Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Amidst all my confusion as to where to live next year, I decided to ask Hashem what to do. In Shacharit (morning prayers,) I really REALLY focused hard. And the answer came to me.
"Nu, what was wrong with that place I showed you in San Simon?"

After davening, I went back down to San Simon and scoped out the neighborhood. One thing that doesn't come across about the neighborhoods in Jerusalem is just how small they are. Walk three blocks in any direction and you'll probably end up in a new neighborhood. Of course, that isn't true for the sort of places like Pisgat Ze'ev, with tens of thousands of homes built over the course of a decade. But in the older parts of the city which were built up over the last century, you can walk through one neighborhood and feel like you're in Lithuania in 1700, then cross the street and feel like you're walking around in Saudi Arabia. San Simon is sandwiched between two neighborhoods; downholl and across the street is Katmonim, a somewhat seedy working-class neighborhood, and uphill is Katamon, a gentrified area with a high concentration of Anglophonic singles. Of course rents in Katamon are pretty high (minimum $600 for a 1-bedroom.) Despite the distance on the map, I decided to walk it out myself and I found that it was only eight minutes and seven seconds by foot from the apartment to the shtieblach. This would be fantastic! One of the problems I've had working out here is that I just can't get to minyan for Ma'ariv (evening prayers.) Shacharit is easy, and I can usually get Mincah either at the Yeshivah or here in the Pisgah before work starts. But you can't daven (pray) Ma'ariv until after sunset, and I work from 6-10 PM. The last Ma'ariv in Pisgat Ze'ev is at 9:45, and it's way out in Pisgat Ze'ev Merkaz (central, I live in Pisgat Z'ev East.) I'm pretty much stuck at home davening yachid (by myself) every weeknight. If I lived near the shtieblach, I could just unplug the phone at 10PM, head on over to the shtieblach, and catch a minyan any time. So I figure I'll go for it.

A photo I managed to take in the apartment, assuming I get it in the end (still some lease items to negotiate.)

Next step: I called to reserve a machsan (storage locker.) 549 shekels ($131) for 1 month. Then, I called the mover, who will be here Monday to take my stuff away to the mover. Negotiated with the landlord to have my lease begin on September 30th, so I won't have to pay rent for the month I'm gone. Earlier tonight, took the lease over to cousin Rafi to have him read it. He took out the black marker and deleted the unfavorable terms. Hopefully the landlord will be cool with that, and if not, I can always find something else.

So now we're up to packing. Man, I HATE moving. I mean, Really. You gotta pack up all your stuff, move to a new spot, and the fact is that when you move into a new place, you can never really tell if you're being ripped off. You've just got to take it on faith.

At least now I have a car, and can get around okay. Imagine if I were doing this without the benefit of a vehicle.

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