Isabella Court

When I first heard the Chronicle was doing a story on the building I live in, Isabella Court, I thought, "Oh great, is rent going up now?"

Yesterday, after the story appeared, I was accosted by a nice family on my way to run an errand. "We read about this place in the Chronicle," the mom told me as I was walking to my car. "We were wondering, could you let us in?"

In the article's comments section online, carolathome2 writes, "My daughter is about to start college at the Art Institute of Houston, and I think she'd fit right in there. If I put her name on the waiting list, do you think there'd be an opening by Summer 2012 when she graduates?"

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Yes, it is a beautiful building, and I love it. As the story says, it's "magical," and the tenants and management are wonderful.

But in the spirit of full disclosure, just so carolathome2 knows what she's getting into, here's a few things I've seen simply looking out my very window:

-- A person smoking what appeared to be crack (twice);

-- Drunk men lounging by the Dumpster, one of them seemingly dead (he wasn't, he was just extremely wasted, as the cops ascertained);

-- A rotund little man banging on a green Ford Explorer with a shovel (I called the cops and he was arrested; I felt bad because I realized he was mentally ill); and

-- A couple in a domestic dispute pulling over to scream and shove at each other (hey, this was just last night!).

There have also been homeless people sleeping in the front doorway, and, in the area, an insane masturbating man outside the downstairs galleries, anal sex in the park across the street, and a couple of drug deals done quite out in the open. Not to mention the recent graffiti problem.

To me, it's all part of the building's charm.  (In truth, I feel quite safe there.) But I just thought carolathome2 would want to know.

- Cathy Matusow

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