Friday, May 11, 2007

The Gates of Hell?

There was a time, I confess (and not so long ago), when I spoke the word suburbia under my breath, with a shudder of disdain. I have come to see that not all suburbs are created equal, however. While some may well be worthy of cringe-inducement, Portland's west side is pretty great.

I had my first day of training at my temp job yesterday, which lasts through next week. It's an executive assistant position with a medical technology company and, as Austin Powers might say, "This sort of thing is my bag, baby." It's all the kinds of tasks I'm accustomed to doing, just in a more relaxed setting than many of the investment banks or advertising agencies I temped for in New York.

It feels pretty damn odd, I have to say, to get in the car and drive to a suburban office park to go to work, after all these years on the A train. Yes, the office park and the office itself is largely as soulless as the image that phrase conjures up, but the people seem very nice. This office park at least has a path with picnic tables and a duckpond.

The big news is that I've decided to go ahead and try to get an apartment now. The parents -- and with them, the dogs -- are coming back next weekend. Rocky is doing much better, but I think throwing the dogs into the mix is a recipe for a major setback. I don't anticipate any kind of fights or anything, but I think the dogs might just be asking too much of him right now. Plus, my mom's house is pretty small. It would be nice to actually unpack my suitcases.

Ideally I wanted to get a job first and then pick a place with an easy commute. The reality is that no matter where I end up, as long as I'm somewhere here on the close-in west side, my commute isn't going to be that bad. It will surely be better than two hours a day on the subway. I'll get a six-month lease to start; it would suck to have to move again, but it's also going to suck to stay here much longer. I'm working another half-day today for training, and then this afternoon I already have some appointments to look at apartments in the area. My goal is to "move in" next weekend.

Since there were requests for photos of the neighborhood, I'm posting a few more below. This is my mom's back yard. Wow, it is really nice to have a back yard, especially when the weather is as nice as it has been.

Everyone knows Oregon is "green," but it's so much more than that. There are so many different kinds of plants and trees here that it's a very colorful place; and it's not just that we have "a lot" of plants and trees, there is a density to them that is unique among urban environments.

Here's a shot of a typical street in the neighborhood.

Rocky, I don't think we're in Washington Heights anymore. Thank God.


Jeff said...

Ahh... beautiful! And it's great that you have employment and are looking for an apartment. That was fast.

But - you've moved to Oregon... so why is your laptop sitting on a book called "Living in Venice"?

Jade said...

Dan and I lived in the Trammell Crow properties off of 185th (behind the Safeway, down the street where Old Chicago is) If you haven't been that far out lately you should see it - it has grown so much from the singular Tanesborne Mall that used to occupy that corner. (*sniff sniff* I still miss that place, I had my very first date ever at that theater, and now it's a Target. Boo!) There's about 600 apartment complexes back there, lots to pick from generally speaking, and walking distance to a whole lotta stuff. When we lived there we counted 7 in-restaurant bars within walking distance... there are probably more now that there is another mall squeezed in behind 185th. The Verandas was the first place we lived - nice landscaping in between the buildings there.

kr said...

ask ~N about local apartments--she's looked at ALL of them, from what I can tell

Quinn said...

Yeah, suburbia sucks.