Sundays With Strangers


I’m just going to put it out there;  this house would be perfect for a prepper.  It’s about as far north in the District as you can get without going to Maryland, so the radioactive fallout from when “they” (every prepper has a different “they”) bomb the White House probably won’t reach you, plus it’s big and brick and rectangular, so you can easily defend it, fortress style, from looters, and best of all – it has a generator!  Sure, you’ll have to continually trade precious livestock and antibiotics for generator fuel, but what could be better than kicking back in front of a space heater and watching “24” on DVD while your neighbors huddle around manure fires in silent despair?

But yeah, this is a pretty sweet house even if you’re not, um, insane.  It’s massive and dignified;  it wouldn’t look out of place in the English countryside.  The front yard features two massive hundred-plus year old trees;  if you have kids, you should just pre-pay for half a dozen doctor visits for when they inevitably climb them and then fall out.  Inside, there’s gleaming original hardware everywhere and chandeliers in almost every room.  According to the pendulum of real estate design fads, the ubiquity of recessed lighting means that very soon, hanging protuberant light fixtures are going to be all the rage.  This is your chance to get in ahead of the curve for the first time since you got that tribal armband tattoo in 1991.  (And look how well that turned out!)  The living room features an antique brick fireplace, and each room on the first level has a ton of windows.  There’s also an all-wood den that feels like a hunting lodge or one of those European-style steam rooms where old guys are always “accidentally” letting their towels fall down.  The kitchen is quite large and bright;  there was something unusual about it that I couldn’t quite put my finger on at first, until I realized – it doesn’t have an island!  I can’t remember the last time I saw a kitchen without an island.  And you know what?  I was actually really into just having a big wide open kitchen.  Is it possible that kitchen islands are vastly overrated?  I mean, any time you end up sitting and eating at your island, it feels like there may as well be a blinking neon sign spelling out “LOSER” over your head, and usually it just ends up being a repository for unopened mail and various cookbooks your in-laws gave you with passive-aggressive dedications on the inside cover.  (“Just don’t want my grandson eating take-out every night!  Ha ha!”)  I feel like kitchen islands might be like Ashton Kutcher;  not only could we do without them, but we probably wouldn’t even noticed if they disappeared tomorrow.

Upstairs are the four sprawling bedrooms, one of which has an incredible walk-in closet, and further up is the fully-finished attic, which would be perfect for your teenager, not only because it’s as far away from the rest of the family as they can get, but also because no teenager has ever successfully sneaked out of a house by traversing two wooden staircases.  Out back is the very large backyard, and a fully-detached garage, which is where you could store all your astronaut ice cream and ammo if you were a prepper.  Also, the house is really far north in the District, and a veritable stone’s throw from Silver Spring, so if you commute to Silver Spring, as many DC people inexplicably do, this is definitely the house for you.  A short commute, but you won’t have to give up the cachet of a DC address – when I see someone saying they live in Maryland, the person they’re talking to inevitably makes a face like they just heard them say, “I have crab lice all over my body, but don’t worry, they’re not contagious.”  Maryland is just not cool.  (Note:  the house is being sold “as is,” which could theoretically mean there’s a huge expanding sinkhole directly underneath the house, but more likely means that various finishes date from the first Bush administration.)

7742 16th Street NW
4 Beds, 4 Baths

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