As I get closer and closer to the time when I retire and begin to consider where I will likely end up living I realize it will likely be a condo down by the sea but in a very built up urban area. I am targeting downtown San Diego in the Gaslamp district. That area because as I age, if I do not do so gracefully, I have a good public transportation infrastructure, a vibrant area full of entertainment and eateries as well as sports venues, and so on. There is also top flight medical care and a host of specialists in all disciplines. Lastly I also get very temperate weather since downtown is right on the bay.
However this means a tradeoff. No backyard to observe from. Likely few to no dark sky trips. I did map out a public transportation path to a Orange zone but that isn't anywhere near the Blue/Green zone I am used to now. There will be a balcony. Plus I like to plan ahead. Right now I am looking at either a West, North, or South facing balcony. The roof of the balcony will likely hinder everything 5-10 degrees from zenith but I will be high enough up that there will not be another building blocking views that would be worthwhile. I am guessing likely I will have from 35 degrees up. The reason for the balcony situation is She Who Must Be Obeyed wants at least some view of the bay. And if I am alone I too will want to see the ocean/bay though this is a lower priority for me. I will likely have a 8" reflector (Mewlon 210) and a 4- 5" APO (maybe a TSA-120 or a Tele Vue NP101is or both) to work with on the balcony. The public transportation scope will be a 80-102mm APO on a light weight mount.
Some caveats: 1. I do not want a Dob. 2. I do not want binoculars. 3. Target wise I am planning on the moon, planets, and double stars. My plan is to go after those plus the brighter asterisms and open clusters. 4. I may try EAA. 5. I do not want to use NV. The reason for #5 is personal and is not open for discussion.
Thus the subject of my post. What are your tips, insights, and experience on how to do urban observing from a balcony. What have you folks found? What are good targets? What are the considerations, problems, and solutions to balcony observing?