Thursday, June 2, 2011

Apt Tourney: The Throwdown (and pics!)

Here we go! For background infomation and part 1, look here.


1. Dorm

4. Casine (no pic, so here's my only original shot of Florence)

As I’ve often stated, my 6 weeks in Florence was unquestionably the best time of my life. My last week in town, I actually slept two hours a night... and liked it. I didn’t travel on weekends, other than school mandated trips. I had no desire to leave town, even when leaving town meant going to Venice. So, why doesn’t Casine win this? Simple. I spent most of my time elsewhere. Casine was a(n occasional) bed and a coffee maker. I broke the laundry machine 3 days in, so I didn’t even do laundry there. My dorm life, first time on my own ever, was way more interesting, at least regarding the actual dwelling.

2. Seal
no pic, so here's a shot of me at the ET lobby, where I was interning at the time

3. DuMonde
no pic of DuMonde, this is L'Arambar, down the block, my home away from home in Paris

Tough battle. Close. Temporally too. From the time that I moved into Seal until the time that I moved out of DuMonde, only five months passed. Paris. Ocean and Main. L’Arambar. Mother’s. Being 21 and being 21. I think Seal gets a slight nod on apartment-related reasons - I had it to myself, and it was in the middle of everything. Plus, if I squinted, I could see the ocean.

1. Dorm vs 2. Seal

Dorm life was a lot of fun, but it doesn’t really have a chance here, does it? While I would happily pay, say $9,467 to magically return to day one at the dorms and live it again, it was a cramped college dorm that was nowhere near the ocean or any decent burrito places.


1. 3005, Lawence
check out that awesome early '90s entertainment center. This is my only pic of my basement room that didn't prominently involve people.

4. Florida
wow, a house!

Hmm. My entire childhood and adolescence verses a fairly shitty five month period in my early 20s. 3005 wins this running away.

2. Michigan Street
highlights are shown in the picture - our dog Bella and our book shelf, which we used to trick people into thinking we read legitimate books.

3. Ridge.
couldn't find a pic without people

Another easy round. Nobody involved in the Ridge Court experiment, not even Jerry Springer, has anything good to say about it. Michigan Street, on the other hand, embodies an era that most of my friends still talk about nostalgically. When I moved into the Michigan Street apartment, I had four distinct circles of friends in Lawrence. When I left, I had one, and I didn’t drop anybody along the way.

1. 3005 vs 3. Michigan:

A toughie. Grade school, junior high, and high school versus senior year of college and the crazy first year after college. In the road trip bracket, one caveat that leads to win is the fact that I can’t repeat said trip again right now without the assistance of a time machine. Well, I clearly couldn’t duplicate either of these eras now. Based on a technicality (this is called Apt Tourney, not House tourney) and the fact that I don’t feel lie waxing nostalgic about 8th grade, I’m putting Michigan in the Final 4.


1. Chi Studio
a mighty fine beeramid. this took upwards of two days worth of empties to make.

4. Balto
my "other" Balto home, a fireworks stand in a shipping container.

The 1 wins this one, despite the abject poverty. Both bouts in Balto were times of limbo for me. The answer to Balto both times - move to Korea, of course, like any sensible person would. My early Chicago days were gritty and malnourished, but it was an earnest effort at starting a new life. Balto was more like High School 2, in that my days revolved around playing video games and timing my whiskey and cigs around when my mom was at work or asleep.

2. Argyle

3. Hermitage
my only non-people pic of Hermitage, of my filthy desk.

I lived in both of these apartments with my brother. In fact, they were consecutive apartments. The Argyle place was unquestionably nicer. The Hermitage place had a much better location, easy parking, and a far better landlord. I suppose in the ultimate test - I would have renewed my lease at Hermitage if I had the means to do so at the time. I didn’t renew at Argyle, and wouldn’t have unless I were to be allowed to kick my landlady’s tit off the floor and punch her grown son in the neck once a week as a signing bonus. Hermitage wins on that - Bob being the best landlord ever.

1. Chi Studio vs 3. Hermitage
Again, empty fridge aside, Chi Studio rolls here. It had a slightly better location, though a far worse cable package. In my studio, hellhole that it was, I always felt like I was building toward something, even if that something was another beeramid. In Hermitage, I was mostly concerned with beating Zelda 3.


1. Starville

4. Banpo
notice the mattress leaned against the wall, which was necessary to open my front door

As mentioned, my Banpo apartment had an amazing location. One of the best possible in Seoul, and I didn’t even know it since I was such a Seoul n00b. Then again, it sucked in a lot of ways too. I had to walk uphill both ways to get to and from work. Really. There were no good cheap Korean restaurants nearby, which is pretty uncommon for Seoul. In Starville, the roads were flat, McDonald’s was closer than Burger King, and my apartment was big enough for a couch. Then again, it took an hour to get pretty much anywhere in town. The 1 seed trend holds and Starville advances.

2. Doota

3. Now

This is a pretty tough battle. Doota, as I mentioned, is right by Starville. At Doota, with my furniture, killer cable package, solid appliances, and queen bed, I had the best apartment out of anybody I knew with my level of visa. It was better than my current apartment in every metric except location. Banpo was a great location too, and it lost to Starville, and Doota would totally beat Starville if they faced off head to head. Then again, my apartment now is far superior to Banpo amenity-wise, and would destroy it if they were to square off. Out of optimism, and the fact that I may live in the best located apartment in all of Seoul (and therefore Korea) for people at my pay grade, I have to go with the upset.

Final Four

2. Seal vs 3. Michigan
Michigan Street had a lot of good times. On fall Sundays, we would watch the Chiefs, then go play football, then have movie night, and then go to Louise’s Bar for “church.” On weekends, we would go places like, um, Louise’s or the Replay. Weekend activities in Seal included Vegas, Mexico, and Disneyland. Some weekends, I would drink with my local surfer buddies. On others, I would go to Hollywood to hang out with my intern buddies. One night, I went to a taping of The Man Show, then co-hosted a party a party in a Burbank apartment complex that was 70% girls, most of whom were in LA for fashion-related reasons, and it was attended by The Sherminator from the American Pie movies. Yeah, it was awesome to play Circle of Death with my friends in Lawrence while we watched Arthur Johnson miss dunks and Nick Collison get 47 rebounds, but come on.

1. Chi Studio vs 3. Now
The other semi was tough. If I advanced Chi Studio here, I may as well kill myself.


2. Seal vs 3. Now

Is now the best time ever now? Am I that optimistic? Is Seal beatable? Am I that nostalgic? Sorry, this is a whole other post. This battle really needs it’s own space to breath. There may not even be a resolution next week. I didn’t plan to go all Lieutenant Daniels on you, but.... to be continued.

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