OAKLAND CALLS

I can’t seem to think of the quote or the person who said/wrote it but we all know that old rule: …life waits for no one. Or, is Ed Asner? Maybe it is Ed Asner waits for no one. No. That doesn’t sound right. And, I suspect that Mr. Asner would wait if asked or required. He might get a little annoyed, but one would suspect that Mary kept Ed waiting quite a bit. Probably still does on some level. Actually, one would have to anticipate that Mary has kept just about everyone waiting. Even Rhoda and Phyllis. Actually, yes. I guess it isn’t life that refuses to wait for anyone but Mary Tyler Moore. Odd, really because I don’t think I’d wait for Mary. …for Rhoda? Yes. for Mary, Ed or Phyllis?

But, I digress. What I was trying to say is that things seem to come up or happen when least expected. B is facing a particularly busy time at work, I’m dealing with a rather stressful round of medical testing, stress/anxiety-induced migraines and am a short term leave imposed by my doctors. But, it looks like we are about to move out of my beloved GayTown to go over the bridge to Oakland.

I’m not sure if I’ve written much about it but B is an artist. He is an architect by day but an artist by night/weekend if he can fit it into the scope of his free time. Here is a sample of one of his works: He is quite talented. Ever since I’ve known him he has talked about wanting to secure an artist’s loft space in which we can live and work. …on art projects. We have a really awesome space in the Castro. It is hard to imagine letting it go. But, we got a call a little over a week ago about two open units at an artist’s loft building in Oakland. A place B has been wanting to get into since way before he knew me. We went and took a look.

And, we both fell in love with the space of it all. The building is an old clothing manufacture plant which has been “converted” to loft spaces for artists. Huge apartments that provide freedom of the imagination and fellow neighbors who are open to noise in the name of art. The building (first picture at the start of this post) is right off BART — about an 8 minute ride from San Francisco on the train and about 12 minute drive (depending upon traffic) — is filled with cool abandoned pieces of art throughout the common spaces. You take one of those wicked cool old elevators up to your unit’s floor. The hall ways are wide, filled with art and filled with a sort of positive energy. …the unit that we like is 1400 sq feet of open space plus a full bathroom to the side. We will be able to install our own washer/dryer and can have a dog! …Two major perks in my book!
And, the rent is quite cheap.

We debated, discussed and lamented over it for some time. B couldn’t be an busier. I don’t feel well. But, these lofts seldom become available. And, this will finally allow B the freedom to get back to focusing on his art pursuits. It will also allow me, when I’m all well and feeling better, the ability to really pursue my FlashDance dreams! I mean — Kids, this is the sort of loft space one used to find in parts of NYC before they all became chic art galleries and condos for movie stars! This is a cool space.

Of course, there are other down sides: a very lonely and what I suspect is a not so all together safe place. We will be driving to/from work for a while. And, it could be that I will end up with a cheap car of my own. The Element is so big! …And, my skills as a driver or somewhat — um, limited? And, we’re leaving GayTown! My beloved Castro. Of course, it is getting so expensive to live here. Many are leaving. It just isn’t easily afforded anymore. But, we are tired of lugging our laundry to a launderette, we want a dog and some times it would be nice to be able to leave the apartment without worrying about what you’re wearing.

We may get there and discover we just can’t stand living out of The City. If this is the case, we have agreed that we will simply move back. Tho, we will end up in the Sunset district as The Castro is just too expensive and we want a bigger place. B has a lot of stuff!

However, I think this will be so cool! We envision so many things we can do with the space! I can finally get a turntable! Yes! And, I can perfect my “Maniac” dance moves in peace! And, Ing can bring her laundry over as soon we get the units set up!!!

At the moment, I’m not allowed to do any lifting or too much physical activity beyond walking. So, poor B will be stuck with most of the work on his own. But, he is cool with doing that. It is not the ideal time for either of us to move. Moving is life’s number one stressor. But, effective September 1st we can start to work on the unit and we are to move in for October 1st. I sure hope I am cleared to return to work by then. …That means, B will be supervising the move with the movers on his own. But, he can handle it.

…B snap’d this picture of me sitting on the floor of the loft. I was contemplating an idea I have for a Wall-O-Barbra. However, I think this idea has been closed. I can still have my Barbra Column as is currently in our bedroom, but no full-on wall.

Wow. It is going to be odd to leave SF. Of course we’re only a few minutes away. But, is Oakland a cool address?!?!? I’m just not sure. All I know is that the unit is wicked cool! And, I think we’re going to be very happy there once everything sort of calms down! …and, my head stops hurting!

Life doesn’t seem to want to wait for anyone, but I think Ed and Mary would agree: sometimes you just have to roll with the flow. Things have a way of working out. …and nothing is ever set in stone. This will be cool!

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August 23, 2007. Uncategorized.

24 Comments

  1. Meredith replied:

    Ahem. Despite the fact that I seem to have been removed from your blogroll I’ll let this pass and send you big hugs from my little rock. The new loft looks beautiful! Look at those floors and all those windows! I’m green with envy.
    Oh wait, no that’s the wine and vodka I drank last night. ugh.
    xo

  2. matty03 replied:

    Lovley Meredith!!!! I miss you! Now, gorgeous one, you actually instructed me to remove you from my blogroll for privacy reasons! Remember? …the sad thing is I keep losing your new blog address because you’re not on my blog roll!

    I’m sending you an email!!!!
    kisses,
    matty

  3. Old Cheeser replied:

    WOW!!!!! A new place for you and B!! That’s fabulous, Matty…and how strange as Gu and I are going through the very same thing…it must be something in the air in 2007! I am so pleased for you and it sounds like you’re doing exactly the right thing. Especially if B needs more space to be artistic. It does look like an amazing place, so spacious and light, and you’re sooo right in your Flashdance comparison – very New York School for Performing Arts too. You can hold lots of groovy parties!

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve been ill and all, but then this could be just the tonic/change that you need! And as you say, time doesn’t wait for anyone so seize the opportunity whilst you can!

    So why isn’t it altogether safe? Is it in a dangerous area? If it’s any consolation the area me and Gustavo are moving to isn’t anywhere as nice as where we currently live, but like you say it’s a question of affordability. I still think it’s a great opportunity for you and like you say, if it doesn’t work out, you can always move back to the Castro!

    Great news – well done!!

    OC xxx

  4. matty03 replied:

    Cool Old Cheeser! Yes, I thought of that! It is funny — there must be something in the air. Except you and G have purchased a home! …this is a rental, but that is what we are interested in at this time. No interest in purchasing. Actually, even if we were — it is next to impossible to afford to buy in the Bay Area. Small homes in the worst part of the city are starting at $750K. Just crazy.

    It is a really cool space!

    Oakland is in the East Bay part of the Northern California Bay area. Largely blue collar — tho, that is changing as prices keep soaring in San Francisco. Over the last 10 years Oakland has become home to a number of artistes. It also “enjoys” a very high crime rate and the murder rates went up this past year.

    When I first moved back here from Boston a couple of years ago someone tried to mug me at the BART station by our new building. I’ve no plans of using that station right off. Want to get more familiar with the hood first. But, several of our new neighbors walk to/from that station every day/night. So, we will see. We will have gated/secured parking. It should be cool. This is an old industrial part of Oakland and right near the city.

    Berkely (which is very nice, but a bit too hippie-like pour moi, is right next door)

    What we do like about Oakland is the diversity. San Francisco is about as white as you can get. Or, rather, The Castro is pretty much all white. There is a strong Asian population in other parts of the city, but that’s really about it.

    So, it will be cool to live in a city which offers a more rich cultural mix.

    Oakland is also known as the west coast hip hop area. Some cool music comes out of Oakland.

    And, the organization which employees me has an awesome office in Oakland! So, that will be convenient!

    I’m likely to be getting my own car, but will be using B’s a lot for the time being.

    I’m really excited about getting a dog!!!!!! …and a washer/dryer!!!

  5. Dessie replied:

    What kind of dog?

  6. matty03 replied:

    Dessie! Well, I think B wanted some sort of scary big dog — and PitPulls seem to be the dog-de-jour for Oakland but after I was able to get him to hold a shi tzu he was sold. We’re getting a shi tzu!!! Probably in mid-October depending on how things go with my stupid head.

    I would very much like to name her Betty, but B doesn’t seem to care much for that name. Buttons is a good second choice, but once again I was getting looks.

  7. hot lunch replied:

    that is a gorgeous gorgeous space!! you lucky guys!! Best of luck on the move!! You’ll be so Andy Warhol/Factory!

    I was in Oakland once, for a Madonna concert. And SF is RIGHT THERE! hello?

    I think u should get a pug. I can see you with a pug.

    Or a cat. I like cats. And name it Lucky. Or Finnigan.

    And i’m so happy you get to finally wash your clothes!!! Yay to clean clothes!!! πŸ™‚

    happy moving!

  8. matty03 replied:

    Hot Lunch! Yeah, it is going to be really cool. And, by October 1st I better be feeling better! It is hard to get all psyched when you’re out on a short term leave and feel crappy. ugh! …but, this will pass!!!

    Yeah, we’re right by SF!

    I like soft cuddly dogs that are most similar to plush stuffed animals. This is why I love shi tzu’s! …and, they are so innocently stupid. And, really. What better pet for a fag?!?!? lol!

    I do love cats, tho. However, B is allergic.

    Believe it or not, we do wash our clothes! I smell good!
    …so does B! But, it will be so cool not to have to lug ’em down to the public launderette! And, Ing can come do her clothes and hang with us!!!

    Moving is over a month away. …thank God! ..but, thanks!

  9. Daniel replied:

    Awesome space! And isn’t Oakland much cooler now than it used to be? Downside, you can’t just step out the front door into one of the coolest street scenes in the world. But you’re just a few minutes away. I’ll bet once you make the transition you’ll enjoy it.

  10. matty03 replied:

    Daniel! Yes, Oakland is emerging as a very cool place minus attitude. Not quite there, yet — but on its way. Which is why rents are still so affordable.

    I know I will like it when we get there and I’m feeling better!

    And, it’s just a short jump over to GayLand!

  11. Alan replied:

    omfg. Matty, that place is stunning. You HAVE got to get it.

    We can do a summer swap. Minge and I will come to your loft for two weeks in the summer and you & B can come to my castle apartment near Edinburgh!

    Och, I cannae wait! You’ll have to feed my fish, though. And I’ll feed your dog.

  12. matty03 replied:

    Alan (aka Salty Sailor!) Well, we have it. We move in for 10/1. …and poor B has all of September to get it prep’d for move in. I say that because I’m not able to do much at the moment. Ugh! …but, thanks! I think it will be really cool.

    You really shouldn’t make such offers unless you mean it!

    If you only knew how badly I want to get to the UK! I bet we would do that in a minute! Next summer?!?!?

    I don’t mind feeding fish. …can you and Minge handle a spoiled shi tzu?!?!? And, yes, I’m almost certain she will be spoiled. And, I hope she will be named either Betty or Buttons.

  13. hot lunch replied:

    I forgot to say that I think it’s awesome that B is an artist by night! That is very cool and his work looks quite interesting! πŸ™‚

  14. matty03 replied:

    Hot Lunch! Thank you! Yes, B is a very talented designer but I think an even better artist. …the piece I posted is quite old — like 10 years. Some very interesting cool stuff and I expect the new place to be covered in it.

    …the dream? …one day live off the art in Big Sur before we’re too old!!!!

  15. S replied:

    I pass by that building every day on BART! Right now the windows are open, and I can see the space from the train (heads up), and every day I think: Wow, it would be fabulous to live there. And, I believe it will be fabulous. I also think, because I am usually very sleepy when I pass by, that it would be almost like being famous to live there. So you will be living almost like you are famous and most definitly fabulous. Obviously, I am also tired right now because that makes very little sense.

    Congratulations on the new crib!!!

  16. diamondfistwerny replied:

    LOL. The crib looks great!

  17. sorted replied:

    WOW!! The place looks incredible. Sounds like something you just can’t pass up. Good luck with the move. I think you are really going to like it!!

    Hope you are feeling better!!

  18. Old Cheeser replied:

    Aaaaah didn’t think of that – you’re renting as opposing to buying…doh! The house/flat prizes over there sound as bad as ones in London. I think it’s terrible that people are being priced out like that. Still as you say you’re happy to carry on renting and so be it!

    Oakland sounds a bit like the area we are moving to…lol!Though as you say it is changing and that can make a place more desirable! In the meantime be careful when you move there (the near mugging experience doesn’t sound nice) then again, I’m sure you have your wits about you and as you say, none of your neighbours have had any trouble. Bad stuff can happen in lots of places. For instance, one of my friends lives in a very desirable part of London and there was a shooting outside one of his local shops recently!

    Living in a multicultural area is good too, broadens the mind. And being close to your job is very convenient!

    I’ve heard of Berkley, that’s where the university is isn’t it? I remember references to it in “Basic Instinct” when Sharon Stone went there as a student and seduced Jeanne Tripplehorn! (Or was it the other way round?) Sounds way out, maaaaaaan!!

    Can’t wait to see some pics of you and B with the dog – VERY domestic.

  19. matty03 replied:

    Miss. S! You’re too funny! I still think you should pursue something on the stage. But, yes! You are probably looking right in our unit! The artist who lived there before used to put up all sorts of left-ist political things. …I feel so — ‘famous’ …not. LOL!

    Mr. Diamond! Thanks!

  20. matty03 replied:

    Sorted! Thanks! I hope so! I think we will! 2 days without a migraine!!! I’m on a roll!!!! Fingers crossed!

  21. matty03 replied:

    Cool Old Cheeser! Yes, renting! I really did not enjoy owning! Too much responsibility! However, even if I did want to own — I don’t see how we could do it here. The average income in San Francisco is $55K (I’m below average) …and the average home/condo in San Francisco goes between $700 to $900K. In Oakland the average cost for a nice home is about $500 to $600K. So, do the math! LOL! But, it doesn’t bother me as I do not want to own. B, tho, I think would like to own a home again at some point.

    Yeah, something can happen anywhere — one just needs to watch one’s back. And, fear can be prey’d upon.

    It’s not that bad an area. Still for two gay guys with a little dog! LOL! Yep. I’ll be driving a lot!

  22. ing replied:

    The place is really cool! I of course worry that it will not be safe enough and that Betty Buttons won’t be much of a protector. Which, why aren’t you naming her Babs?

    I think Babs would like a friend. A big, tough friend who will walk with you and scare away all the muggers. Just a thought. . . I LOVE the place, but the neighborhood seems a little — abandoned?

  23. Kris replied:

    Wow, the place looks awesome. Does that mean I can crash in Oakland now instead of Castro!!? Goooosh!!! Hahaha

    It’s all goood though, it looks like it’ll be an upgrade. You’ll get washer and dryer, even get a pet though you’ll prolly miss Castro. Like they say, once you go oakland..ummmm.. never mind, that wasn’t it πŸ˜›

    It’ll be alright methinks, you can always visit the “city” It’s outrageous how much houses cost in Cali, but guess you really get what you pay for. I’d visit more if only I wasn’t across the country..

    Hope the headaches have gone away and you’re enjoying your trip to Canada. Hugs

  24. matty03 replied:

    Ing! Yes, isn’t it just like the loft space in FLASH DANCE!?!?! I think it will be fine!

    …and I could never name a dog after Barbra! No!

    Kris! Yeah, I think it will be cool! I think we’re going to like it. We’re going to miss the Castro, tho! That is for sure! You must come for a visit again soon!!!! And, this time I MUST get to meet you!!! Headaches are still hanging ’round, but I’m just hangin’ in there!

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