Friday, August 19, 2011

Laura and Dave’s New Apartment

The other exciting news in Laura and Dave’s lives is that they are moving! Their new apartment will be in the Swan’s building, a co-housing unit in a re-modeled warehouse in downtown Oakland. 


The ground floor level has several stores and also houses the Museum of Children’s Art. In the corner of the building is an Indian restaurant – and Indian food is a favorite of Laura and Dave……


Around the back of the building is the garage parking - a luxury in a city to have a place to park their car. However, Laura will be able to catch the BART to work, just 1-2 blocks from their apartment, at the 12th street Oakland station, then ride just two stops, across the Bay, to the Embarcadero Station. And, while she is still in school, she is still just a few miles from Berkeley.


The Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA) is located just beside this apartment complex and has a wonderful courtyard, with children playing and happy sounds.


The 20 co-housing apartment units share a garden…….


Where, in addition to flowering plants, herbs, tomatoes, and other vegetables are grown.


Laura and Dave’s apartment has a small ‘Juliette’ balcony overlooking the garden.


Each apartment’s door opens out to this shared patio area……


With plants and greenery and room to sit outside and enjoy the California sunshine…….and a wonderful chance to visit with your neighbors.


The people who are currently living in the apartment are in the process of packing moving boxes, but they let us go through the apartment to get an idea of what will need to be done for moving day.

The new kitchen will be more spacious than they now have….plus, it has windows and a lot of natural light! Actually, the whole apartment, at a little over 900 square feet, it is almost twice as big as they now have. It will be so nice to have more room…..and with 2 bedrooms, they will have room for company. So get ready to visit…. : )


The apartment is a remodeled warehouse,  and the developer retained a number of nice architectural elements……beams, braces, and interesting windows……


The living room is a bit narrow and long……just overlook the current resident’s furniture that is there, now…….The shelves will probably come down and a sectional couch will go along the end wall.


Co-housing is a concept that is new to us, but has been a trend in California for a number of years. The 20 apartment units function as a community. They each have a full apartment, but they share laundry facilities, a communal recreational/dining room and professional kitchen. Three times a week, there are optional dinners in the communal dining room. Each resident takes a turn about once ever 6 weeks, cooking for the group. There is a system to sign up, so one knows how many to expect, and some system of keeping track of the expenses and reimbursing for the cost of the food.


There is even a shared children’s play area. It seems like a lovely way to establish a sense of community in a city that can sometimes seem so impersonal.


This is just across from the apartment….and the street that they will live on……located in Oakland’s financial district.


With tree-lined walks and little street side cafes….it seems safe and clean……


The apartment lies just several blocks from Oakland’s Chinatown. Interesting….and they have nice little produce markets.


And, of course, the beautiful buildings of downtown Oakland…….a short walk away.


Moving date is scheduled for Sept 1st- I know that Laura and Dave will be glad to get settled in their new place. We will send an email with the new address once they get moved in…….

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