Piso Hunting, Round One

9 09 2010

I am absolutely determined to make piso-hunting fun, not stressful. I’m thinking the worst part was yesterday, when I sat in a jazzy cafe in Lavapiés for hours calling folks I found through Idealista – it seems it doesn’t occur to many to take their ads down once the room has been occupied! However, I managed to slate five appointments spaced out over the course of today and another three for tomorrow, plus I saw one with Sam last night. Surely at least one among the nine is already waiting for me to waltz in and make myself at home.

In fact, I am currently in a small cafe-bar in Huertas, properly caffeinated and a mere twenty minutes from my first appointment of the day. All my potential places are in the south bits of central Madrid. This one is the most northern, there’s a couple right next to Atocha train station (where I need to leave for work in the mornings), a few smack-dab in the middle of Lavapiés, and a selection in La Latina to the West as well. It’s so obvious now that of course I want to live in Madrid proper – and it shouldn’t end up being altogether too much for a place, even this close to the center; the ones I’ve been looking at run no more than 400 euro/month including utilities/internet.

PISO ZERO – ATOCHA
Saw this unexpectedly last night with Sam; I had scheduled my appointment for today but then it turned out Sam was heading to the exact same place yesterday, so we went together. It didn’t jive with her, but I loved it – the kitchen was incredible, and it looked like light would stream in from all over the place during the day. See also: HUGE ARMOIRE. I’d be living with one other chica, from Serbia I believe but speaks perfect Spanish. They are supposedly going to call and let me know tonight what they’ve decided.

PISO ONE – HUERTAS
Just one woman here, Maria, perhaps 30 years old, an affable and very fast-talking Spaniard. The place is cute (and purple!) and the price is right, but the kitchen is approximately one square meter in area – not gonna work for a die-hard foodie. The neighborhood is adorable – I spotted a Cuban place, and the cafe that I waited in across the street was marvelously Spanish – but it’s not honestly that near to where I need to be. Scratching this one off my list.

PISO TWO – LA LATINA
Adore it. Also only one compañero de piso, a charming woman named Leticia in her late 20s. She’s painted the common spaces yellow and green, and loads of light flow in from big windows everywhere. The kitchen isn’t huge but it’s fully equipped, and I think I’ll be able to fully turn around in it. The location is great – five minutes walking from Embajadores, in which I can connect to Cercanias (and thus Tres Cantos). Leticia mentioned that she loved how close both Lavapies and La Latina proper were to the house, and that she loved taking advantage of many of the plentiful arty/cultural events to be found in Madrid. We definitely hit it off – but, of course, she’s also interviewing many potentials, so we’ll see what happens. I would absolutely love to live here.

PISO THREE – ATOCHA
The location of this one couldn’t be more convenient – it’s right next to Atocha, to which all the RenFe lines connect. It’s also quite close to Lavapiés, and a 100 Montaditos!!! However, I didn’t really dig the vibe of the place – very dorm-like, with three other girls, and I would have the smallest room. It doesn’t seem like there would be adequate space for my luggage, let alone my expanded wardrobe… so this one gets crossed off too.

PISO FOUR – ACACIAS
Uh. The guy showing me this one was suuuper nervous for some reason, plus much older than me. Also the place was ugly and the neighborhood dull. No thanks.


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