Sundays With Strangers

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This house is a mullet – business in the front, party in the rear.  From the street it looks like a perfectly genteel farmhouse-style home, but then you go around back and there’s a pool that would meet Hugh Hefner’s standards.  (Some people think it might be the nicest pool in the entire District, which doesn’t strike me as implausible.)

The house sits nicely up on a hill, with a sloping terrace in front;  I grew up in a house very similar to this one, and I can tell you that I passed many many childhood hours standing motionless at the top of the terrace with my sister’s bike held over my head, until she looked out the window or came out on the porch, saw me there, and started screaming, at which point I would immediately fling it down the hill and run away laughing.  Oh man, if I was a kid today, I would be put on so many medications.  This house also sports a wide porch that’s perfect for reading, having a Sunday afternoon cocktail, or obsessively monitoring every coming and going of your neighbors because retirement kind of snuck up on you, and you have no hobbies to occupy your free time.  (My parents in a nutshell.)  Inside, the house is just as big as it looks from the outside.  There’s a sprawling living room with tons of built-ins to passively-aggressively display unflattering photos of the other family members, as well as a really great windowseat, and a fireplace.  The formal dining room is really bright and open; with a layout like this, you’re probably going to be stuck hosting all holiday dinners, so make sure you keep an aerosol can of fake “natural gas leak” scented spray close at hand to get your extended family to leave after they’ve worn out their welcome.  (I have no idea if that’s a real thing you can buy, but it should be.)

The kitchen I would describe as “formidable” – it’s unusually large, with tons of cabinetspace, black marble counters, and top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances.  I would feel personally challenged by this kitchen.  I’d probably start taking cooking lessons if I lived here, maybe even get a white chef’s smock to wear while cooking, sort of like how when you start dating someone who’s really attractive, you start going to the gym twice a day and combing your arm hair before leaving the house.  It forces you to elevate your game, you know?  Upstairs, the master bedroom is palatially-sized, with a fireplace so you can take your socks off each night and fling them directly into the flames like the villain in a Victorian-era potboiler.  The master bath sports a freestanding soaking tub, an enclosed shower (glass-walled showers are unnerving to use, I’m not ashamed to say it), and twin basins, and there’s a world-class walk-in closet.

Okay, so that’s all well and good, but let’s be honest – if you’re buying this house, it’s for the pool.  It’s the kind of pool you see next to a professional athlete’s mansion, or in a movie that takes place in California in the Seventies.  It’s overlooked by a huge wooden deck, and features a full outdoor kitchen, because nothing goes with swimming and taking your shirt off like eating lots of food.  There’s a ton of space around the pool for deck chairs, umbrellas, cafe tables, et cetera; I’d guess you could easily accommodate 60 or 70 people for a pool party, though just keep in mind that if you have 70 people over for a pool party, people are DEFINITELY going to show up uninvited.  Something to think about.

4629 30th Street NW
7 Bedrooms, 4.5 Baths
$1,995,000

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Photos courtesy of MRIS, listing courtesy of Jennifer Knoll, TTR Sotheby’s, 202-333-1212

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