So my friends J & L(x2, of the male variety) invited me and a bunch of co-religionists to view the valley fireworks from their high-rise apartment on Central. This has become an annual tradition, which is really cool. This year they wanted party-goers to donate a chunk of dough to the church for the privilege, a chunk which, alas, I don’t happen to have laying around on the living-room floor. So…the human will be home listening to the local bang-bang nuts playing with their explosives and trying to calm the poor little dog’s nerves. (When I’ve gone to J & L’s for the Fourth, I’ve left Ruby with M’hijito, where the unruffleable Charlie the Golden Retriever keeps her pretty calm.)
That high-rise strikes me as a potential alternative to an old-folkerie, for when I get too old to handle the hassles of living in a house on a quarter-acre of land. Though a two-bedroom there is just an apartment and so is a lot smaller and more economically appointed than the four-bedroom Funny Farm, for an old buzzard it has a lot of advantages…
- Less space to have to keep clean
- Much better security
- Someone else takes care of the exterior.
- It’s within walking distance of AJ’s.
- It’s close to two excellent hospitals (my house is close to a large urban hospital, too, but that place is not what you’d call “great” in terms of quality and safety).
- Incredible views!
- The lightrail goes right by the front door — you could ride it to the museums, the library, the baseball games, AJ’s, the Episcopal cathedral downtown, and even out to Tempe (if events at the university beckoned).
On the other hand…
Moving to J&L’s tower would mean sacrificing manysmall pleasures and would make parts of my present life so difficult I might have to make major changes…like find a new home for Ruby.
In a two-bedroom apartment, there would be no space for both a guest bedroom and my office. And the whole extra bedroom and closet that I use for storage would go away!
Then we have the pool issue. Despite the latest spate of grousing, I like my private pool that resides behind 8-foot walls and piled-up vines. I love skinny-dipping whenever I feel a whim to cool off. And I’m not going to strap myself into an elastic strait-jacket for a five-minute dip in a public pool. Here, when it’s miserably hot I can step out the back door and hop in the drink. There I’d have to change clothes, ride an elevator downstairs, traipse to a pool, then climb back out, ride back up, and hang up a suit in the bathroom.
Living on top of the neighbors is not my idea of a gracious lifestyle, no matter how fancy the apartments are.
AJ’s would be within walking distance, at least as long as I can still walk that far. But how long would that be? If I’m not walking the dog a mile or two a day (which surely would not happen in that hard-edged part of town), before long I won’t be walking much at all…won’t be able to.
Despite the crime in the neighboring slums (which does spill over into the ‘Hood) and the soaring property taxes and the endless wrangling of workmen, I’m inclined to think that living in my own little cottage with my own yard and my own garage and my own swimming pool mightily beats living in a box in the sky.
Would a high-rise apartment beat self-imprisonment in an old-folkerie? Probably. But can I provide all the services for myself here that I’d have to provide if I were living in an apartment? No doubt.
Think I’d druther have those services here than there…