Katsumi and I have been doing some light apartment hunting for the last month or so. Not an all-out search, but simply a leisurely daily scan of the Craigslist no-fee section and several Saturday afternoons spent touring the neighborhoods of greater Boston. We’ve found a couple places we’d be happy with and seen a couple more that were… less than ideal… but are still on the hunt for an apartment amazing enough to vacate our current one, which, though small, has the distinct advantage of skylights.
I’ve also seen a bunch of incredibly poor advertisements, and herein I do present the pictoral evidence. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ll read an ad with photos before one without, but there’s something to be said for a well-chosen picture. For example, if you had to make the decision to post a text-only ad or use this:
which would you choose? From the photo, I can discern that this apartment is probably dirty, smelly, and seen the business end of one too many pub crawls down Brighton Ave. The maroon sheet over the window, the mattress on the floor… it all reeks of the worst kind of undergraduate sloth.
Speaking of “college chic”, take a gander at this fine specimen:
What were they trying to show off in this picture? The card table? the shitty air conditioner? I’m at a loss. I might still use milk cartons as bookshelves, but at least I’m not eating off something that folds down flat.
How much collapsible furniture can you spot in this shot?
And what kind of cereal would you guess that is on the table? I’m going with corn pops.
This next one is what we on the hunt call a “studio with alcove”:
an alcove just about big enough for your bed, a crappy TV, and ALL YOUR DIRTY LAUNDRY. And can we talk about the lighting? I’m sure there are windows SOMEWHERE in the apartment, but from the picture you may as well be in a fucking basement with the rats.
Again, with the no windows / basement / chain yourself up in hell vibe:
You can picture some poor kid hunched over that particleboard desk just dreaming of freedom. If this is the showcased feature of the apartment, well, I just don’t know what to say about that.
And again with the bad lighting!!
Look closely! The cabinets seem to be new, and there are a TON of them, which is always a good thing. You’ve got a relatively modern oven with a hood, all the better for those nights when you have just a leeettle too much vodka while fixing dinner and wind up passed out with your head in the sink as your chicken picatta turns to charcoal in that kickass Cuisinart saute pan your mom bought you at Marshall’s. Not that something like that would happen to me – I’m just illustrating why the hood is a bonus.
But the best – THE BEST – feature of this kitchen is the dishwasher. For me, the dishwasher is like the holy grail of appliances, promising hours upon hours of joyful bliss where washing dishes is not something I have to do. So: we’ve got nice, new cabinets, decent stove, probably a fridge somewhere, and a dishwasher. But you know what? IT’S REALLY EASY TO OVERLOOK THE GOOD POINTS BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN BY A FLESH-EATING ZOMBIE. It’s called “White Balance”. Use it.
I don’t know where they got this furniture from, as the apartment is clearly uninhabited:
But hey, I mean, sometimes it’s just better to take pictures of the apartment when nobody’s living there. It gives the buyer that feeling of raw potential, lets their mind run free…
but even the weird lens can’t disguise the fact that this apartment is about the size of my armpit. Picture the broker standing on a stool in the corner, trying desperately to get some shot, ANY SHOT that will make the property look remotely viable. You’re not fooling anybody, you sorry sorry bastard.
But you know what? At least that guy TRIED. He got on that stool and put some EFFORT into shit. This one:
I just don’t know about this one. One might consider that the whole “bars on the window” thing might be a turnoff to the discerning buyer. Or the fact that the room is barely large enough to hold a double bed.
And just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, you see something like this.
The landlord seriously posted a picture of the corner? Like, someone would look at this and think “I know this apartment is out of my price range / in the middle of the ghetto, but fuck me, check out that MOLDING! I’ve GOTTA HAVE IT!!”
Sometimes, though, it’s nice to highlight a feature of the apartment. Not molding, per se, but say, the closet.
But maybe not that closet. From the looks of it, a stiff breeze or a misplaced footstep could send that whole house of cards tumbling right on down.
Or the bathroom:
But maybe not that bathroom. Or maybe not that angle of that bathroom. Or fuck it, forget the bathrooms. Nobody really wants to see that shit.
If you continue to browse listings, you begin to see things that are downright inexplicable. Like this, for example,
I didn’t even know you could bring a camera into Whole Foods!! And furthermore, I don’t know what the produce section of Whole Foods has to do with my renting a new apartment.
But the weirdest ancillary picture I’ve seen yet has to be this:
I have no words. Maybe he comes and gives massages or something. Maybe he’s the resident gardener, maybe he’s the poolboy, maybe he just stalks around the building occasionally hitting up the “glamour pose”. I have no idea WHY he’s there, but his presence WILL NOT SWAY MY CHOICE EITHER WAY.
as a capper, here’s a picture from the ad for the apartment we looked at in East Boston. It’s pretty small. (the picture, not the apartment).
I’ll post pictures of our visit there maybe tomorrow or something. But I’ve been writing this for like 6 hours, and that’s about all I can take of that.