Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A fresh start (again)

Sometimes you've already got lemonade, and life gives you vodka to go with it. And sparklers. And a pony. 

Sometimes you're all snug and cosy in a great little apartment, then you happen across what can only be described as a once in a lifetime housing opportunity. There was no reason to us to move, except, ya know...  


Back in the fall, my random internet wandering stumbled upon a couple preparing to leave this gem of an apartment - the entire second floor of a former shipbuilder's mansion in the historic Mt. Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore. 

One visit and we were in, hook line and sinker. The former entertaining floor was repurposed into apartment living- 3 main rooms, a kitchen, and bathroom. Marble fireplaces. Elaborate plaster molded ceilings. TWO chandeliers. The only answer was, YES! Let's live in a ballroom. 

(our TV lives above this fireplace)

Packing up, especially when you feel like you've just settled down, is a little bit crazy. But if I've learned anything over the last year, it's that a change can do good. We were looking for a place with a little bit more room (when you both work from home, it's hard to take phone calls when the desks are back to back), and a neighborhood that was more our style.

Moving from one city to another is always a bit of a crapshoot. It's really hard to judge a city's neighborhood character based on a weekend visit, no matter how much internet research one does. We lucked into a great spot when we first moved to Baltimore... but it wasn't 'our' spot.

Fell's Point is incredibly fun, historical, and vibrant... but also a little crazy. Every weekend (and most weeknights), the streets are filled with people having a great time (and letting us know about it through the window.) It was a great introduction to the city, but for the most part, my partying days are over. I really missed meeting people from the neighborhood - and it was hard to do with so many coming in from the suburbs to have a good time. Not bad! Just not for me.

Mt. Vernon, on the other hand, is a little quieter. Still very centrally located - and even more walkable/closer to transit than Fells! It's right by the highways, the train station, and a short walk down to the harbor. The houses are all older and absolutely gorgeous, and the *first* Washington Monument (suck it, DC!) is right outside our window, located on a little park. People sit on stoops and walk their dogs. And say hi to each other. It's kind of amazing.

I wish there had been a site like Urban Compass out there for Baltimore when we were trying to figure out what neighborhood to settle in. It's only for NYC (for now), but the site gives a feel for a lot of popular boroughs of New York, and what to expect if you move there. From Chelsea (diverse, fast-paced, for foodies) to Park Slope (elegant, for families, serene) and everywhere in between, you can find the right fit for you - and an apartment in the area! Pretty perfect. Now, expand please! Cincinnati and Baltimore need a service like yours.


Here's a few more shots of our place. I'm excited for a fresh start, a new year, in a new neighborhood. More room means plenty of space for guests- come on over and visit us, already! We've already had a few people over, but the goal is to host a NYE 2015 party filled to the brim with friends we made this year.

The kitchen - huge built in pantry that I recovered with contact paper (may revisit in a future post). Gas stove! And plenty of room for dance parties. If you're into that sort of thing.

This is the view when you first walk in. I am an extremely amateur photographer, and would love someone who knows what they're doing to come and take real pictures sometime. 

It's difficult to furnish a ballroom. I've been spray painting a lot of things gold. The trick is to find the balance between the art, furniture and accessories we own to feel grounded in the space, not randomly just stuck there - without filling it to the brim with new things. Odds are any future place will not have 18' ceilings. 

The kittens are pretty happy with the new digs. They like climbing on things.

Click through the slideshow to see the rest of the setup. Better yet, come see it in person. 

Thanks, Urban Compass, for inspiring me to write this post! I didn't get paid, just asked nicely - and I needed the motivation. So now you know.