Sunday, 7 January 2007

Flat hunting

Day three here in the UK, things have gone ok so far. I looked at some flats Friday and Saturday, and have settled on one in a pretty cool area right on the cusp of Clerkenwell and Holborn. There are a ton of bars and restaurants around, so it should pretty much be the polar opposite of Roosevelt Island! It’s a good location because it’s a 15 minute walk to work and a 15 minute walk to SoHo, basically right between the two. So no having to take the tube ever!

I looked at an apartment in the Barbican that was truly amazing. The Barbican is sort of like Roosevelt Island, a planned community with its own stores, a movie theater, arts center, etc. It was a gorgeous 4-bedroom apartment with some amazing modern amenities and a huge balcony. The other rooms were three guys. The only downsides were the room faced a fairly busy street, and it was the kind of deal where it was clear it would be heavily dependent on me getting on with my roommates. This other one in Holborn, on the other hand, is a very big bedroom in a 3-bedroom flat with no living room. So it will be kind of like my studio in Chelsea, sort of like having a studio with a shared kitchen and bathroom. The owner is an older Eastern European guy, and the other renter is a girl about my age who is also a finance journalist, and she seems nice and says she hardly ever sees the older guy. This other apartment also requires no long-term commitment, so I’m free to go at any time. The Barbican one required 6 months.

I was agonizing over the decision but as it turned out there was no decision to be made, because the Barbican guys didn’t call me.

Unfortunately I can’t move into this place until Sunday, so I’ll be up here in Harrow until then. Aaron has been a very gracious host but I feel bad being a guest for so long. And Harrow is really far out there. It’s kind of like living in Westchester, except even less convenient. Last night I went out with a friend and we left the pub at 12:30. By then it was too late to get the tube back so I had to get the night bus, which doesn’t start running till 1:13am,. And then even after that, the first two buses weren’t going all the way to Harrow, so I didn’t even get on the bus till 2:45. And then it was an hour bus ride to get to Harrow, and then a 15 minute walk! Now can you see why I’m willing to pay extra to live in central London?

Get this. An unlimited monthly tube pass to go from here to central London is $150 quid. That’s $300!! A month!! And that won’t even get you to zone 6, where the airport is for instance. You have to pay extra to go there. Yes, London is expensive!

But so far it’s been cool, I’ll just be happy to eventually be in my own room and get settled, and then do some exploring. On the top of my sightseeing list: Benedict Arnold’s grave. I really want a picture of myself making a thumbs-up sign in front of it. I think it will be hysterical. Apparently it’s tucked away in the corner of a church somewhere. I’ll ask some random passerby to take the photo. That will make it even funnier.

Tomorrow I start work. I’m very curious to see what kind of set-up I’ll have at the office, hope it’s a good one. I have TONS of work to do tomorrow, so I’ll probably be too busy to be too preoccupied by where I’m sitting. I know one thing, I’ll be glad to be back on internet again!

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