with that.

i am probably 85% packed and all of this will only take one trip with a regular sized car. (i am putting off renting a zipcar because i am still sore about those late fees from wednesday.) i am waiting for paul to get here and pay, and then i'll figure out the handoff of the keys with him; i am going to porter to pick up my new keys tonight between 4 and 5. this is what i love about boston; in 24 hours, two people have found housing and for me, the transition is getting pretty close to seamless.

this morning i woke up early to clean the house a little. i'm leaving my couches for the moment, so i didn't have to worry about moving any furniture, but i made my bed (for the first and last time) and tidied up the bathroom. then i tackled the kitchen: i put all the dishes in the dishwasher, washed all the surfaces, scrubbed the stove and stovefront, cleaned out the sink, microwaved the sponge full of water to steam off some of the crud and then washed the microwave with the hot soapy sponge (this is a genius idea; i don't know where i got it but it makes everything so much easier), and then swept. it was kind of lovely to be up early in a clean house with no one else stirring - it reminded me why i'm so energized by the idea of living alone! (cleaning is only wonderful if it is up to you how long something stays clean.)

after paul left, i sat around online, calling people and trolling craigslist for cabinets - it never ends. eventually, i got up and very calmly and efficient packed my belongings away. the last things i have to do are:

-pack a small amount of ceramics
-pack my clean laundry
-wash my comforter and stack it
-wash all the linens i am leaving, as well as the ones i have left in my closet this whole time, for paul.

and then i'm done. i just checked out zipcar times and it looks like the lot by my house should be filling back up around 7; i will keep checking with people i know and hoping i don't have to worry about it, but bostonians with cars are in demand and few and far between. if i have to zip, it's not the end of the world.

when i was in the kitchen earlier, packing up my groceries in the boston organics box i received this week (they fit comfortably enough so nothing will shake or move too much, but the box is not quite full), i thought about how elegant, almost graceful this whole move has been. no stress, no sense of wrenching pain or detachment. just me, up in the morning, happily scrubbing down surfaces and subtly redefining my sense of home.

this sublet will be the seventh (yes, seventh) place i've lived in for a substantial amount of time between now and last may, the last time i was living in a place where i had a lease. and that doesn't count any of the times i was traveling and therefore staying with a friend. but it's the seventh and final; lucky number eight is coming up in six weeks, and i feel remarkably calm (not to mention damned efficient) right now. next stop, porter!


Keyse said...

What will you do when are all settled? Go slowly crazy...hehehe...or find "projects" as I like to call them :)

adwoa said...

ha, probably. i am all about the projects, though, so slow insanity is not an option.

when i am settled, i will be making things for my etsy store, trolling for new objects for my home, studying for the gre so i can rock a side job as a tutor, possibly taking a course in media studies at mit... the list is endless.

(the short answer is: i'll never be settled!)