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Hopkins CRIBS: Off-campus apartment

Posted by Lauren C. on March 28, 2010

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This time last year, the Class of 2011 {who were then sophomores} collectively became nervous about the housing process.  Some people decided to try to get a room on-campus again, but most of us looked directly into the eyes of the most grown-up thing we had ever done: going apartment-hunting and securing a place to rent for the next two years.

It feels even more daunting than it sounds, at least at first.  I have never thought in such big numbers – $1000, $1200, $1400, $1500+ A MONTH for a two-bedroom apartment’s rent?  I have never known what criteria to consider when looking at a place – on-site laundry, carpet vs. hardwood vs. laminate, how many windows a room has, Security, location to your favorite spots on/off campus, the view, what is included in rent and what isn’t {heat, utilities, hot water}, friendly office staff, reliable maintenance staff…the list of things to think about seemed to grow every day.  But, as is my motto for most things related to Hopkins, doing your homework really does relieve any of the “OMG I DON’T WANT TO LIVE IN A CARDBOARD BOX” stress.  Around the middle of March 2009, I started going on apartment tours.  I basically just called up the office and asked to make an appointment, then a representative would take me around the building to see a staged apartment {to get a sense of what the rest look like}, the amenities, etc.  You do that until you find a few places where you could really see yourself living.  Then, in most cases, you put your name on a waitlist and cross your fingers for someone to move out and leave a vacancy.  If you’re still curious about what the housing process entails, head over to the Hopkins Forums because we have a great discussion going on right now about it!

Anyway {and this is another mantra I have come to use a lot at Hopkins}, everything always works out for the best!  My friends are all comfortably settled into great apartments all over Charles Village that work for them and their needs, while I have found a place that I can call my own as well.  I actually inherited my place from a friend which was really lucky.  I’m currently living with a senior so that means that, once I graduate, I will have had a roommate for every year at Hopkins…and I think that’s kind of cool.  {There’s always the concern that you’ll get tired of a roommate and end up getting on each other’s nerves – for most people though, that isn’t an issue – but for me it makes things feel really fun and fresh when you move in with someone new!  Even though I miss my roomie, JHU_Jessica.}  I feel so comfortable in my apartment now and I’m still finding ways to make it feel even more like a home.

That's my door!

Ok, so with my background story all cleared up, I present you my very first off-campus Cribs update!

The Building
Even though it is “off-campus,” my building is still literally across the street from the lacrosse field and a 5-15 minute walk to anywhere on campus.  I am also conveniently located near One World Cafe {a great vegetarian/vegan restaurant, bar, and cafe}, Chocolatea {a quaint little cafe and lunch place}, Hopkins Deli {think “game day food”}, and more.  The building itself is kept in great shape and offers a lot of standard amenities like a laundry room, mail services, basement storage if needed, elevator, and maintenance.  I really love the vintage feel it has – there are really charming touches all throughout the lobby and hallways, like beautiful light fixtures and elaborate molding on the ceilings.

The Neighbors
I get along well with our office and maintenance staff, which is definitely a plus.  Another plus is that this building is a great mix of students and “real” people as I like to call them, or adults with families and jobs.  Some students prefer to move into apartments that are mostly students {for a similar atmosphere as the dorms, just a bit more grown up}, but I really wanted something a bit more low-key.  I definitely found it and I would recommend my building to anyone who is interested in the same kind of “neighborhood”-mix of tenants.

The Apartment

Welcome to 3E!  If you walk straight on in down the long entrance hallway to my apartment, you’ll be in my living room.  It’s pretty standard, with a couch, chair, some side tables and a coffee table, a TV, and some decorations on the walls.  We spend a lot of time here so it’s important that it feels really comfy!  Off of the living room is a small sunroom that, at the moment, isn’t being used for anything really.  I have grand plans to one day find and restore an antique bistro table to turn this area into a breakfast nook, but for now we just enjoy looking out our big windows or opening them to let tons of fresh air in.  If you turn in the direction of the front door and leave the living room through another archway, you’ll hit our Dining room.  We got this furniture from people who were moving out when Jill, my roommate, was first moving in, so we got it at a great price.  And it’s beautiful furniture so it was a lucky find!

The amount of storage space we have in our apartment is kind of absurd.  There are five closets spread throughout {not including the bedrooms}, an entire pantry hallway full of cabinets and drawers, and a “maid’s quarters” that is too small for a third bedroom so has ended up as our “everything but the kitchen sink” storage area.  Off of this room is also a bathroom, which is super tiny but can be used if our main one is taken.  The main one is actually smack in between my room and Jill’s room – it’s a Jack-and-Jill style bathroom, which I think is pretty unique.  It’s kind of small as well but it does its job!  Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself…if you keep going through the pantry hallway, you’ll hit our kitchen.  Jill and I both really love to cook so it’s great that we have a stove and oven {YAY COOKIES!}, a sink, tons of cabinet space, a microwave, a quesadilla maker given to me as a gift by Jess, a toaster, a toaster oven, a George Foreman grill, etc… and we actually have enough counter space to fit all of this.  And this is some people’s favorite part about Cribs so I won’t put it off any longer… go ahead, take a peek into the fridge!

Now take a walk straight through the apartment, through the pantry, Dining room, and living room.  Now we’re at a mini-hallway, where my roommate’s room and mine are both located.  I love everything about my room.  I love my full bed, I love my headboard, I love my espresso-colored furniture, I love my globe, I love my fancy library chair, I love the makings of a magazine collage on my wall, I love my photos, I love my clock and mirror that I picked out at Target, I love my television {a gift from my Mommom}, I love my pretty blue bedspread, I love my printer stand…I could go on and on.  Just take a look at the photos to see all of the things I adore about it!  Even though nothing beats seeing it in person.

My messy closet...

Sorry I didn't tidy up for the cameras. But I usually have magazines all over the place!

My bookshelf, which I got for free from the trash room on my dorm floor last year.

My bed! Hey there, Curious George.

My magazine collage and some other photography I found to hang, all works-in-progress.

Lastly, on your way out I’ll show you the weirdest part of my apartment, hands-down.  It’s this ancient fire escape that is definitely not something to be used anymore.  We “share” it {if you can consider it really sharing, since you can’t use it in a fire anyway} with our neighbors and it’s accessible by a locked door.  But even though that part is legitimate, look at it: it’s a giant, terrifying-looking spiral slide down into the depths of my building.  Plenty of people {Josh included} have wanted to slide down to see what’s there, but I won’t let anyone go until I get a miner’s helmet with a light…and an idea of where it actually leads to.

Ok, you’ve seen pretty much all of the nooks and crannies of my apartment.  Now get on out of here!

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2 Comments to Hopkins CRIBS: Off-campus apartment

Jackie M.
March 31, 2010

Yessss the fire escape. So scary!

[...] hopkins cribs: off-campus apartment – march 28, 2010 (click here) [...]

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Name: Lauren C.

Year: Alumni

Graduated: 2011

Major: Writing Seminars/Film & Media Studies

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