Among my friends who own houses, almost every single one complains constantly about noise. Shaw, 14th Street, U Street, Columbia Heights – if you bought a house in the past ten years, a bar probably opened up near you soon after, and now you go to sleep each night with the “whoos” of Millennials wafting gently into your bedroom window. (Why drunk people yell “whoo!” is one of the great mysteries of the universe, up there with why hot dogs come in six-packs and buns come in eight-packs, and why Jimmy Kimmel is famous.) You’d never think of it, but if you want peace and quiet, the best neighborhood to live in is downtown. After like six o’clock, it’s post apocalyptically deserted. Everyone takes their whoos elsewhere. It’s like living in the countryside, but with occasional whiffs of bus exhaust.
This lovely condo is a block north of Massachusetts Avenue, so it’s not technically “downtown,” but you can throw a rock and hit your choice of like eight Potbelly sandwich shops and at least three Kinko’s, so yeah, you’re downtown. There’s a private elevator that goes right to the apartment; at least three strangers a week will walk into your home and say, “is this the fourth floor? I’m looking for the dentist’s office.” It’s also a green building, so go ahead and keep your Hummer idling in the parking garage all day while you’re at your desk, so it’s warm when you get off work – living here offsets it! The unit is a loft space, with all the positives and negatives that that implies. It’s bright, airy, and open, but there are no walls. If your music and television tastes don’t align exactly with your significant other’s, your relationship is toast, because there’s no escape. (Interesting aside: it’s probably not a coincidence that the open floor plan only became popular in the streaming era, when everyone can have their own curated private media experience via tablet/smartphone and headphones.) There’s a large living room area centered around a gleaming gas fireplace, with an entire wall of windows that opens onto an incredible view of downtown. (There are motorized shades, if the sun gets too intense, or you don’t feel like wearing pants.) There’s a “light industrial” vibe to the place, with track lighting and exposed ductwork. I really like the pretentious unpretentiousness of exposed ductwork, if you know what I mean, though the last time I got really high, I became convinced that there were elves living in there. This area’s also wired for surround sound, which is one of the most common things people pretend to be impressed by, second only to anything involving your kids.
The chef’s kitchen features stainless steel appliances, an awesome island/breakfast bar, and blonde wood cabinets that more or less match the hardwood floors. (There’s an off-color joke to be made there at the expense of my ex-girlfriend, but this is a family blog, so I’ll refrain.) The master bedroom suite is huge, with a private balcony, and amazing custom closets that were more thoughtfully designed than most airports I’ve been to. And since you’re so close to everything downtown, you can commute on foot. That’s not only a huge financial savings, it also spares you the psychological effects of sitting in traffic every morning. Though on the downside you no longer have an automatic excuse to be late to work two or three mornings a week, which is unfortunate. (I can’t count the number of times I hit snooze three or four extra times, knowing I could blame my lateness on traffic or Metro delays.) There’s also parking and storage in the building, and the seller is going to pay a year of condo fees for you, which is pretty cool. I bet there’s nothing more annoying than buying a place to escape never-ending rent payments, and then getting hit with monthly “condo fees.” Hmm, it’s almost as if we live in an economy expressly designed to extract the maximum amount of money from us while leaving us jussssst enough disposable income to buy consumer electronics and designer shoes to distract us from the futility of it all. (Clearly, I’m bitter about my post-Christmas credit card bill.)
1125 11th Street NW #701
2 Bedrooms, 2.5 Baths