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Holy expensive, Batman! Somebody mentioned moving around L.A. on in Jenn's comments where prices were $1200-$1400. I was shocked that people could pay that much for apartments, so I thought I'd see what that buys here in the IRON CITY.

First one listed on Mount Washington meeting that price was "luxury" hi-rise, obviously for location, location, location...

Closer to my modest apartment, there was "City Houses-Rent: ALLEGHENY WEST New & beautiful! 3BR, 21/2 bath, eq. kit, off st. parking. $1150+ utils." Hmm, still a bit on the low end, and the neighborhood is variable.

A more happenin' neighborhood had the listing, "City Houses-Rent: SQ HILL $1200+ 2BR/1BA, Study, A/C, D/W, Det Gar, Bsmt Lndry, Pvt Deck, On cul-de-sac nr busln, univs. Avl 10/1." Quiet, though only two bedrooms. And of course utilities can run up quickly here in winter.

None of the specify hardwood floors, though. A definite drawback. Those're worth $100 to us, maybe? Maybe not for you, though.

Closer to the universities and the modest nightlife here... "East Apartments-Rent OAKLAND (2) 1 BR's & (1) 2BR apt., beautiful view of river, central a/c, w/w carp., $1,000+ gas & elec." A river view is nice, but doesn't seem to get us to our $1400/mo. level yet. A few of the places right in downtown read rather like "Gateway Towers - 1br, fr $900 to $1500, 2br/2ba, $2200; incl. all utilities," or " downtown 1BR, 1 ba luxury condo, many amenities, pkg extra $1000+." Oakland might still have the better deal if you want all your cronies to join you, in an arrangement like: "OAKLAND Eff. 1-8 BRs, eq kit, w/w, laund, prkg. $395-$1500+." Eight! Yoi! Not to mention parking, which is at a premium down there! (Plus utilities for eight bedrooms.)

In stylish but useless (no bookstores!) parts of the city we can find:

"SHADYSIDE 2BR, unique w/spiral staircase, frpl, sun deck, ac, off-st prkg, $1100+elec."

"SHADYSIDE 3BR eq. kit, c/a, avail. 9/1. $900+ util."

This might be great for a really quick move to escape L.A.: "SHADYSIDE delightful 2 BR house, a/c, w/w, frpl, eq. kit, W/D. $1050+ or $1350+ furnished." (Furnished, you see.)

Broke the bank on this one! "SHADYSIDE wonderful, one-of-a-kind 2BR dplx, 2 baths, LR/FP-cath ceil, hw flrs; fin. bsmt, gar, deck, sec sys. Conv. to Walnut. Non-smok bldg $2500 Sept 1." Wow...

I think maybe I'll stay put.

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