Patio Reviews

After looking around my new apartment complex, it seemed quite obvious to me that many people have no idea what patio space is meant for. And while there are plenty of sources for critical analysis of movies, digital cameras, or even interior decorating, there are not a lot of paid professionals ridiculing people who put a bench press on their porch. This is too bad – maybe it would happen less if there were. So I’ve decided to try. The first part of this effort involved taking pictures with my camera often pointed into someone’s apartment. Only one person stopped me so I told him I was writing a college paper on “The Application and Consequence of the Modern Patio.” He seemed confused just long enough for me to turn the corner and start walking faster. News flash buddy: I’m making fun of your shit on the internet!

These people somehow found reason to cram an umbrella under a roof, accordingly thumbing their nose at both tidiness and utility. Plus, there is the ubiquitous mountain bike – completely unoriginal. Grade: F

One has to admire the obstinance of this resident in refusing to rent a storage unit. And while it seems to provide a terrific gambling opportunity with anyone willing to wager on when it will get cleaned up, it ultimately is just a bet as to when the tenant will move out. The metal security-door could at least have been propped up over the door to the small storeroom on the left, which I’m sure is probably empty. Grade: F

I can’t be sure but I think that is a midget outhouse. After observing the apartment for a few days, I never saw an actual midget, leaving me to conclude it is some sort of bizarre joke. While I appreciate the effort at democratic surrealism, it ultimately fails because of the uninspired exploitation of dwarves. Grade: F

We have a fully equipped workout room at this complex. Even so, this tenant has reduced the walk from his living room to the nearest bench press from 30 seconds to one second. Plus he is free to wear a headband and knee-high athletic socks, which I personally find get a lot of resentful stares from people in the gym. Still… we have a fully equipped workout room at this complex. Grade: F

This patio doesn’t have any furniture, only a guy who is always out there talking on a phone with his shirt off. Inexplicably, he never gets a tan. Every apartment building has a patio like this. Sometimes the guys are fat and sometimes the phone is replaced by a cigarette. Sometimes, you will even meet the guy when he knocks on your door to tell you he is a registered sex offender. Grade: F

What can be said about a patio with a fabric couch and a zebra-style carpet? Only this: if there were a bunch of white plastic chairs and a grill in the living room, it would be a respectable mind blow. I checked and this is not the case. Grade: White Trash

I have a friend who hangs her laundry from the shower rod. If a guest has to “break sea-level” in the toilet, she’ll make them carry the clothing, piece by piece, to her closet. I think this is perfectly reasonable, yet it has the potential for a real mood-killing shame-walk for a first date who unwittingly ordered the spicy chutney. Anyway, this patio has very boring clothes. Grade: F

As far as the fertile terrace goes, both these have serious flaws. One (left) has too much jungle-themed flora, making me and my fern feel inadequate. The other (right) is completely under-planted, to say the least. What is that thing on the far right, anyway? Is someone trying to grow marijuana or build a model of a pirate ship or what? I really don’t know. Grade for both: F

How do two separate apartments have patios with the same wind chime? I secretly hope that one person rented both, knocked a hole in the wall, and uses one apartment entirely for wrestling… or cheese. It is more likely that the occupants are just friends and also sharing cable. I have to pay full price for cable. Grade: F

Classic. Simple. Elegant. Placing wicker chairs next to a wrought-iron beer table is inspired, both a nod to neo-rustic deco and traditional styles. Grade: A

*live tours available upon request