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10:21 pm: Probably not moving to Davis
Davis is a hole. Let me rephrase that. Davis was a hole, and then they made it much, much worse.

Imagine a small agricultural town in the middle of an huge flat valley.  Then, over the course of just a decade or so, build the cheapest possible housing for some tens of thousands of undergraduates, sprawling outward into the valley into whichever agricultural fields come up for sale. Sprinkle in some strip-malls and clusters of houses for university faculty and staff. Fail to maintain for three or four decades, and develop no amenities beyond those designed to part undergraduates from their parents' money. In all commercial communication, refer to 'floorplans' rather than to apartments. "We have the great floorplan you've been looking for!"

Pretty much every available rental in Davis is in a building that looks more like a failing motel than an apartment building or a house. They all have the nastiest possible carpet, the cabinets that smell of formaldehyde, the management used to hiring students to deal with other unreasonable, unreliable and easily exploitable students. The apartments are dark, smelly and charmless. The shadeless grounds consist of over-fertilized lawn and pavement, and are charmless. No housing is available within two miles of the campus. Renters hoping to sublease openly complain about their property managers, and the property managers complain about the renters. Leasing offices post signs offering free candy, popcorn and cookies to entice gullible students to come in and sign a lease. The terms of the lease are altered through the course of the conversation under the assumption that the students won't notice. Potential renters are generally shown only the 'model' floorplan until after a lease has been signed. Davis has a truly unique mix of high prices, low qualities, inconvenient locations and ubiquitous culturelessness.

After spending the last two Fridays wandering Davis to see apartments, and spending evenings for the last two weeks emailing people about apartments, we are convinced that Davis is devoid of rental properties fit for adult habitation. We will look for a new place near Berkeley.

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