From the Blog

Moving to Astoria Update

We’ve made several trips to Astoria in the past week or so, to look at apartments and research housing. There are lots of cute, cheap places for rent. Renovated Victorians, old brick apartments, places with porches and river views. However, 90% of them say NO PETS. And we have a cute ass little kitty. We were ready to pay a bigger deposit or pay extra per month. But quite a few of the places we wanted to see were managed by the same property management companies. And they were not interested in negotiating or cute ass little kitties. They were interested in following the rules. So, NO PETS.

We also saw many places available in other parts of town. We were hoping to be walking distance to downtown. But we were seeing lots of places on the Youngs Bay side, also known as the south side, or “sunny side.” We aren’t interested in sun. We are interested in walking to beer. Astoria is not a big town, but there’s a HUGE FRICKEN HILL in the middle. There are roller coaster roads where the sidewalks are actually stairs and you need handrails to pick your way down. I don’t mind a little hill climbing. But I didn’t want to live on the other side of the mountain.

A couple weeks ago, Dave and I hiked up and down the streets, from 8th to 17th, from Commercial to Jerome, climbing the hill, and taking notes of houses and buildings with “for rent” signs. It’s not a large area to cover. It was actually a sunny day, so we were sweating in our layers of rain gear. As we huffed and puffed up the hill, I didn’t see any houses or buildings that jumped out at me. And when I saw the property management company signs, I knew it was probably no pets.

I was getting disheartened. We had plenty of time to find something, but not having our housing settled was pushing my “freak out” button. A lovely and endlessly helpful local friend named Amy advised that we put up flyers on the community boards in the various coffee shops and stores in town. Like, REAL PAPER in actual REAL PLACES. Not like, a forum on the internet or something.

So we came home to Portland and I made a flyer.

Who wouldn’t want to rent an apartment to adults who draw like 5 year olds?

I planned a mid week trip to go see a newly listed apartment, and if that didn’t look promising, to hang flyers up all over town. Dave had already given me permission to jump on an apartment if I saw something I liked. He’s not as particular about his living spaces as I am. Back when he was a home owner, he filled his house with pinball machines, including his bedroom. I am told he got a lot of action in those days.

I am perhaps TOO particular about my living space, probably because I’m a girl, and because I’m a sensitive artist type. So it would be unlikely that I would choose something Dave found uninhabitable. On this trip, I took my friend Kate, who is almost 73 years old, and has a perfect balance of age, eloquence and brutal, unstoppable honesty. She also had a fabulous eye for design, so I knew that if we went apartment hunting, I could count on her to wrinkle her nose if we looked at an apartment and she wasn’t feeling it.

We took the 95 mile drive out. We saw this apartment, and Kate and I were both giddy. I called Dave and said “We need to take this apartment.” It was a little more expensive than we wanted, and it was not right downtown like we wanted. But it was huge, it had laundry, it had free heat, the owner was delightful, and it was less than a mile to walk to beer. And they accepted cute ass little kitties. Dave said over the phone, “Let’s do it.”

I did it. We took it. We have an apartment in Astoria. Whew. Dave is not allowed to fill it with pinball machines.

Below, here’s the difference in weather between two weekends.



I like them both.


  1. Congrats! Can’t wait to see it! PS–My mom and Kate need to finally meet sometime.

  2. I look forward to visiting you and getting to know Astoria!


  3. Oh what fun!!! And just when I was going to pick your brain about places to live in Portland – well, in a year or so.

  4. Wow! Can’t wait to see pictures!

  5. Well, my basement would be an excellent place for David to fill with pinball machines, then!


  6. @Justin, holy crap, yes. I’ll bring her in for half price sandwich night.

    @Katy, this is going to be a fun summer. Lots going on in Astoria. Plus, I know you *LOVE* to camp, and there’s camping nearby! ;-)

    @Amiee, I have called Dave a Portland whore, because he’s lived all over this town. I’m sure he can still recommend some neighborhoods for you.

    @Meredith, you are the best copy editor ever. Thanks for always catching my typos.

  7. can’t wait to visit. last night, watched goonies for the first time ever. filmed in astoria. cute as pie town. can’t wait to visit. can i visit!?

  8. You sure can, Kelli! If you find a way to leisurely drive up the Oregon coast, it would be the trip of a lifetime.

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