The ad read 2 bed, 1bath apartment in upcoming, revitalization area. I crossed my fingers praying that craigslist would not let me down, again. The treacherous road trip was over and a new apartment was essential to the master plan of starting fresh. Revitalization, sign me up. Let’s be honest my fresh start could use a revitalized me to go with it. So from there it was North Park meet Kaitlin, Kaitlin this is North Park.

You know that awesome twenty-something age where anything goes, all hopes, dreams, and desires are dutifully scratched on the to-do list with little consideration for their apparent impossibility. This little place drenched in a pleasant mix of chaos and excitement is where my present is and my future is being built. I traveled to San Diego with my bestest friend in the world chanting “homeless and unemployed” all along the way.

Now, (no longer homeless) North Park is my hood. Needless to say the introduction went well. And despite still being unemployed my home couldn’t be better.

At first I sat for hours in Caffe CaLabria drinking scrumptious fruit infused iced tea while job hunting. After just a few days the beyond adorable barista began attempting to guess my name. While never near close to my birth name the gesture made me feel like an instant insider.

I stare constantly at my plush forest green carpet which is coved in pamphlets, coupons, magazines and menus. Each one a perpetual reminder that the possibilities are endless, boredom shall be defeated. So I reach over the 944 and Urban Solace menu, toss aside the Le Wax Boutique coupon making a mental reminder to “dare to be bare” and clutch the free drink coupon for U-31’s bull riding night. A free drink while watching other drunks attempt to ride a mechanical bull, this earns a spot in my busy schedule for sure.

Economic crisis or not North Park has got it going on. I was welcomed with open arms and as I walk about spending my dwindling dollars at Claire de Lune and Material I give a squeeze back to the neighborhood that I now call home. The neighborhood that has kept my spirits high even as chanting “unemployed, unemployed” becomes notably less fun.

Keep the give and take alive.

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