Sundays With Strangers


You know, the conventional wisdom is that there isn’t any more value to be had in Bloomingdale, though let’s be honest, conventional wisdom also says that there’s a measurable difference between Coke and Pepsi, the forty hour workweek is reasonable, and Channing “High School Football Coach After A Severe Allergic Reaction” Tatum is handsome, so yeah.  It might be time to officially mandate sarcastic quotation marks around that second half of conventional “wisdom.”

I mean, if this place doesn’t have value – 1500 square feet over three levels, for under $640K! – then value just doesn’t exist, which is certainly possible when you consider I just paid nine dollars for a pineapple at Whole Foods.  The listing says the place “could use a little TLC,” so I was expecting blood splatters and black mold, but no.  The facade is pristine, and you enter into a wide-open living space of exposed brick and blonde hardwood.  The living room has a massive bay window, and features a small-ish, rustic fireplace.  I guess this is one of the parts of the house that theoretically could use a little “TLC,” but then do you really need a huge, ornate marble fireplace?  Especially once you consider that 1) a fireplace is this weird superfluous vanity feature – no one needs a fireplace (unless you’re on unemployment and your heat got cut off for nonpayment and it’s November – yes, I speak here from experience) and 2) all the evidence shows that even a small, brief fire in your fireplace is the equivalent of smoking an entire carton of Marlboro Reds.  Having a small, token fireplace like this means you can still play the “let’s go sit in front of the fireplace wink wink nudge nudge” card when you bring people home from the bar, but that you keep the mini-volcano of carcinogens to a minimum.  It’s really a win-win.  Plus, I’m convinced that 90% of the reason most people have fireplaces is so they can put framed professional-quality family portraits on the mantle, and anything that discourages that sort of behavior is a-okay in my book.

The kitchen, okay, well, the kitchen could maybe use a little TLC, and by “TLC,” I mean “four burly men with sledgehammers.”  It took me a moment to realize what was so strange about it – there are no windows!  So when you cook, you’re just going to be standing there, marinating in the odor of burning olive oil and incinerated garlic (wow you suck at cooking!).  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a kitchen without windows.  It’s kind of extraordinary, like a two-headed kitten or something.   Even the door is windowless.  Did this house used to be a jail or something?  It’s too bad, because the kitchen is superlative otherwise – long, roomy, tons of counter- and cabinet-space, stainless steel appliances.  Maybe you could grow to love it, despite its flaw, like a fantastic significant other who snores.

Upstairs, the master bedroom is huge, with a sort of mini-bay window, and tons of exposed brick.  It also has wall-to-wall carpeting, which isn’t everyone’s thing, but makes a lot of sense in a bedroom.  Stepping out of bed onto a cold hardwood floor is the absolute worst way to start your day, not to mention the small but real chance of getting a splinter in your toesies.  Hardwood floors look good, but they suck to walk on.  Wall-to-wall carpeting is like outsourcing your slippers to the actual floor. If you spill coffee or something, just do what I do, and throw a pile of sweaters onto the stain and then NEVER EVER MOVE THEM.

The next bedroom is the other place that could use some “TLC.”  It’s hot pink.  Pink is supposed to be a relaxing color, but not this room.  This room makes you feel like you just took five hits of LSD and went bungee-jumping.  But it would literally take ninety minutes to repaint, so yeah.  Not really a big deal.  The lower level is a separate one-bedroom apartment with front and rear exits, so if you ever bash the front door down to evict a tenant who hasn’t paid their rent in six months, they can just zip out the back door, come back at like 3AM, and put in new locks.  How great is that?!  Out back, there’s a wooden deck for all your deckin’, and per the listing, the house has a “nice deep lot” (insert your own not-really-funny off-color joke here), that could accommodate three cars, so this would be the perfect house for you if you’re a car thief.

51 R Street NW
3 Bedrooms, 2.5 Baths

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