17 June 2009

PART 2: Welcome to Bawlmer, hon!!

On June 11th, 2009 (my 35th birthday), I arrived in Baltimore, Maryland with my eldest cat Sam. Leaving behind two cats, my dog Charlotte, and my boyfriend Doug all for a worthy cause: I am getting my masters degree in Community Arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

I am living in Hampden. (Baltimore is sectioned off by various neighborhoods.) Made popular by John Waters’ movies, the neighborhood Hampden is home to a variety of wonderful restaurants, coffee houses, and kitschy, funky shops. My apartment is in a row house, and walking distance from all of the establishments that Hampden has to offer plus grocery stores, gas stations, and a plethora of green spaces. Over the weekend, Doug and I were able to attend Hon Fest. And, I am right across the park from The Johns Hopkins University, which is quite fancy.

This is my first time renting a furnished apartment—and, a truly smart decision considering how much less of a headache moving was . . . I am lucky to have a washer and dryer right in the apartment. Parking is always challenging, but totally worth the hassle. (I prefer to be on foot, so I leave the car behind on most outings.)

Moving to Baltimore was not as expensive as I had previously thought it would be. Don’t misunderstand; it was still a lot of money. (Did I mention my apartment is between 500 and 600 square feet—youch!!) But, it seems reasonable, considering I am now living on the East coast and 30 minutes away from DC (4 hours from NYC, 2 hours from Philly).

Not including travel snacks and drinks, below is a breakdown of my upfront costs for moving to Baltimore.

Cost to get to and establish living quarters in Baltimore:

Budget Rental Truck w/website discount: $546.00

Gas (for two vehicles half way): $336.59

Maps to get around Baltimore: $16.11

Groceries, cleaning supplies, miscellaneous: $146.75

Books—so far—for school via Amazon, 3 total: $36.26

Amount to get into apartment + first month’s rent: $2340.00

Internet hook-up + first month’s bill: $90.00

Deposit to MICA: $450.00

TOTAL spent: $3961.71

Miles to Baltimore from Austin: 1580 miles

Number of states traveled through: 6

Number of hours to get there, with a brief stop in Nashville: 25 hours

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