Sunday, September 04, 2011

when I click my heels together

There were two pairs of sneakers hanging from the arbutus bush outside the back door. I took this as a sign of welcome.

Yesterday we moved the RO into her new place - a townhouse residence she will be sharing with five flatmates, boys on the third floor, girls on the second, kitchen/living room/party central on the ground floor. Munchkin village, they call it, by virtue of the yellow brick road that winds through and connects the units. And there is something vaguely fairy tale-esque about it.

Perhaps it's the old growth forest (or what looks to be old growth forest to a kid from the prairies) that the townhouse backs onto. Just a city block's worth, but enough to remind you that you are in a part of the country bursting with life and natural beauty. It's the view that the RO will be seeing from her bedroom window this year, a far cry from the construction site that greeted her mornings last year.

And of course trips to the cafeteria will be replaced by tours of duty in the kitchen. It will be a good learning experience, I think. If all goes well, I may relinquish turkey roasting duties this Christmas, giving the Offspring a chance to demonstrate her newly acquired culinary skills. While that dream might be stretching things, I am convinced that this townhouse living is the ideal setup for a third year student - the convenience of campus living combined with the autonomy of cooking and cleaning for one's self.

If I had those types of options available a hundred years ago when I was in university, I may never have inhabited those basement suites and those ramshackle flats in sketchy parts of town. But those are stories for another day.

best/worst apartment you ever rented?


Allison said...

Those townhouses look lovely! Think the OFKAR is in for a great year.

I think my worst place would have to be my place in Newcastle a.k.a. the Leaky Flat. There was actual plant life growing from the gutters, they needed to be cleaned so badly. I can't believe I put up with it for that long.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

They really are lovely, Al, certainly nicer than any residence I have ever seen before.
I recall the horror stories of the Newcastle flat! If it wasn't the sprouting gutters, it was the upstairs duvet washing neighbour! Lawd!

John Mutford said...

Looks quite quaint.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It does rather, doesn't it, John? It's really quite nice. And I am always amazed at the amount and the variety of housing available at UBC.

phlegmfatale said...

Munchkin village looks fabulous! Worst apartment I ever rented was a little craphole efficiency I rented with a mean boyfriend who was the last of the galloping cheapskates. It didn't matter how clean I kept the place, because the roaches were coming from the surrounding apartments in a steady stream. It was revolting. Coolest apartment was a loft in an old industrial building in Dallas. Jack Ruby opened his first Dallas burlesque joint in the building, and I kept waiting for the Ghost of Strippers Past to come a'callin', but she never showed up. Still, it was a neat idea. :)

Anonymous said...

Best Apt: top floor(third)across from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. My cat sat talking on the balcony every afternoon waiting for me to round the corner walking home from work two blocks up Boulevard.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I can happily say I have never had to deal with cockroaches, Phlegmmy, one of the pluses of living in a cold climate, although I have had my share of silverfish. But an industrial loft, especially one with a storied past? A dream come true!

What a divine placement, Leazwell! Across from art and two blocks from work? With a chatty cat? Heaven.

Remi said...

I'm living in the best apartment I've ever lived in solely because of location. The neighbourhood is fantastic and then there is the fact that my building is attached to a mall with a 24 hour grocery store, a bookstore, a movie theatre and the subway. There is something to be said for going out to a movie in December wearing a t-shirt.

I stayed in an apartment style residence when I was in university. Having a kitchen was great. Having a front door to shut out the world when you wanted to was also nice.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Your place sounds divine, Remi! Sort of a much more pleasant version of the film waydowntown.
Being able to close the door on the world (and to have more space than a closet-sized dorm room) is certainly a step up in university living.

bloody awful poetry said...

That looks like a gorgeous place to stay! And she gets to make food in it ; damn the no-cooking rules here. Wishing her all the best for the year :) I go back on Sunday, myself.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'll be thinking of you as you head back, BAP! I hope you have a fabulous year.
The cooking for oneself will be a good learning experience for the OFKAR. She's already made her signature dish.