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Jewish Journal

Moving On Up, Reluctantly

by Teresa Strasser

February 17, 2000 | 7:00 pm

For the last two years, I've dreamed of a simple thing: I've just wanted to be able to say, "I'm in the other room."

After a lengthy stay in a grim studio apartment, I can finally say that. I've moved to a one-bedroom place in a far better neighborhood, complete with a garden courtyard, a garage, a roomy living room and the sense that, like the Jeffersons, I'm "moving on up." Which is why it's confusing that I feel so down.

Gone are the roaches, the fax machine at the foot of my bed, the tangle of electrical cords going into one pathetic, fire hazard-creating outlet. Gone are my fellow tenants, the Asian transsexual, the toothless building manager, the out-of-work actor who daily stuffed the outgoing mail box with manila envelopes containing his outdated picture and resume. Gone is the ice cream truck that seemed to pierce every moment of silence with "La Cucaracha." Gone is the ghetto I had come to think of as home.

You would think this change would thrill me. My new place isn't a palace, poised on the edge of Koreatown in an area I optimistically refer to as Hancock Park adjacent, but it's the nicest place I've ever lived. Still, each day I wake up in my new digs feeling lost and out of place. It's like eating an ice cream sundae but not tasting the hot fudge.

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