Apologies to any readers here with a slow connection--today's entry is relatively photo-intensive (as well as rant-intensive).
One of the big disappointments in coming to Canada was the digs that I chose... specifically the kitchen and bathroom. The apartment itself is fine--it's the second floor of a nice little worker's cottage, in a great location (right near the center of town), and a convenient walk from the University. But I already ranted about my kitchen back in August (8/30)
(i.e., "as seen in Crack Den Magazine’s Kitchens and Baths Special..")
What makes me angry about this kitchen? Let me tell you...
It has the world's worst counter space layout. There is about 18" of space next to the sink (not counting drainboard space). And it's a painted
countertop. Painted? Who paints
a countertop? Maybe if you really want to make sure that stains don't come out, and stuff really sticks to it. Clever.
And the sink. It makes me angry.
(Then again, perhaps this suggests that somebody who owns Calphalon saute pans this big shouldn't be slumming it in an apartment like this).
The cabinets are solid wood heavy construction, but they have obviously seen far too many tenants who have attempted "improvements." As a result, you can examine the layers of peeling paint and see the colors that have been favored over the years. Those paint jobs that make you say, "Man.. it must be a lot of work to mask off knobs before painting." The former tenant painted some decorative designs on the cabinet doors, which more than anything, adds to their pathos. And contact paper on the inside. What makes people think that contact paper is really an improvement? Congratulations: you have just covered the shelf with a big pastel floral sticker.
The appliances are both Harvest Gold. The oven is electric (first time I've lived with one)--can't say that I like it at all. The oven door kinda falls off its hinges when you open it. The refrigerator uses four times as much electricity as the Energy Star refrigerator that I bought for myself back in Cambridge (yes, I keep track of these things
, actually--energy geek, remember?).
It is basically obvious that the kitchen hasn't seen much attention or improvement for several decades. It is, quite frankly, the crappiest kitchen I've ever lived with, and that includes the one that Bird and I first had near Central Square (Back when we were in the 'hood and keeping it real, yo.).
Perhaps some of you are wondering just why I am so bitter about this kitchen. First of all, I really love to cook. Second, I know how a real kitchen goes together (both in terms of cabinetry, design, and materials), and this ain't it. Third, I was really spoiled for the past 6 or 7 years with the kitchen Judy put together at Pemberton Street (including the completely sexy black and stainless range, along with the Kraft Maid cabinets
and ridiculously German Franke sink
Back to my place in Waterloo: as for the landlord paying for renovations--I've pretty much given up on that. First of all, he's a property manager, not the owner. So based on brief conversations with him, it seems like anything that requires thought or decision making is way too much work. He'd much rather show up and pick up checks. My reaction was, "Don't want a kitchen renovation for just the material cost? Sure, you bonehead... be my guest... I'll be glad to take any work I do with me and leave you with the same lame-ass setup that I found."
So why am I doing this blog post? Just to rant? Actually, I am doing something about it.
I have bought several cabinets and a 4' length of countertop. The previous setup in this corner of the kitchen, incidentally, replaced my 4' countertop with the refrigerator (and 18" of absolutely wasted space). Now I have a stretch of countertop in the work-useful location of next to the range (albeit on the far side of the room from the sink). I will be adding a set of shelves above the countertop, as well as three drawers (on full-extension slides) betweeen those two cabinets to store pots and pans. Countertop electricity will be provided by the quad box that's on the counter now (and will be mounted on the underside of the shelf, along with a light and the toaster oven). I'll keep you all posted.
As for those of you who might say, "Well Bats, if this kitchen pisses you off so much, why don't you move?" Well, first of all, I'm improving it now, bit by bit. Second, I really don't want to move again, especially if its for less than a two year at this point. Third--hey, I get to practice my cabinetry chops, eh?
Apologies for the rantiness of this entry. I promise a bit more humor and entertainment next time.