I drove past this place today while running an errand for work, and the horrors just came back again and again.
A few years ago, I was super new to Raleigh. So I set about the task of finding a place here, using the only platform I was familiar with to do so. Craigslist. (Seriously, if you’re moving to a new place, don’t only make sure that you visit the place, but also go off of word of mouth. I cannot stress to you how important this is. Luckily, I always ended up with super cool roommates, and my only rando Craigslist roomie I had turned out awesome, and our time together was only cut short by a tornado.) But I digress, that is another story for another day. Anyhoo, so this place called Westgrove Towers had been advertising a butt-ton on CL, so I’m like “Okay, anything with the world ‘Towers’ in it is fancy, and that’s where I need to live.”
So, this is the picture they kept advertising with. Idk, the sky is blue in it. It kind of looks like a hotel. How bad could it be right?
I literally walked in to the biggest murder scene of my life, minus the murder.
- The advert, and the man at the front desk was bragging about how close you were to “shopping”. By shopping, he meant a run-down K-Mart with a parking lot big enough for you to park your Winnebago in, and the $1.50 movie-theater. Other than that, I’d be forced to cross a 4-lane highway on foot to reach civilization. Listen now, before you get all up in arms, I’m perfectly aware that there are nice K-Marts, and dollar-theaters but this, this was not one of them.
- The lobby was really dim. Not in a fun, romantic way. In a creepy murder way.
- The room they showed me….
So, for some reason at this point in my life, I’d become enamored of this idea of living in a studio. I felt like it was very hip and cool, and that I would stylishly roll out of bed, my hair perfectly imperfect, a sort of Shakira-Lauryn Hill hybrid, and I’d step into my fringed moccasins, wrap my pashmina around my neck, and glide across the room to pour myself a latte, which I’d obviously brewed in my single-girl espresso machine. Plus I think the studio was all I could afford.
So I remember taking this Alfred Hitchcock elevator upstairs in this “high rise” and we step into the studio apartment. It literally looked like a motel room that you could rent by the hour, if you know what I’m sayin’. The apartment was their showroom, and the bed was saggy, it might have been a pull-out, and the furniture was all made out of that particleboard stuff, all furniture that had probably fallen off the back of a Big Lots truck. I tried to mask my horror as Miguel motioned around the room – it smelled of stale cigarette smoke, and the back lighting made the room look even worse. I forced a smile, as Miguel took me down to the front office, a room lit only with fluorescents, and pitched the “high rise” to me. He complimented my figure, told me I looked like a Zumba teacher (well duh bud), and shook my hand before we parted ways. He even emailed me like a month later to follow up!
I ran, not walked, out of this place, and called my father immediately, almost in tears about what I’d seen. And today, as I drove past Westgrove Tower, I giggled at poor little 21-year-old me, looking for her single-girl studio.