I never thought I would live in an apartment building - I've always lived in apartments in houses, but I guess it had to happen at some point. There are advantages: most apartment buildings allow dogs, laundry is in the building, your super is on site so if anything breaks, it's usually resolved in a decent amount of time, it's easy to get a place with a balcony.
I'm in a low-rise: four storeys, and I'm on the main floor so I don't have to deal with waiting for elevators or making small talk with residents while I'm in the elevator, which is nice. And I do have a decent balcony. The shitty thing is if Siris barks, she's pissing off an entire building and not just a few people, like in previous apartments. I'm taking precautions like using her citronella spray collar, tiring the crap out of her, desensitizing her to me leaving and coming back, though. So far no nasty notes pinned to my door - yay!
It's weird looking out my window and seeing a ton of other apartments though. Lots of people packed into a very small area. It's weird being in a building with eighty apartments and not knowing a single one of my neighbours. It's weird getting my mail out of a tiny mail cubby. It's weird walking around the block and seeing tons of other apartment buildings, stretching up into the sky. I will get used to this.
The privacy thing is the hardest. Seeing people hanging out on their balconies means they can see me hanging out on mine. Using the same entrance as seventy nine other apartments is just odd. Seeing everyone's routines but not knowing who they are is weird. It's like commuting via public transit, when you see the same people on your route all the time, and you never talk to them, yet you feel like you know them. Except it follows me home. Weird.
I picked this place because it's near everything. The subway is less than a ten minute walk from my door. It's closer to school than my old place. Groceries, shopping, bars, are all within a short walk. The amount of shoe stores I can walk to is kind of frightening. (I can also walk to a Mendocino outlet store - wooot! Ok, that's my inner Carrie Bradshaw speaking, I guess.) There's a clinic I might try to volunteer at that's five minutes away. And the best thing, there's an amazing off leash dog park with tons of fenced off nature trails just a couple minutes away. Which breaks up the grey and the concrete quite nicely. This ain't bad for now. It's just gonna take some adjusting.