I have lived in this apartment community for almost 7 years now. It is in the city and across the street from the Marta station, which is extremely convenient. My friend Imara was living here and was a classmate of the apartment manager, so I was able to get an apartment without being on a waiting list. Also, I was able to get a tax credit apartment. When the Olympics came to town there was a lot of development and they displaced a lot of residents. So, some developers that built new housing had to set aside a number of places for low-income residents in order to get a tax break from the government. So that means that I pay $541 for an apartment that normally rents for $760. Sweet deal and I don’t have to have a roommate (which I am against at this point in my life unless they are calling me wife or mommy).
So the community has gone through its changes. When I first moved in there was a good mixture of folks. Lots of students (since we are down the street from Clark, Morehouse, and Spelman), families and singles. It was pretty quiet, except after finals when the students would sometimes wild out. The management has changed and they are a little more involved with the residents.
Lately though I have been thinking it is time to move on. The booming music is getting louder. The people congregating on the stairs to talk to each other is getting on my nerves. The cigarette smoke wafting through my windows is making me ill. Having to step around the brother on the stairs with is laptop (stealing someone’s wi-fi) is uncomfortable. Listening to the girl on her phone complaining to her friend that her children’s father won’t give her money for the kid’s back to school clothes. Then she actually talks to him and wants to know why he can’t help her. It sounds like he is in jail (“I’m in this with you. I put money on your books!”), but he got money from somewhere because he is helping out his other baby’s mama. I don’t want or need to know this.
Maybe I am getting more bourgie as I get older, but while I love the hood, I don’t want to necessarily live in it anymore. My problem is that I don’t make much money and moving to a comparably sized place will cost me $200 more a month – that I don’t have. Should I start looking for another higher paying job (doing I have no idea what)? Should I leave Atlanta and seek greener pastures elsewhere, like I have been threatening to do for 10 years? Should I try to squeeze out more rent on my current salary and give up cable and Internet? Should I just stick it out and be thankful for this cheap-ass rent?
My lease isn’t up until next spring, so I guess I have a lot to think about.