The house is a bow-front row home on 35th Street in Hampden. It was built in 1900 and has not been updated since someone had the genius idea to cover the stairs and floors upstairs with vinyl, the kind that comes in a big roll and gets tacked down with metal strips. On paper, it is a zero bedroom, zero bath house because it has nothing that is functioning (vacant since 2011), but there exists the shadow of two and a half baths, plus three bedrooms. A basement that is dark and dry but will soon be finished and light and have workshop tools, washer/dryer, and huge television with comfortable couch. A small deck off the back with a little yard that looks into an alley across from a park. A cool vestibule when you enter, a place to shake the mud off your shoes and collect your thoughts before you enter the house.
(awesome vinyl floor coverings on the stairs that even a flat-packed
Ikea shelf wouldn't fit through.)
Sicily and I both felt it when we walked in. Like a little fluttering of what it could be. This way we get to take all of the things we loved about the houses we saw and incorporate them into exactly what we want.
(looking towards the entrance from the kitchen at walls that will be destroyed)
This, of course, raises separate issues, like finding an affordable rental for four or six or however many months for two people, two dogs, and one cat while the house gets tarted up.
Yesterday we went to two festivals. The festivals were located in the two neighborhoods where we were looking for houses: Brewer's Hill and Hampden. Hands down, we both had more fun and preferred the people in the festival in Hampden (minus the creepy lady in the cool tiny shop who followed us around and at one point blocked our exit from the store. On purpose. Weird.). We didn't plan it that way, but it was nice to have our choice of neighborhood validated.
The house comes with an antique Chambers gas stove, which, if it can be rehabbed and used will have a prominent, hopefully-shiny-blue place in our new kitchen. If not, we might put a sink in it and re-purpose it.
(as cousin Jennifer would say, shut your filthy mouth. I am in love with this stove. Like, marriage and babies in love with this stove).
So now comes the hard part (after finding a temporary place to live). Now I need to prevent myself from visiting the house every day. I need to hold myself back from obsessively documenting all stages of the process and freaking out when all of the walls are gone and the staircase is ripped out. I need to pace myself. This will take awhile.
But at least we know we made a good choice.