Philadephia

Lease then ideal conditions

I didn’t want to.

I really didn’t want to renew my lease for a mold infested apartment for another year… so I didn’t. I could pay $200 more per month for six months (in addition to the “standard” $115 rent jump), or I can “upgrade” to a one bedroom/one bath unit and pay only $150 more in base rent. I still plan on moving… but not for six months. It’s not ideal, but it works…sorta.

I’m still looking for places. The problem is, I haven’t nailed down where yet. I want something suburban… but I don’t have a car. Unfortunately, any meaningful form of public transit it found in the city. Along with crime, traffic and, worst of all noise.

I would move back to Baltimore, but that not only has a “been there, done that” aura to it – it also feels like “giving up.” Pretty soon, I’d be writing unpaid “theatre reviews” no-one reads (I know, I checked my site stats), and that’s the absolute LAST thing I want. I know Autism is all about “sameness” and “routines,” but my last “official” diagnosis was ADHD so I can’t stand doing the same thing over and over again adfuckingnauseam. Let’s not forget all sorts of “fun” (aka “horrible and traumatic”) memories it would kick up (you can look them up yourself, many of them are still on here).

Both New York and DC have better access to jobs and have more expansive transit options… but they’re a LOT more expensive to live in. Sure, I can make it work, but I just don’t see it happening. I also looked at Myrtle Beach because it was listed as 2018’s “Best cheap beach town” by some magazine or another (and after checking various apartment rental sites, I can confirm they are)… but their one bus line stops service at 10pm.

One place I’m looking at is Philadelphia. It has its own mix of cheap split up townhouses with shared laundry rooms, and newer “luxury” units… but I’ve never lived there, so it would all be new to me. Pluz (uhn-lieg Fladda), I a’reddy speeg da lag-wedge.

The main problem right now is inventory. There’s just not much available this time of year compared to April or May when the school year ends and graduation season begins. Hopefully, by then, I’ll have better news for you…

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(Art credit: Emm Roy, Emm’s Positivity Blog)

 

Categories: apartment hunting, Baltimore, florida, Health, Orlando, Pennsylvania, Philadephia, Williamsburg | Leave a comment

Norfolk: Day 1 – Travel and tribulation

It’s 10am as I’m sitting here, fighting sleep in the middle of a crowded terminal and writing this intro while waiting for my flight to begin boarding. I had less then 3 hours of sleep as my shoulder and gut bothered my for most of the night and I had to leave the condo no later than 8am to get to the airport in time to get through both the chaos at AA’s self-check-in area and the notoriously difficult TSA screening area. This is going to be a great day.

So, we arrived at PHL approximately 20 minutes early. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, except that my layover has now gone from 2 hours and 40 minutes to just under 3 hours. Three hours at an airport is a long time so I stopped to get lunch in the food court between terminals B and C before heading over to the shuttle at gate C10.

I got off the half-full shuttle, walked up to the giant monitor above the “Information” desk and saw there was a flight to Norfolk leaving in less than 30 minutes from gate F29 so after some careful consideration, I decided to go for it. I get to the counter, speak with the middle-ages agent who looks at with a plastic airline smile and says:

“I’m sorry, the last passenger has already boarded, and the plane door is already shut.”

“So,” the gravity of the situation sinking in. “You’re not saying I’m too late?”

“Yes, but don’t worry. There’s another flight in only two hours. I’m sorry. Have a nice day.”

That’s the thing about people being “sorry” for me, it’s always bad news and their semi-sincere apologies never actually change the situation. However, I likes how she said “only two hours” as if pissing away time in an airport was easy and fun. It wasn’t.

I go back to the dining area near the entrance, put my bags on a chair and sit down at the table next to them. Less than a minute later, I’m approached by a blonde-haired young man in a bright yellow vest, probably going to tell me to “move along” or something.

“My name is Alex, and I work for the airport. And I have a, um, question for you. Are you coming in or out – arriving or departing today?”

“Both,” I replied cautiously.

“You mean like a layover, um, okay, thank you. Sorry for bothering you.”

What the hell just happened? I know he was fishing for a reason to toss me out of the airport, but his body language and anxious tone said otherwise. If I didn’t know better, I’d say he was…. *facepalm*

For those of you keeping score at home, that’s TWO “missed connections” in less than ten minutes. Yeah, overthinking an awkward two-minute encounter with a super-hot airport employee I’ll never see again is definitely going to make the next hour and…ugh, forty-five minutes just fly by. It didn’t.

An hour later, I was sitting in the crowded terminal area when the gate opened and people stream out of the small plane parked outside said gate, down a set of narrow stairs and down a cattle shoot to the gate that I’m supposed to be traveling out of. That is not a good sign, and it was exactly what I was afraid would happen. Guess what, it did, and as a special bonus, I was too large for my seatbelt to fit correctly and my toes were scrunched up in the same under-the-seat-in-front-of-me area as my bag. I had friction blisters on my toes, and my vacation hadn’t even started yet. The good news was it was only an hour long flight. Yep, wait three to fly one.

I leave the plane, relieved that I’m exiting into the gate rather than down those narrow stairs, and pass through the windowed bridge linking the terminal to the main lobby (which resembles the pre-security seating area at MCO) – where I could see that it was pouring rain outside. It was almost 6pm so I stopped into the only restaurant in the building that was still open – a sports bar with more TVs than patrons despite the nearly full airplane I just got off of.

I finish my food and head downstairs to the Baggage Claim area where I eventually find an information counter. When I asked the clueless young woman in the beige Navy uniform where the ground transportation counter, she just looked at me blankly. Apparently, ORF doesn’t offer “shared ride services” so if I wanted to do anything besides pick up my luggage and take it to my rental car (duh, this is America – EVERYONE drives), I was like the Navy says “SOL.”

I take my hat out of my bag, flip the hood of my raincoat up and walked around on the median until someone asked if I “needed a cab.” It wasn’t my first choice of transit, but it beat walking around on an uncovered median for another 10-15 minutes as my vacation officially opened….

Categories: adventures, florida, flying, Norfolk, Orlando, Pennsylvania, Philadephia, transportation, Virginia | Leave a comment

Photo: Halfway home

welcomes-you-to-philly

Categories: Amtrak, family, holidays, Pennsylvania, Philadephia, photography, transportation | Leave a comment

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