I heard from a reliable source that the Fox Point neighborhood is located in the oldest area of Providence, RI, and that it "retains much of its historical character" (wikipedia.com). And I believed that source. I also believed the craigslist.com ad telling me this studio apartment is "historic" and, in so many words, quaint.
In Seattle, "historic" means it was most likely built around 1901, renovated from an abandoned speakeasy, but now comes with full amenities, new hardwood floors, a green roof to cut down on emissions, and a community garden complete with a compost bin that you share with your hippie neighbors who just moved here from San Francisco with their dog "Maddie."
"Historic" in New England simply means decrepit. These buildings have been here as long as Dame Maggie Smith has lived, and if you've seen her face recently, you'll kind of get a picture of my studio, because this unit is at least one hundred years old (and it's the new kid on the block), it hasn't seen a renovation since Ike was in office, and my upstairs neighbors are highbrow ivy league graduate students who stomp out their theses with their shoes every night.
I kid, I kid. My only real complaint is over the blood stains in the shower. I don't think Norman Bates had to scrub as hard after he killed that poor secretary. But how can I complain? I signed a lease with one K. Greene and her husband Bill; they named their company KGB, LLC.
After a few seconds of deep thought, I decided NOT to go to them saying, "Hey, so I found blood stains in the shower of the unit you left me. Also, a couple of bent knives. And some women's hair in the drain even though you told me a balding man lived here last. So I saved some samples and I was just going to pop over the police station just in case this is something they want to see. Is that OK with you all? And I love your tats, Bill. Is that prison ink? Is that Stalin's face with a backdrop of a burning American flag on your neck?"
And then I would die. In the shower. And I'd prefer to die somewhere more sanitary.
I thought, by leaving Seattle, I could escape all those Asian mafia-owned rental spaces, but I suppose law-abiding landlords don't exist in these times of economic turmoil.