Central Station

The Bay Area's Newest Destination

Thursday, January 21, 2010

WHO LIVES HERE?....Alena and Michael


If relationships were a board game, Alena and Michael have mastered chutes and ladders and are now passing "GO", and all in their early thirties. As someone with experience (Rick and I have been together since LBJ was president...don't laugh!) these two are in for the long hall. They both agree that they keep each other balanced as they are still learning new things about each other including their differences. Alena is the driven one keeping Michael on his forward path and Michael is the calm one helping Alena put things into perspective as her ambition ramps her up. Planning a wedding in May their relationship began as students at the University of Wisconsin where they both studied psychology. They moved to the bay area when Alena got into graduate school at the California School of Professional Psychology in Alameda where she eventually earned her doctorate in clinical psych specializing in family therapy. They settled in Emeryville with their two shelter dogs, Poe and Twain, two terrier mixes that look like something straight out of a Dr. Seuss book...check out the picture. Michael, who also has a background in sociology, began working in a variety of positions with special needs kids including those with autism and behavioral problems, but eventually went back to school in real estate and has almost completed the program. But Michael's real passion is writing and he is working on a number of reality based fiction novels and dreams of locking himself is a cabin away from the TV, internet and the world where he can just concentrate on his manuscripts the way Michael Creighton does. Alena, upon completing her schooling, and waiting 7 long months due to changes in licensing, first worked a couple of part time jobs working with adults, couples and families and then she landed a great full time job with Kaiser in Antioch. So now they are getting married, done with school, gainfully employed and the next step is buying a home. At first they looked at over 30 detached houses but the extra ("baby") room started to freak Michael out and they turned their search to condos. Don't get me wrong...they are definitely talking kids but not right now. "Lets just be thirty!" is how they put it. Michael found PCL on craigslist and went over to talk to Gail. His adoration of lofts from the movies kicked in and he went home to talk to the "boss". Alena, being a New Yorker, got it right away and they decided to buy the last grove loft. They love the industrial feel, concrete beam and outside space for the dogs. Alena is quite the decorator and the home is full of her touches from remotely controlled blackout window coverings that she can operate while in bed to twigs gracing and individualizing the railing around her patio. When I asked about their initial feelings about the neighborhood the general response was that it was no bigge. From Alena's earlier work in Oakland with kids she was very familiar with the area and its culutre and didn't have to think twice about moving into the community. They both love the fact that families are moving in next door at Ironhorse and that they see kids in the neighborhood but are glad to have their quiet sanctuary on the grove where they have gotten to know their adult neighbors. They are both taking advantage of the great restaurants in the area including Le Cheval, Brown Sugar Kitchen, Miyozen and Kao Sarn Thai to name afew. Both Alena and Michael are looking forward to meeting more PCL residents and have attended most PCL events. The decorator in Alena wants to see more open homes! So great talking to you both....two sparkplugs for sure!

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