all changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy, for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves. – anatole france
finally, we have internet access! you’ll have to bear with me as this will be a lengthy post (with pictures). where to start. oakland is not portland, oregon. sometimes, well several times in the last week, i’’ve gotten that sinking feeling in the pit of my tummy, reminding me that i’’m a bit misplaced right now and that i’’m new here. it lasts just a few seconds,but leaves a strong sting. it is so different here that it almost feels like we’’ve been dropped off on some alien planet and we’re touring it, amazed and flabbergasted by its differences.
the biggest differences we’’ve noticed so far (this list will make us sound like we are country bumpkins dropped into a real city for the first time. we realize now that portland is small beans as far as true urban cities go):
1. everything is super sized. even the carts at target are enormous. i swear it almost came up to my neck. the parking lots, the box stores, the cars. the highways. all huge.
2. it’’s loud. we hear the sounds of police cars, fire trucks, buses, construction, and even gun shots. we have a great apt with a ton of windows, but we can’’t talk on the phone without closing a couple of them. it’s that loud.
3. it’’s diverse. that’’s been a blessing and a big change from portland.
4. the traffic on the highway is ridiculous. we’ve already learned that we should never, ever venture out on the highways fri, sat, or sun. ever.
5. there are masses of people everywhere. i can’’t get over the sheer amount of people.
6. we found the very seedy part of oakland. prostitutes and gangsters on every corner in broad daylight and we saw 2 men fighting with knives on the sidewalk. we won’’t go there again.
7. people are afraid of our dog, which is ok by me. makes me feel safer.
8. parking is an issue. there are all sorts of rules about where we can park, and we have to pay close attention to zoning, times for street sweepers, etc. we’ve been trying to park the car somewhere for a couple of days and just challenge ourselves to walk or ride bikes as neither one of us wants the challenge of moving the car only to search for a parking spot later in the day. so the walking and riding our bikes will be a good thing in the long run.
i realize this list is sounding pessimistic. here are some positives.
1. our apt kicks ass. we’’ve got some serious cuteness going on in here. we went to ikea to get some essentials. again, masses of people. it was crazy crowded, like the worst disney world line you’’ve ever been in. but we did score some curtains and storage essentials. we’’ve fashioned ourselves a room specifically for my studio and john’’s office. we also have a large bedroom with a bay window for a seating area (and all of john’’s succulants). we have a good sized living room room. the kitchen and bathroom are small, but doable. we spent several days painting all of the rooms and unpacking. i had forgotten what an ordeal it was to unpack and paint. i don’’t remember my legs and feet ever being so tired, not even after that half marathon last year. i need to get back into shape. good thing i have a 3.5 mile track around the lake in front of our apt.
2. we’ve already found a great sushi restaurant (drunken fish) and taqueria in our neighborhood. there seem to be great restaurants everywhere.
3. the people in our apt building are all welcoming and friendly. there’’s a community feeling about this place that feels like it could be something good.
4. we really like our little area of oakland. people are out and about, walking around the lake, hanging out at the local cafes, etc.
5. besides the heatwave, the weather is incredible. cool mornings and evenings. perfect amount of warmth. so much sunshine! we both already have flip flop tan lines on our feet.
6. the best dog park bella has ever laid eyes on is just up the road.
after a hectic week or so, we are starting to settle in and relax. we’’ve got all sorts of plans to explore the area these next few weeks, and all sorts of visitors lined up, too.
my heart is really tugging at me to get in the new studio and start producing some art, so i will get to it very soon.
here are some pics of our cute apt. please keep us in your thoughts as we adjust! really, we’’re doing fine. just a bit shellshocked at the moment. i’’ve got a couple of interviews lined up this week and am hopeful i’’ll find a good fit. and i miss my friends in portland.
here’s a view from our living room into our bedroom. i love the pocket doors that divide the rooms. and you can see our bay window in the background.
i made that bedspread/duvet cover out of a table cloth from anthropologie. i’m pretty sure it’s my favorite bedspread ever. laini has this very exact table cloth!
view into the studio. the bookshelf john made works perfectly.
another view looking from our living room into our bedroom.
you can see the french doors leading to the studio on the right. tons of light in this place. alexandra, notice the rug. it’s perfect. thank you!
living room with kitchen off the left. notice our Oregonian rusty mailbox on the right. we’re oregonians at heart.
i think we’ll be hanging out in these chairs quite a bit. we’re up on the 3rd floor, giving us great views to the park across the street where there are nightly soccer games. and of course, we’ve got our succulants.
this is the backside of the kitchen. that door leads to the roof of the building. it’s pretty cool up there and we can get good cell phone signals up there (not so in our apt).