I almost said this was from my new “20,” but many of my readers may have come of age in the post-CB radio era, and never heard C.W. McCall’s one-hit wonder “Convoy.” (A “20” is a location, in CB jargon.) Anyway, this is the first time I’ve had the energy and the solitude necessary to type this, my first blog entry from our new home in Weinland Park. (That’s the name of the neighborhood, as well as the city park. We’re most definitely not living in the park itself!)
Weinland Park is the neighborhood bordered by E. 5th Ave. to the south, N. High St. to the west, E. 11th Ave. to the north, and the Conrail tracks to the east. The statistics for this section of town are grim, but I know many people who remember when the Short North, which is probably the trendiest neighborhood in Columbus, was a neighborhood no sane person would venture into after dark. Neither Olde Towne East nor German Village were always the yuppie paradises they are now. Weinland Park has a long way to go, but it’s quite suitable to our–my–needs.
It is just north of Italian Village, and it is a nice walk, and not an overly long one, to the OSU campus. At the same time, it’s not so close to OSU that we will have to deal with the rioting, empty beer cans, open containers, and public urination that come after every Buckeyes football game, whether won or lost. We are in a half double, and the layout is quite similar to the Clintonville place we just vacated.
Most importantly, the rent is quite affordable. High school home economics teachers used to tell kids that rent should never consume more than 25% of your income, and in the last decade or so, I have wondered whether or not that was realistic. For the first time since I’ve lived on my own, I think that I’m actually going to be doing that. In the next few months, Steph and Susie will be moving out, once our divorce is final. Neither Steph nor I know how much I will pay in child support, but living here, I can realistically expect to maintain this half double as my bachelor quarters without breaking my bank.
Friday was the day of the big move. Steph, Susie, and I spent much of the week packing, weeding out, and moving everything down to the first floor of the old place. Steph went to Cincinnati for the weekend that afternoon, and I made the big move from Clintonville to Weinland Park during the evening. My friend John brought his pickup truck, and in quite a few back-breaking relays, we moved the furniture. Steve and his daughter Amelia (my companion on the “One Nation Working Together” Washington trip earlier this month) did quite well transporting my books and the other contents of my office. We started around 6 p.m., and it was after 2 a.m. Saturday before I was able to say, “That’s a wrap. Cut and print.” Susie had made and collapsed into her new bedroom while John, Amelia, Steve, and I were still moving items.
As I observed on Twitter, any friend can help you move. True friends will help you move bodies and books.
Soon after everyone departed, I fell asleep in my new bedroom. I was so tired I fell asleep fully clothed (including shoes, watch, and glasses) on the mattress, and I was too wiped out to put sheets on the mattress. It wasn’t until morning that I realized that the smoke detector in my bedroom is defective–it chirps about every 30-45 seconds. I tried installing a new battery, which did no good. I even called the fire department to ask their advice–they told me to speak to my landlord, which I did (via voice mail). I was too tired for it to disturb me. I think that Friday night-Saturday morning, I could easily have slept on a bed of nails, the way that Zen Buddhists have mastered.
My sleep was not long, because I had to be awake for the guy from WOW Internet and Cable to come and install the cable. Steph crossed the threshold this morning when she came back from Cincinnati, and we’ve been unpacking and sending things to their appropriate rooms.
We don’t plan to do much entertaining, so the front room (the living room) has become my office, and the middle (dining) room is where Steph and Susie have set up their laptops, and where the TV and Wii reside. Steph’s and my bedrooms are in the same locations as they were in Clintonville. She has the master bedroom, and I have the middle one. Susie’s back bedroom is flooded with light in the afternoons, and she has the most closet space. (We estimated the house to be just post-World War II, which means the two bigger bedrooms have very narrow closets.)
Susie was quite ingenious. Her closet includes steps to the attic, and the attic is permanently off limits. At the top of the steps, there is a hatch that is closed up with a combination lock. Since Susie’s dresser was falling apart, we left it behind, and Susie has used the steps to the attic in lieu of shelves. She’s stacked her pullover shirts, underwear, socks, etc. on the steps as she would lay them out in drawers.
Another drawing card for me is the proximity to Sporeprint Infoshop. (I’ve shared the link and sung its praises before, but I’m doing it again.) Sporeprint events, such as the Really, Really Free Market and Food Not Bombs were what attracted me to the Weinland Park area initially. I walked past Sporeprint’s E. 5th Ave. headquarters this afternoon, headed home after errands to Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, and someone there invited me inside. I came home laden with bread, pastries, eggs, and a cherry pie. And all I did was make contact and say hi. I have long wanted to volunteer with Sporeprint, and I can do it, now that I’m closer. It’s also a shorter walk home from any activities that occur at the Awarehouse, the bike repair bay/party hall in the alley behind E. 5th Ave.
I’m typing this at the worktable in the living room/office. Both Steph and Susie are asleep in their rooms, and since I’m going to be working tomorrow, I should follow their lead. The office is not set up yet–I still have several crates and boxes to unload, but photographs will be forthcoming once I’m finished.
This malfunctioning fire alarm causes me to be grateful for having narcolepsy. Since I fall asleep easily, whether I want to or not, I should be able to sleep through having that thing going off all night.
Interesting acoustic counterpoint here. I hear a long train on the Conrail tracks to the east of my house, and while I’m typing, I’m listening to Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon Man” coming from the laptop. The sounds aren’t all that compatible.