Memories Of My Harbour View Apartment

Not long ago, I had a very nice apartment at Harbour View on Sloane Avenue in Lakewood. Not only was the apartment nice, it had a feeling of peace I have never experienced in any other apartment. Its best feature was its location. It overlooks the Rocky River, and I was close enough to Lake Erie to see the waves. And, this apartment has balconies all across the building; front and back! Only the back of the building faces the river, but the front still has balconies. 

                                       No one ever enjoyed living there more than I did!

                                       There is a long list of things I enjoyed! 

      First, it’s very pleasant to live near the water; it’s peaceful and soothing. I was on the fourth floor, so I couldn’t hear the river, but I enjoyed watching the ripples, and on windy days, small waves. I also enjoyed the shimmer and reflection of the river. It was especially beautiful at night, with the lights of the buildings across the river, and boat dock lights reflected in the river. 

        Second, its location.  It’s almost next to the Lakewood side of the Detroit Avenue Bridge that spans the Rocky River into the city of Rocky River. I enjoyed the best of both worlds. 

        Third, the activity I got to watch. There were boats on the river both at their docks, and cruising. There were also kayaks and paddle boards. Watching the kayaks from my balcony inspired me to try it. I kept saying, “That looks like fun! Well, go do it.” I said to myself. I discovered that IT IS FUN. And then there is the bridge activity. And trains coming across the trestle; I loved counting the engines. And, the putting-in and the taking-out of the boat docks.

   Fourth, walking distance to Rocky River Park. It had a small beach and I would pull a rolling tote with my blanket, towels, and beach umbrella. I’d pound the umbrella in the sand, saw where the shade went, and put down my towel. I sat on my towel a while enjoying the wavy lake. Then I’d go wading. I stepped over a row of mussle shells onto nice soft wavy sand. The water was about mid-calf deep. I’d gather pieces of beach glass along the shore before going back to my towel. One day, I saw something gleaming up at me through the water. I reached down and pulled out a beautiful shell; all intact! I had only found small pieces until then. What a find! It sits on a glass table to this day.     

      Fifth, MY BALCONIES! Oh how I enjoyed my balconies! My apartment was a two-bedroom, two bath, which sounds large, but was only about 650 square feet. But, it gave me three balcony doors. The living room and second bedroom each had a balcony door which went out to a double long balcony. The master bedroom had its own balcony door that went out to a private balcony. That balcony had a partial; not quite to floor, screen that separated my master bedroom balcony from my neighbors. The building has cement separating partitions between the units that provide privacy and wind protection. They do not extend to the railings, so unless you or your neighbor were at the railing, you wouldn’t see each other. That too was pleasant. On summer nights, if I woke up at 3 AM, I would just go out onto my master bedroom balcony and sit in my chaise lounge. I’d watch the lights shimmer and reflect in the river, and enjoy the soft summer breeze. Eventually, I’d go back to bed. I also enjoyed taking a cup of coffee and a magazine out to my bedroom balcony after breakfast. I had a small stool I used as a table next to my chaise. I would go out onto my main balcony in the afternoon. Since I faced West, I got the afternoon sun. If it wasn’t windy, I would put up a beach umbrella, in a stand, to prolong my stay on the balcony. Sometimes I would leave the balcony early to do errands, but I usually stayed out there until chased by the sun. Even my beach days weren’t until 3:30 in the afternoon.

     Sixth, Bird watching! This probably could have been included with “Activity”, but I really enjoyed the birds! There were “Airshow Birds”, which are really Chimney Swifts, but they put on quite an air show. They fly fast and chirp as they fly. They fly in different directions, and sometimes a group of them will fly one way, and a single bird will fly through their formation. They are fun to watch. Seagulls are also fun to watch. Since the building is not right next to another building, and a river below, they fly low enough to see them easily. They would fly down and land on the river, sometimes to look for fish, sometimes just to float on the water. The HAWK BALLET was another favorite. They are large birds, so seeing them gracefully gliding in the air, moving with the air currents, was really fun and pleasant to watch.

               I called my couch “My Indoor Balcony”, because I could still see the things I loved from there, when the weather, or sun, prevented me from being outside.

     Seventh, the Amenities. A Laundry Card instead of quarters! Ten washers and ten dryers in a nice large Laundry Room. Full size stove and refrigerator in classy black.  Cut-out windows in the walls separating the kitchen from the Dining Area and the Living Area. That made the kitchen brighter and airier, and, I could see and talk to my guests. Wall to wall carpeting! I loved it! They were renovating the apartments, removing the carpeting and replacing it with tile in kitchen and bathroom, and wood in the entrance and hall. Carpeting was only in the bedrooms.  There was also a breakfast bar in the kitchen. That was also removed in the renovations. I did not accept the renovations; I was happy with what I had. I also liked the wallpaper and carpeting in the building’s halls. It was a pleasant atmosphere, made even better with the addition of Cleveland Pictures throughout the building.

      Harbour View made me feel like I was always on vacation. It was a very pleasant place to come home to; or remain at home in. I lived there from October 2003 until April 2020. It was not by my choice that I left. Between dental issues and skyrocketing rent, I couldn’t keep up.  

        I did more crying than packing as I got ready to leave. It was the saddest and hardest move I ever made!

Volume 18, Issue 13, Posted 9:48 AM, 07.21.2022