Sunday, April 20, 2008

You know, that place where you see the refineries from the 405

This is how Torrance--the location of Justin's hospital--and just further west Redondo Beach--the location of our next three years of life have been described to me.

The refineries.

The place off the 405 near the airport, just before or after depending on which direction you're driving.

Obviously, a hard sell for Justin to convince me that Refinery Land could make me happy. Luckily for him, Justin did not know the area very well either. We knew there was a hospital--a county hospital known for "action" which generally implies a dangerous neighborhood where action that involves violence occurs regularly. As with all things Californian, to the west the ocean. But all oceanside neighborhoods are not created equally.

Years ago Venice was a dangerous area, but apparently now it is a hot spot for young clubbers. We saw Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach. The last two are more expensive than the first, and the reason was proven when we searched for dinner, moving south to pass up the places we didn't have the energy to feign coolness.

Not to mention, we wanted to sink into a quieter place, a cool beer, comfort food and drink.

So we ended up in the same area where we had stopped for coffee that afternoon, a restaurant and brewery just one block from the coffeeshop--which happens to be loaded with books and next door to a place with homemade ice cream and gelato.

Gelato!

Even better, the Riviera Village was just behind the apartment we loved best--Justin could check the waves from the living room and the sun streamed into what would be my studio. Not to mention, Justin loved the kitchen with its new appliances, wood cabinets and black linoleum faux-granite counter tops. I envisioned the placement of books on the built in bookshelves, and admired the baseboards and space above the kitchen cabinets where we could put decorative items.

We started calling it our apartment as we drove around town and needed a reference point to another location, "This place is about a mile from our place," we'd say. Then we'd catch ourselves and smile or laugh at each other.

For mental and emotional insurance, we spent today searching for "a gem" as Justin called it--something better than our beautiful apartment... maybe something that would be all that and allow pets.

We finally settled on a place not unlike this one in its Melrose Place style courtyard build. A place much larger, with almost 1200 sq. ft., and also just two blocks from the ocean. There's two bedrooms--one will be my studio. The living room adjoins a dining area and together the space is large enough for us to be able to store bicycles and surfboards inside.

Next week we take possession of the apartment and continue to maintain our San Diego home until Justin officially graduates.

Justin only has one more week of school--his opthomology rotation ends on Friday and tomorrow he has to give a presentation, so tonight will be a long night of working for him.

Once again, we did it: We found a place to live in just one weekend of searching. This time it was more difficult though, as far as clashing, since we didn't know where we were and we had to navigate and investigate the neighborhoods as well as the buildings.

Did I mention we'll have new neighbors next door too?

They are roommates--two women who are in the residency program at UCLA Harbor in the ER department. Yep, 3 of the 15 residents in the program live in my building.

Pictures posted later... so tired!

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