Since I got off the plane in Baltimore yesterday I feel like I’ve been running around in a mad rush to find some acceptable apartment. At first I thought this city of 500,000 or so was small, but a long ride on the DC Metro will prove to you just how large Washington DC can really be. It’s the middle of summer and DC is a warm blanket of humidity and soaked shirts waiting to happen. It’s gross. After two days I already have a bad blister forming on my right foot and I’m tired, feeling the drain of exploring this city. The only plus is that I’m seeing a large portion of this city in the process.
Once I got the B30 bus from Baltimore BWI International Airport to Greenbelt Station, I took the Metro in to the city center where my friend Kerry lives in Columbia Heights. As it turns out there were three Argentinians on the Metro and we talked about a number of things as I tried my best to help them out. However, Washington isn’t my new home just yet, so I couldn’t offer much for them. Settled in the apartment, I set out for my first apartment viewing way up on 14th Street. Though I didn’t know the bus routes well, or anything well for that matter, I consulted Google Maps and figured out that I could take the 53 bus all the way up 14th Street, which was only a few blocks away.
The apartment was nothing special and very far from campus, so I moved on and was set to go to my next apartment until the contact told me they’d already rented it. Instead, I worked my way over to American University to finally get a view of the campus. I thought that maybe I’d stumble across a building with rooms for rent, but all I did was walk around and look at a few buildings before going back to the Metro. But not before stopping for some Peruvian food–just a quick dish of rice, eggs, chicken and a bunch of other greasy things.
I was set to meet up with Kerry for a drink but received a call about an apartment in the Shaw neighborhood, near Howard University, so I told Kerry I’d meet her after. Sitting down on the Metro I looked to my right and there sat Kerry. In a city as expansive as DC, and even though we were at different ends, we somehow met up in the same train. Sometimes it has to make you wonder.
Today I woke up early again to start the hunt, but had to begin the day by switching my base of operations to Dupont Circle, where I’ll stay until I leave on Friday. This caused me a bit of a delay and walking from Columbia Heights, by the time I got to the new apartment I was soaked. I was late to my 10:30 am appointment by an hour but the guy was there waiting anyway. Still, the distance was great, and it would be at least an hour commute to American University, so it wasn’t too viable of an option. I bounced down to Capitol Hill and ate a delicious burrito, listened to a Greenpeace representative who offered me advice on where I could live, and headed up to see another apartment off of New York Avenue near the ATF National Headquarters.
As it turns out, this guy is not only from my hometown of Sharon, MA, but he went to high school with my sister. It was a beautiful apartment, but might be just out of my price range. I ended the day by catching up with Jeff, an old high school friend who’s been living here for the last three years, and walked home past embassies (including the Argentinian Embassy) and continuing the search online.
Tomorrow will be another hot day, and another one full of walking around and trying to find a place to live. My feet hurt, but maybe tomorrow will be the lucky day.