Don't make Rae cry

Conversation Saturday driving around looking for an apartment to rent... Me: No.

John: This is a nice neighborhood.

Me: I don't want to live anywhere that would make me cry.

So the bar has been set.

We have been looking for apartments and now is it day 3 with one more day tomorrow.

Saturday we drove here to Madison and starting looking at areas and apartment buildings we knew of. We were shocked that we could not get in anywhere and we left messages generally with no one calling us back.

Sunday after brunch we headed out for more of the same. Got in 3 that would make me cry. Most places were closed and once again no one was returning calls.

Today, Monday we have been able to talk to people but to see most things that we are interested it they need 24 hours notice to alert the people who are in the apartments. So we are staying over another night and have showings booked every hour from 9:30 to 2:30. We saw several 'white boxes' that would be do-able. We will do that if we can't get... 1. funky in the Monroe St area 2. something DT

John also met with the talent agency and picked up his contract to read over. The woman he met with thinks she can get him 'regular work'. We liked the sound of that. I've been taking pictures but did not bring my cable so I can't upload anything. I didn't intend to blog, nor did we intend to stay this long.

We just saw a VERY funky 900 sq ft place right DT on the lake. John really likes it I'll let him describe it...

John: The plaque on the wall out front said it well...but not completely. "The Bellevue was the largest and most expensive apartment building erected during Madison's pre-WWI apartment house boon. Advertised as "a place of ease and comfort" The Bellevue featured such Victorian luxuries and leaded glass bookcases and fireplaces. The building pioneered modern conveniences including electric elevators, food and laundry services and centralized vacuum, trash disposal and refrigerator systems." I think what touched me so uniquely about this 95 year old building, was that it reminded me of places my Grandpa and Nana Weitz used to live in, in Dubuque, when I was very young. In a word everything seemed...substantial! From the Oak crown molding with picture edge (Rae and had to explain to me how that worked), to the plaster walls, to the black linoleum floors in one room next to the oakwood floors everywhere else, to the brick fireplace, to the heavy doors and clawfoot tub with a shower curtain hung from an oval metal rail and draped into the tub. Then there was the tiled floor with actual patterns in the multicolored pattern. The elevator was one of those where the hallway door opens like a regular door once the metal elevator door closes...sometimes. The owner (more on him later) wondered why there wasn't a screwdriver somewhere in the elevator to poke in a hole by the door if it didn't open. And this was not scary or anything. It was charming and quaint. I LOVED it! The kitchen was long, narrow and said "1940's"? And although I can't do it justice, I HAVE to mention the clothes dryer in the laundry room in the basement. Really, the Smithsonian should have one on display. This "dryer" was basically a huge metal box. Maybe 8x8x8. It had rails extending out from it and on these rails rode enormous sliding...hangers(?). You pulled out one of these drawers/hangers that were as tall as the unit (save the heating element below where you built a fire and hoped it didn't get too hot) and the 6 foot high drawer/hanger pulled out on these rails exposing tow levels of three metals racks or rods on which wet clothes were placed...then slid back in for warming and drying! It was beautiful in a manner. Now the owner. It came as an obvious surprise to him when he walked out the front door of the apartment building. As I introduced myself, a flicker of recognition came on and he attempted to let us in. Attempted because after coming out of the building, he apparently forgot his keys! Fortunately, a resident came by and let us in. It initially "concerned" me that his name did not match the monogram on his Oxford button down shirt. I was watchful. Here's this guy, did not have keys to the building he was showing us and his name didn't match the monogram. I was beginning to wonder where the real owner was and who this person could be. When he took us down a dark stairwell to the basement "to get his keys" I felt like Alfred Hitchcock might be down there still working! But all was well. The owner was gracious, accommodating, informative. I liked him almost immediately. (Once he produced apartment keys that worked I was OK!) We have been through, as Rae would put it, several "vanilla boxes" yesterday and today but this was a horse of another color. I can't adequately describe why this apartment evoked such "comfortable" feelings in me but I felt I could live there. Now, this says nothing about carrying whatever furniture we DO want, up 5 flights of stairs, because the elevator was NOT large enough for much. I guess that's why I have a young son with large friends. Look for the photos! More later.