The the last few decades I have lived at 18 Clarke Street #3 in Burlington, Vermont.

It started as an insanely cheap apartment in a fabulous location. The people who owned the building lived in one unit, some of their strange offspring lived in another and others were rented out. When I heard about it I sprinted to get it and arrived just in time. Cheap, heat included and the only advice from the landlord was "Don't complain about anything and the price will stay low." I agreed. I started on the second floor and lived there for a number of years. I made it known that I wanted the top floor, but I had to wait over a decade for that person to move out. Finally, I moved in to the apartment of my choice, the third floor unit with a private porch at each end, a fabulous view and strangely gabled ceilings.

The owners decided to sell the building so that it could be converted into condominiums and sold. As a current resident I had first call on buying, and I was the only tenant to try to buy. I did buy. During the extensive renovations (yes, there was a lot that needed to be done) I lived in the second floor unit on the other side of the building. Apparently, this is the apartment where landlord offspring had apparently raised rabbits for a few years. I remember using the bathtub and thinking about the tub as the site of the slaughter of the indoor rabbits.

After the renovation was complete, I moved into the third floor apartment of my dreams. Since then, it has been an even sweeter place to live. The location is right downtown, at the top of Church Street, so I can walk to any cultural event or restaurant I want. Within 100 meters of the Skycave there are great restaurants to pick from: Thai, Sushi, Indian, Jamaican, sandwich shop, Korean, California wine bar, take-out Chinese and within another 100 meters other great selections.

It is called the Skycave for a couple of reasons. First, it is on the third floor, has great views of the sky and the horizon, great view from the porch and one feels very "up in the air" for only the third floor. Second, because it is at the top of an older building it had strange ceiling lines, quite irregular, so it seems like the inside of a nicely finished cave. So, Skycave.

Feel free to drop in and visit, but if you don't I will still be fine. Because my Skycave is a place where I also have privacy and get to do my own thing. See the views and some visiting friends below. Doesn't my daughter Sarah Jane photograph well!

Alfred "Tuna" Snider


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