The area is fun and lively, but it can get rowdy on a Friday night when the drunks walk home from the bars, singing and howling.  On regular days the students aren't the best at picking up after their dogs (they all have dogs for some reason) and I take the abandoned feces as a personal affront.

We also have a population of homeless drunks who have no qualms about accosting you at your doorstep to ask for a cigarette (I don't have one), or tell you they need bus fare (it's not true). One late night, some time ago, a mentally ill man had a lively party with his invisible friend in my front yard. They left commemorative cigarette butts and beer cans.

We've lived in bigger and louder and crazier cities, but we had better windows that kept the noise out, and our buildings had porters and security guards. Paying 60% of our income in rent was crazy, but it had some pluses…

Right now I'm thinking we could just stay in the area and rent in a better building. Something, you know, for grownups.

Ground-level Astronauts

Space. The final frontier.  Not outer space, but figuring where to fit a kitchen table when there's no more room  (answer: nowhere). I've seen video footage of the space shuttle astronauts, and they lived in orbit almost as cramped as we do here on Earth.

My wife and I both work at home. Until recently she had a  part-time job she hated, and she would spend two or three days a week there.  She recently quit, so she's here full-time now, with her plants and posters and trinkets. She likes a homey space, I like mine industrial-looking.

Both our living room and dining area function as offices and studios. We also rent a small storage space: not for clutter and “collectibles”, but for actual business gear.  The storage makes our space more livable, but we still lack areas to relax and socialize. Having friends over can be difficult, but since we stopped spending money going out, we have little choice and we invite them over anyway-two at a time.