About a month ago, I moved into a new apartment not far from Lombard St. Around 1:30 a.m. after taking a half a dozen Zipcar trips from my old digs, I finally unloaded my last moving box. As I walked to my new building, I noticed a haggard, toothless woman standing in the doorway. I asked if I could help her, and she responded, “I am a prostitute and the dude in Apt. 3 called me. Can’t you help me out?” Seeing as my place was Apt. 3, I knew she was bluffing, and just wanted to come in. So I made an excuse and tried to sneak my way past her. She then proceeded to call me a b*tch when I wouldn’t let her in. Welcome to the neighborhood, I thought.
During my two years in my previous apartment just two blocks away, I’d never had an experience like this. Could the local flavor really change so much in just a few hundred feet? As it turns out, it may have been more about climate than geography.