Thoughts Out Loud #3 – Finger-licking City Living


Imagine you’re on the train heading to work and the aroma of peanut butter, accompanied by the sounds of smacking lips assaults your early morning senses. If you’re me, you frantically search for the source of the offensive sounds and odors until you find the disgusting culprit.

I don’t understand people who sit on public transportation vehicles, eat food, AND lick their fingers. Licking your fingers is disgusting anyway, but to do it in one of THE most germ-filled places…that’s just nasty.
So yeah you peanut butter smelling, finger licking, lady with the high blonde bun – you are disgusting.

City Living is the life for me, but suburban house sizes make me happy. Is there a way to compromise? I want to live in New York, but Philly rent suits me fine. (Confession time: I wrote that with the theme of Green Acres running through my head.)

I move a lot, and by a lot I mean I move almost every year. I am quite nomadic by nature. I don’t feel like I belong in any one place. Going to college was my first big move. I went off to college in Greensboro, NC and only returned to my mother’s house once (during the summer of my freshman year). After Greensboro, I moved to Charlotte, NC, then Atlanta, GA, back to Charlotte, then to Philadelphia (technically Wyncote), back to Atlanta, and once again to Philadelphia.

Yeah, that’s a lot of moving between cities and states, but let me one up myself. Within these city moves I also changed apartments on a yearly basis with the exception of the time when I owned my house. But even then I wasn’t loyal. After a few years I found some renters and moved to Atlanta!

It’s time for me to move again. My lease is up in a couple of months and I refuse to continue living between stomping children and a wanna be DJ while my rent is raised by $70/month. I am taking a moment to remember the good old days when Valerie and I got our first apartment together. The combined rent was $515 per month and we each paid $257.50 in rent. And the next year I convinced her to move to a brand new “luxury” complex where our combined rent jumped up to $740/month. Oh the good old days when a brand new huge 2 bedroom/2 bathroom with washer/dryer, a gas fireplace, crown moulding and other amenities only cost $740. I have pictures. I’ll have to post them to show I am not making this up.

But time moves on, rental rates increase, and locations change. The Philly lifestyle is so very different from NC and GA. I now consider the following when looking for a place:

  1. Noise – I hate your children, dogs, cats, music, and anything else that disturbs my peace and quiet. If you can keep all of these sounds contained within your own apartment, I’m good. Otherwise, I hate it.
  2. Rodents – This was not something I had to consider while I was in the south, but being up here has taught me that living with unwanted creatures is a reality (especially in Center City). I moved out of the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood because I could hear mice running around at night. The ONLY way I would go back to Center City is with a cat.
  3. Parking – Since moving back to Philly I can say I have experienced a lot of parking situations: Reserved parking, street parking, and garage parking. Street parking is the worst and the PPA is always watching and waiting to give you a ticket if you aren’t parked where your permit is valid.
  4. Walking Life – I actually enjoyed the convenience of walking to work. I can say that is one thing I miss about living in Center City. Walking to work or just going outside and walking around was a great experience. To be clear, I don’t live in the wilderness now. I just feel walking around my current neighborhood isn’t as interesting.
  5. Apartment size – Even though I am a nomad, I have stuff. So this means I need sufficient closet space to keep my stuff. I have lived in a 375 sq. ft apartment and plan to never do that again. Like ever unless life circumstances absolutely force it on me. Studios are nice when they are big, but when they are small, you get tired of looking at ALL of your stuff ALL the time. I did not enjoy staring into my kitchen while lying in bed. I have considered renting a house, but I’m not sure I want to rent a house in Philadelphia. I think I should stick to condos and standard apartments.
  6. And last, but not least…Rental Rates – Ok, so I like nice things but I don’t want to spend my money on nice things. For example, I love Burberry bags, but I can’t bring myself to actually buy one. The same goes for shoes and clothes. I LOVE luxury goods, but I hate spending my money on them. I would like to say the same goes for my dwelling spaces, but I have learned over the years that I am willing to pay for aesthetics and perceived safety. Rental rates are pretty reasonable here, but finding that mix of aesthetics, safety, AND reasonable rates is the ultimate challenge.

So what will I do? I’ll be spending the next few weeks on Hotpads.com, the Realtor app, and Zillow to see what’s available on the market.

Did I forget anything? What would you add to the list? Let me know by sending your feedback by email to Danielle@frizzyfro.com or tweet me @FrizzyFroPod and use the #CSLThoughts hashtag.

One more thing, much thanks to Fran of HeyFranHey.com for being the influencer that she is. Because of her, I have tried Lone Deodorant and I love it. It’s a natural deodorant that contains no aluminum or baking soda. Thus far I have worn it without any embarrassing smells or negative reactions. So thanks Fran for mentioning this product and thanks Diane at Lone for patiently answering my 1 million emails.

The Thoughts Out Loud podcast is written, recorded, and edited by me, DanielleJ.

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