What I’ll Miss About VA: Our Apartment

Some of you know that I worked as a part-time dog walker several years ago. Pam was one of my regular clients. Every Tuesday and Thursday, at lunch time, I would head over to her place and walk her ridiculously energetic German shorthaired pointer, Hanna Bean. Man, what a handful she was. Anyway, I always admired Pam’s apartment. Located in a garden-style complex, old, super charming, and tastefully decorated. She lived there by herself and it was the kind of place where I always imagined myself living.

Pam and I eventually struck up a casual friendship, and I would sometimes meet her at the dog park with Hannah after work. One day, we were talking about my living situation, which was a bit up in the air. I had been living with Kim, my long-time college roommate, at the time, but she was getting ready to move out with her boyfriend, a guy named Matt she was really into. (They’re married now. Hi, Kim and Matt!) That was when Pam told me that her company was actually going to transfer her to South Carolina within the next few months, and oh, would I like her apartment? Um, YES PLZ. All I needed to do was convince Thomas to move in with me.

Obviously, that worked out, and we moved in to our place on June 2006. It’s amazing how quickly the last five years have flown by.

Our living room in 2006 - before it became dusty and cluttered. Oh well.

The apartment isn’t perfect. It’s on the first floor, so I don’t feel safe opening our bedroom window – sucks on cool, breezy nights. The kitchen is TINY with no dishwasher or garbage disposal. Our walls are super thin, and I’ve spent many an hour cursing our upstairs neighbors (the first was an old, large man with insomniac and polka playing tendencies; the second, young ass teenybopper types who also never sleep, stomp around in platform heels, and leave cigarette butts all over our stoop). There is no central AC – our only source of cold air in the unbearably humid DC summers are two loud, clunky units that never seem to work that well.

Wallace's first night home! Notice Neko's wary expression. We'd only had her for a week at that point.

But, the good far outweighs the bad. It is a really beautiful building, from the ’30s or ’40s – I’d take it over a generic highrise any day. Our landlord is the nicest, most accommodating person we’ve ever dealt with – he has never raised our rent in the five years we’ve lived here, and he has not charged us an extra cent for owning a dog and cat (the dog is a pitbull, mind you). It is a great location, in a family-friendly neighborhood that’s not too far from 2 Metro stations and just a short walk away from Lost Dog Cafe. Ballston, Clarendon, and the city are quick car trips away. Parking has always been free and ample. We are just a stone’s throw away from the divine Custis and W&OD trails. And finally, have I told you yet what we pay in rent? The amount that has never gone up since we moved in? $825. Total. We pay $412.50 each. Paying that little in rent should be illegal in this area.

No matter where we end up, I think that we will always remember this apartment. It’s where we first established our life together. We adopted our first dog and cat here. Thomas proposed in our dining room. Even though I look forward to upgrading a bit (hopefully!)  in Seattle, nothing will ever compare to this old place. I’ll really miss it!


3 thoughts on “What I’ll Miss About VA: Our Apartment

  1. Oh My God!!! $825?! Are you kidding? OMG!! I can’t take it. It actually reminds me a lot of my apartment I had my senior year of college. No A/C and walls so thin you could hear the boys upstairs tinkling in the toilet. My half of the rent was $325. I had never been happier.

  2. I love, love, love that you are doing a blog, Belle! I also love your use of the word “bleh.” I’m so excited for your adventure out West. I look forward to more posts. And, agreed about your ridiculously low rent. It should be illegal in this area!

  3. Pingback: New Apartment Wishlist | New Decade, New Coast

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