apartment hunting

Quarantine diaries: Week 7

Day 43: Today is Monday, and I wasn’t going to write anything today as there’s nothing going on today. The construction is moving along nicely next door. The buildings are framed, and the crews finished work around 2pm. This meant I was able to work on some longstanding photography projects and reward myself with a pizza. The only thing I didn’t do was reach the Leasing Office as their phone number didn’t seem to be working, and they didn’t immediately respond to email.

Meanwhile, the major story over the weekend was President Trump “sarcastically” telling reporters to ingest disinfectant to cure the virus. I was going to post a reaction… but I just couldn’t. Not because of politics, but because both the Autism Moms™ and the anti-vaxxers (along with other purveyors of quackery) had apparently hailed him as their new savior. I get their desperation, but I simply can’t wrap my head around that level of malicious stupidity. I just can’t.

Day 44: Tuesday, and I was woken up by the riding mower rather than the still present heavy machinery. On the plus side, the landscaping team and construction crew kinda drowned each other out at times. Fortunately, they were both gone by 3pm, so I could start working on this and other blog posts.

Also this morning, the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force (OCERT) had a meeting presenting a number of initial guidelines for the reopening of theme parks – which they said could be as early as July (some possibly earlier depending on their size), and while the details have not been fully ironed out yet, this is still a promising start.

Day 45: I had a dream this morning that I was woken up by my alarm, but that’s silly. I was woken up for real when my landline in the other room started ringing. It was a wrong number… but it was still 20 minutes after my alarm was slated to go off, so that’s progress.

Unfortunately, our state and local government is NOT making the opposite of “progress.” Not only is Gov. Desantis announcing that he’s “reopening” the state on Monday morning, but OCERT’s latest meeting basically punted all reopening decisions to the individual parks. Meanwhile, the White House is doing nothing yet still somehow managing to embarrass themselves doing it. Am I surprised by this? No, but I’ll probably be extremely disappointed come November…

Day 46: It rained almost all morning, so work next door didn’t start until after 10am then stopped for lunch at 11am. On the plus side, the building is largely framed (still no discernible roof) and the grounds around it are starting to look like they could become a parking lot at some point.

Desantis is moving forward with his plan to “reopen” retail and restaurant businesses within the state (except Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties). This is good news for ICON Park and Disney Springs, but the plan makes no mention of when gyms, movie theaters and theme parks could reopen.

So, if the state does (partially) reopen, then we’re no longer “quarantined!” That means I can finally close this document and leave the apartment and do stuff… like, um, I don’t know. Maybe, I’ll go back to bed…

 

Categories: apartment hunting, Baltimore, Canton, Coronavirus, florida, Health, neighborhoods, Orlando, politics, Williamsburg | Leave a comment

Quarantine diaries: Week 6

Day 36: Today is Monday. Not that it makes a huge difference, but it is.

There is no real news to speak of on my end. Yeah, some protesters are making asses of themselves in public and some governors are bloviating about “reopening their economies,” but while the first is simply ignorance, the second is pure partisan pandering designed solely to score political points.

Who cares if a few thousand more people lose their lives, there is money to be made! They’ll get people killed, and they don’t care. More importantly, they’ll get their base killed, and they don’t care. They. Don’t. Care. Period.

Day 37: It was a relatively quiet morning. I’m guessing they are finished (or mostly finished) with the heavy machinery next door. They’re still working, but mostly with quieter tools. Unfortunately, a riding mower is still a riding mower, but they appear to be saving the hedge trimmers and weed whackers for tomorrow. Thank goodness for small favors.

Day 38: Not quite as quiet out there today, but there is no news on my end. Sure, some beaches are open (with restrictions) and some states are planning on letting some businesses reopen… but “analysts” say that Walt Disney World may not reopen until sometime next year.

IF that’s true (and it’s a huge “if”), I may have to close up my Disney blog a bit early then, which is a shame since I probably won’t be able to move before 2021 even if I wanted to (and I do). I continue finding new properties to pine over online ($190k “fixer” in East Baltimore which sounds too high… but it is waterfront in a desirable neighborhood – oh, and everything else in that building is $400k or higher), but my chances of actually being able to move into them are extremely slim.

Day 39: Yep, another quiet day noise wise… heavy vibrations, but relatively light on noise. I may have to add another day just to fill this post out. I’m kidding, I’m far too lazy to do that.

I saw an article on MSN about “stay-at-home” jobs yesterday, and I was going to do a post about it… but, since the story has been online for three days, they probably don’t need my feedback on it. Besides, it gives me a chance to work on other projects (like laundry), secret projects (it’s not a secret if I tell you what they are), and, possibly, other important tasks that even I’m not aware of… or I’ll just take a nap once the noise dies down.

I can come up with post ideas tomorrow…

 

Update: They posted a shorter version of their “stay-at-home jobs” list (from 27 down to 20) after I posted this with a reworded headline (and a few substitutions). Oddly enough, the original story is still up right next to it. (4/24/20)

Categories: apartment hunting, Baltimore, Canton, Coronavirus, florida, Health, holidays, neighborhoods, Orlando, Williamsburg | Leave a comment

Photos: A building emerges

It was a quiet weekend (it rained all day on Saturday, and they aren’t working today).

It’s supposed to rain again for most of the day tomorrow (Monday), but they’ll likely still get a few hours of heavy dirt moving in the morning.

Categories: apartment hunting, florida, Orlando, photography, retail, Williamsburg | Leave a comment

Quarantine diaries: week 5

Day 29: Great news, they have walls up next door (since Saturday), so the noise level has dropped precipitously. In fact, my noise-cancelling headphone almost cancel the noise. It also means it could be finished BEFORE I move, thus negating the primary reason for moving in the first place…

Which isn’t easy to do with in-person tours cancelled, Zillow freezing up every time I try to browse listings, and a listing agent who refused to answer a rather basic question until I was on her official “client list” (which I fully understand… but it’s still rather annoying). It doesn’t matter, the search continues…

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that not only is the number of deaths due to the virus in his state dropping, but that NY and five other states New Jersey, Connecticut, my home state of Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island — are joining forces to create a “regional reopening plan” (California, Oregon and Washington have announced similar plans). Meanwhile, The White House is expected to release its own plan within “the next week or two.”

Day 30: I thought they were finished with the heavy machinery next door, but, apparently, I was wrong. Granted, they aren’t using as many of them as before, but they are still using them… until just now (10am) either that or the A/C is masking the noise. Thankfully, everything seemed to stop around 4pm.

Which is coincidentally is when my Instacart order arrived… well, half of it anyway. Milk – the one and only thing I actually wanted – was “out of stock.” Chips – which were on sale – were “out of stock.” The kind of coffee I like was “out of stock,” but that was a minor issue.

Gov. Cuomo announced today that he would NOT “reopen” his state’s economy until the virus is contained, regardless of what the president says. I agree with him that reopening too soon might make the pandemic worse… but refusing an order from the Executive Branch might not be Constitutional.

Day 31: One month of self-quarantine. I was going to make a celebratory compilation post of everything I’ve done over the past 30 days… but, then I went through the three previous posts and realized that I literally haven’t DONE anything worth compiling. Nothing… but I am alive, so I guess there’s that.

I reordered all the stuff that was “out of stock” yesterday, and while I still only got part of my order, but their shopper did manage to find milk so it wasn’t a wasted order. I can’t afford to do this on a regular basis, but it worked out. I didn’t even get to thank the driver.

Meanwhile, I spent most of the day in my pajamas trying to decide between writing a special “halfway through April” post or just posting more Autism memes (as I have a lot of them). Maybe, I’ll just post a larger AC post tomorrow afternoon. Whatever, I don’t have to decide now…

Day 32: Hopefully, the last day of this, but I doubt it. The President is talking about reopening the economy by the beginning of May, schools are talking about reopening as usual in Sept… but Disney/Universal/SeaWorld have yet to announce a reopening date.

Meanwhile, Orlando got some much-needed rain last night and this morning. I thought I might be able to sleep in, but, no, they had their heavy equipment running at 7:30am and they didn’t stop until about 10 (which is when the next ban of rain passed through). I figured they were done outside for the day (the building is already framed, so I figured they would just work in there for the rest of the day) …until I laid down for a nap and heard shouting (in Spanish) and beeping outside. I guess the rain must have ended. I check my phone – 3pm. Trope averted.

Oh, and I’m kinda getting bored with Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and, apparently, so are my “villagers” as one just suddenly left the island. Another will replace her, but still. Looks like I may finish my AC posts before I finish this stupid series…

 

Categories: adventures, apartment hunting, Coronavirus, entertainment, florida, games, Health, weather, Williamsburg | Leave a comment

Quarantine diaries: Week 4

Day 21: So, we are supposedly approaching the “tipping point” of the virus, after this week new cases will start to “level off and eventually decline” (though deaths will remain unsettlingly high due to the extreme number of known cases).

This means (besides possibly being the last week of these posts) that we could see “lockdowns” like Florida/Pennsylvania are under lifted soon. However, as the same report reminds us: There is no cure, there is nothing stopping the virus from coming back next season…

Day 22: So, construction started up again next door, and as of 3:30pm – they were STILL working! What is this madness, they usually stop at noon (or earlier)? At least they’re finished with the new drop box… which reminds me, I should probably get my mail.

Oh, and I ordered milk off Instacart this morning. I bought as much as they’d allow me to (one gallon and one half-gallon), that should be enough to last me through the week. My bank balance is extremely low, so I need to pace myself a bit with deliveries. Delivery guy was cute though (…or, maybe, I’ve been inside too long, lol).

Speaking of “pacing myself,” I will not be posting any new Animal Crossing pics today. Gotta spread myself out a bit. Remember, I’m on “Deserted Island Time.” Besides, I have a post all ready for later this week (actually, I’m missing a photo, but I should have it by Weds/Thurs).

Day 23: Good news, I wasn’t woken up by construction noise an hour before my alarm this morning. It was two hours, and it’s much louder than usual (partly because they are joined by the hedge trimmer/leaf blower/Weed Wacker brigade around 10am). My ear protectors aren’t really that effective, but they help… a little, so does coffee.

The landscaping and construction finished around noon. However, the latter came back with abandon around 1pm and whatever they were doing, was not only incredibly LOUD, but it also caused the whole damned building to vibrate while they were doing it. It literally felt like a minor earthquake – which is scary not because I live on the sandwich level (level 2 of three) nor because I used to live in California – but because this complex was built to withstand WIND not tremors.

Said tremors stopped around 3pm, but the noise continued (albeit not as loud) until sometime after 4pm. Something tells me this is going to be a long week…

Day 24: I have no idea what they’re doing in the lot next door, but it’s not shaking the building like yesterday so there’s that…and the rather discouraging fact that they’ve officially done before 9am than I’ve done all week (to be fair, it’s only Wednesday). But then again, the more work they do today, the less they have to do tomorrow.

However, on a lighter note, I should probably say that I finished collecting photos last night for the “Bunny Day” post I had planned for tomorrow. In fact, I’ll probably post it immediately after this one (…or right now, because why not?). I have another one about the REAL holiday scheduled for Sunday. Because, you know, I’m that good… and, oh yeah, I’m also in quarantine, so, what else do I have to do?

Day 25: Good news, construction next door got off to a slightly later start than usual (which would have been great news if I wasn’t in the bathroom when my apartment suddenly started shaking). Better news, they’re calling for rain tomorrow (which we desperately need). Best news, they don’t work on weekends, holidays… or rainy days.

Speaking of days, the renewal date for my lease is 17 days away, but don’t worry, I got a call from the leasing office this afternoon saying it that they really need to know what I’m doing TODAY. I have no idea where I’m moving to or what kind of place of place I’ll have (yes, I’m working on it, but I can’t tour places in person, nor can I travel there if I could), but the leasing office needs to start marketing my unit NOW if I am moving out… in June. Good to know.

Also, my Animal Crossing post went live this morning. Somehow, I keep forgetting WordPress uses GMT for scheduled posts (which meant I already had one “like” by the time I got up). I think I have enough Easter themed memes for a post (in fact, I got rid of a few of them), I’ll probably do another search this afternoon anyway…

Categories: adventures, Advocacy\volunteer, apartment hunting, Coronavirus, entertainment, florida, games, Health, holidays, Orlando, Williamsburg | Leave a comment

Quarantine diaries: week 2

Day 7: I bought milk this afternoon. The store wasn’t particularly crowded, and, unlike the Walgreens next door, it was relatively well-stocked (and grocery stockers are getting very good hours lately). I had to laugh that they were short on beer except Corona Extra… and Heineken. What the heck did Heineken do, lol?

I saw a news story when I got back that both ICON Park and FunSpot America (in Orlando and Kissimmee as well as their park in Atlanta) are “closing indefinitely” as of Monday. Disney, Universal and SeaWorld closed last weekend. This means that everything fun in this city is officially closed. The I-Ride Trolley, is still running though (as Publix, CVS and Walgreens are still open)

Day 8: I spent the morning looking at apartment listings online. There are several new units available in both Baltimore and Bethlehem (PA) that are available within my timeframe… but they are not holding “open houses” nor can I schedule a “showing” due to the virus.

I spent the afternoon paying bills (because no-one else is going to) even though they legally cannot shut off my electricity/water service due to the quarantine. I also filled out the Census form online. It took slightly longer than they promised as I accidentally tossed the envelope with the “log-in” information. However, since I am the only person living at this address, it only took me about 10 minutes to complete.

Day 9: Woken up by landscaping crew (who usually work on Wednesdays) a full hour before my alarm went off. Also, “valet trash” is still being offered. Nice to see at least some things remain the same in these uncertain times.

I didn’t particularly want to do it after the disastrous delivery on Thursday, but I bought milk off Instacart (and due to their “minimum purchase” guidelines, I ended up buying a lot of junk too). While they didn’t have the kind of milk I wanted, everything else was in stock and the items arrived an hour ahead of schedule with zero notification from the app of this happening until the driver knocked on my door, but, then again, it did arrive, so I can’t complain…

Day 10: Next week is April 1st. Which means I need to find something fun to do that won’t piss off my followers (like, ahem, last year’s post). It also means I have to prepare one or more “Autis-meme” posts. I have more than enough memes for ten of those posts… but the truth is, I’d only curate them not because I “want” to but because it feels like I HAVE to. However, it is a nice change from constant virus coverage…

Speaking of change, I just received an email notifying me that the complex I’m renting at is going to be run by a different management company. That by itself isn’t necessarily bad news, but experience shows it’s rarely good news either. It’s also pretty strong motivation to keep up the apt search.

Day 11: Quite a lot of activity (and noise) on the sandlot at 8 o’clock this morning, pity it was a full hour before my alarm goes off. However, it will stop suddenly around 10am, and then nothing will happen for the rest of the week.

And I called it, so I went back to bed…which means I laid there uncomfortably staring at the ceiling with my eyes closed for about two hours wondering why: If I was so tired, why I wasn’t asleep? The same thing will happen tonight, but it will be for six hours.

Day 12: I ordered milk (and a few other things to meet minimum purchase price) off Instacart… which was good timing on my part as not only did I get my items in less than 2hrs, but, more importantly, I found out that their workers are planning a “general strike” on Monday for higher pay and actual health benefits – kind of important in times like this.

Also, Disney and LEGOLAND Florida have pushed back their opening dates until midway through the month. Meanwhile, Busch Gardens and SeaWorld are now closed “until further notice” and have furloughed 90% of their workers (possibly so they qualify for Unemployment benefits).

Day 13: Woke up today feeling like I had a moderate cold, but that seems to have at least partially cleared up since then. I don’t have a fever, so it could be allergies. The point is, I probably don’t have the virus. Even then, it’s not like I’m going anywhere this weekend anyway…

Categories: adventures, Advocacy\volunteer, apartment hunting, Autism, Coronavirus, disney world, florida, Health, Orlando, Orlando Eye, SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Studios, Williamsburg | Leave a comment

Searching here in Allentown

Looking for the apartments, I never found…

Literally.

I got hopelessly lost in downtown Allentown trying to get from my morning tour to my afternoon tour (which is why I’m kind of skittish about renting in a much larger city like Philadelphia) and again trying to find the where I was on Google Maps did nothing but zap my battery life (especially since both the topography and the street grid are slightly misleading).

I eventually ended up at my destination in downtown Allentown on the periphery of the property, which was conveniently enough attached to the PP&L Center. However, I couldn’t get in because I don’t have the code, so I called the number on the sign and asked to be let in.

“And you have an appointment,” the man asked with the enthusiasm of a dull rock.
“I would have, but-”
“We don’t have any units available right now.”
“Actually, I’m looking to move in May or Ju-”
“Well, then need to call us IN May,” and hung up on me.

Not to worry, I still have two other apartments to check…oh, cool, an email:

Dear Jonathan:
I just wanted to let you know that we no longer have any 2 bedroom units available within your time frame. We do have 1 bedrooms across our various properties. Please let me know if you want to keep your appointment.

I still have ONE property left in the area… and, naturally, it’s run by the same company.

I’m not about to give up just yet. As the things I want I tend to get… so I walked four blocks in the wrong direction before turning around and reluctantly getting lunch at one of the places outside PP&L Center. Then it was time to press onward.

As I’m trying to get a sense of place, I see a “NOW LEASING” flag wave in my face.

Well that was easy… too easy.

In fact, it was the wrong building entirely (no, they didn’t have any availability either). I tried making a map of how I ended up the opposite side of town with ten minutes to go before my appointment, but even Google Maps couldn’t keep up with my poor sense of direction. Let’s just say if there was a turn to make, I made it.

I did, however, get there… eventually (and entirely by accident). I was twenty minutes late, but I was still there (and she was meeting with someone else when I arrived). Yes, I know that contradicts my previous post.

The building itself is relatively new construction with clean lines, cool grey walls/carpet, and modern fitness center. The apartments themselves were a nice size with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. But none of that matters if none of the units were available.

We head back downstairs. The agent confirms the paperwork, and I leave. This time I’m not about to risk getting lost again, so I have Lyft take me to my hotel. This day wasn’t successful, but as the song goes:

Well, it’s hard to keep an Aspie down, but I’m not leasing here in Allentown…

Categories: adventures, apartment hunting, lehigh valley, Pennsylvania, Rideshare, transportation | Leave a comment

Photos: Walking in Baltimore

Categories: adventures, apartment hunting, Baltimore, Fells Point, Inner Harbor, neighborhoods | Leave a comment

Unsuccessful apartment hunting

As you can tell from the headline, I spent my one and only day in Baltimore apartment hunting. I visited several places with all sorts of rude and borderline ableist treatment, but for the sake of space, I’ll only focus on one.

It was a nice-looking building on the north end of Fell’s Point with nice freshly painted mural on its side. The neighborhood was clearly deteriorating and there was a lock an electronic lock on the door, but no number on the keypad for the leasing office. However, I did call the number on their huge sign, and was asked

“Um, noo, you need an appointment to see our units.”

“I have one.”

“Are you suuure you have an appointment? Because I have my calendar app open and it doesn’t show an appointment for a tour today.”

I couldn’t say this on the phone with her, but that question REALLY irritated me. “Hey, crazy, could you bother someone else? I’ve got more important things to do.

She then whines about having to do this, grills me on “exactly” who I spoke to and when… and then sighs exasperated, reluctantly agreeing to meet me in “half an hour.”

Nearly an hour later, she finally shows up all smiles as if nothing was wrong (I get she probably was busy, but that kind of tardiness just smacks of disrespect), but that’s not even the worst part. She puts the code in, tells me to wait in the lobby and brings out her colleague – who was presumably in the office the whole fucking time.

She literally could have called him at any time in the past hour and asked HIM to do the tour, but, no, she pulls him out as a “bodyguard” (a phenomenon I’m sadly used to) against the crazy no-appointment lady with the beard who THINKS she has an appointment but clearly doesn’t. In other words, my smiling, friendly guide has been forced into dealing with a total wack job!

In truth, I was actually going to leave at the 45-minute mark. As finding people to “take over” my last lease taught me (coincidentally also in Baltimore), people who don’t show up for apartment tours within 15 minutes of their appointed time generally didn’t show up at all. However, I got an important message on my phone, and I decided to answer it and when I was done the agent was standing behind me.

As I said above, it’s a nice-looking building with lots of curb appeal with small, cheaply furnished model that was far pricier than the size, furnishings, or deteriorating neighborhood suggested. Fortunately, the bodyguard agent was quick to point out was already being held “for a friend of the owner” (how convenient).

However, tellingly enough, neither of them gave me the standard Resident Information Form either before or after our tour with no mention of being put on their “wait list” – even if it was just as a courtesy. They did seem unusually happy to see me leave though, and (despite wasting an hour waiting for them) I was equally happy to be out of there in less then ten minutes

 

Categories: Ablism, adventures, apartment hunting, Autism, Baltimore, Fells Point, neighborhoods | 1 Comment

PSA: New content coming

So, as I said before on this blog, my lease is expiring sometime in June. This weekend, I plan on doing something about it. I’ll be touring apartments in both Baltimore and my former (future?) home state of Pennsylvania. I’ll still post photos/travelogues of various events and destinations, they just won’t be exclusively Disney.

Case in point, look for content about my trip on this blog as well as a few non-apartment hunting related destinations in the coming days.

Categories: adventures, announcements, apartment hunting, Baltimore, lehigh valley, news, Pennsylvania | Leave a comment

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