Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Empty boxes (for now)

You might think the fact that we've lived in DC for almost three months would preclude us from being able to just now remove four freshly unpacked large moving boxes from our place. You'd be wrong. Our apartment might be small, but it apparently contains a black hole of forgotten items (also known as the bedroom closet). But finally, they're out of here. And just like that, I own skirts again!

Last night was quite the burst of productivity - in addition to the closet project, we also finally decorated three different walls. But somehow we still have so much to do around here - life keeps getting in the way a bit. We are impatiently waiting for our terrible moving experience payout and a tax refund delayed by fraud, after all. And so the mismatched furniture and bedroom wall covered in paint samples and things that "will be" but aren't yet are going to have to keep waiting. I'm fine with that... usually.

There's also another reason I'm reticent to find the perfect pieces for certain spots: we don't want to live here forever. An infectious case of house fever is sweeping 'round our modern urban rental. On Sunday we walked around our neighborhood for hours, popping into open houses and oohing and aahing at various features... and then staving off heart attacks at the prices. But oh, the details!

After our walking tour, a funny thing happened. We drove over to another neighborhood to stroll around and stumble upon some dinner inspiration, and I felt it: that's where we are supposed to live. I'm not going to write about this magic neighborhood for fear of jinxing myself, but there are so many things that got me: patios bustling with eaters and drinkers, quiet tree-lined streets just off the main drag, families and dogs alongside singles and seniors, markets and crafts and things I love. It all clicked for me. So much so that I was immediately beaming, giddy with excitement about finding our new 'hood, inspiring our waitress to comment on our happy vibe, and basically bouncing out of my shoes. And I didn't take photos. That's how you know it was the real deal for me. With this 'hood, we'd move from "super trendy area experiencing prohibitively expensive housing bubble" to "steadily prohibitively expensive area." In other words, we've gotta save our hearts out - but hopefully get a bit more for our money in the long run if we can make it there.

So a goal neighborhood, then. And a year+ timeline to figure out how to get there. No small deal, right? But somehow, in the weird way my head works, knowing where I want to be but not knowing how we'll make it happen feels better than being in a place that isn't 100% right for the long-term and not knowing where we're going next.

That mismatched chair in the living room with a blanket thrown over it, then? Fine by me. For now.


  1. Booh hiss at the evil moving company and idiot who can't remember numbers. Yay at you finding a place that feels like home. I'm dying to know where it is, but I'll wait until any chance of jinxing has passed and you can tell us. :)

  2. We are so in the same place right now. We're trying to make our house a home without too much settling because we know we won't be there longterm. Although we also have another factor in play. We have no idea what town (or state, for that matter) we may end up moving to in two years.

    I am so happy you found a neighborhood that makes you giddy with excitement. And until you become a resident, you can at least be a visitor!

  3. Based upon your description ("patios bustling with eaters and drinkers, quiet tree-lined streets just off the main drag, families and dogs alongside singles and seniors, markets and crafts and things I love"), I am pretty sure that your dream DC neighborhood is also MY dream DC neighborhood. At least, that's how I'd describe mine. I used to rent there several years ago and would LOVE to move back, except anything that's the size I want is INSANELY expensive.

  4. Thanks for the support Spotted Sparrow and Emily!

    @Stephanie: Your comment made me think about that description, and I realized it could describe my current neighborhood as well. Funny how in one place you like that description, but another you LOVE it, isn't it? Fingers crossed we'll find something without selling our organs first.

  5. A goal neighborhood. I've got one of those too!

  6. I think you should share your neighborhoods (present and future) with this soon-to-be Washingtonian!

  7. Yay for feeling more settled. And are you kidding me with the adorableness of those houses? I think you guys would look fab peeking out the windows of those gorgeous homes ;-)

  8. Maggie,

    So funny you should mention that it was so right you didn't take photos --I too shared some lemons to lemonade news on my blog today and said the very, exact thing!

    I have 400 photos of houses and land we toured last weekend on our house hunt and none of the one we put the offer in on!


  9. Mags, I am so with you. We moved to Nashville almost 5 weeks ago. Last night - burst of productivity where I finally got my files out of the bankers boxes and into the filing cabinet.(We have our first client meeting in the office today!) But the starkness of the naked walls is really starting to get to me. Everything is functional, but it's just uninspired. Maybe we'll go to some open houses!


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