it really comes together

Editor’s note: How my newspaper formats some articles has inspired a slight change here. I think I’m going to capitalize the first two or three words that start each post, and if there is a section break, boldface the first two or three after the break. Back when this blog was on LiveJournal, I coded it to have drop caps up until the final redesign there.

***

WE GET CHARGED for every hole we put in the walls, so at some point, there needs to be a trip to get more mounting strips. I don’t feel too bad about the artwork propped up against walls because I helped a friend move a year ago and he proudly announced that he just got around to putting art on the walls.

He got married after I did and actually got around to getting wedding photos printed, so he’s got me there, though. I have my favorites saved in three different places, so I don’t feel too bad about it. I also feel a little weird about having photos of myself in my home. I know what I look like; I don’t need reminders. I should get some made for my mom, though.

But, anyway, we’re as unpacked as were going to get for a while. We need to get a new media center to hide the wires behind the TV, another cabinet or two and I kinda want an armchair, despite us reaching the point that the great room is reaching capacity. I’m toying with the idea of getting a Christmas tree, and that would require at least moving the coat rack.

I’m happy with how things have come together, especially the proper dining table. I was worried about it fitting, but it slid in perfectly and probably would with the leaf in. My friend who gave it to us is putting the chairs that go with it in her new attic in the event that we ever want them. I would have taken them with me if we didn’t get four chairs last year and they didn’t somehow go well with the æsthetic of room overall.

As you can see, we’re pretty much rocking the black seating and electronics, brown wood, exposed brick combo.

Feel free to come visit soon. We either can try to reserve a hospitality room, or you can crash at our nap station.

unpacking

I want to share pictures, but there’s so much let to do before this truly feels like home.

  • My second (first) bookshelf broke. I’ve had it since about 2007, and parts of it haven’t survived each move. That’s why I’m pretty much done with kit furniture. I plan on going to Diversity Thrift to get a solid case.
  • I need more mounting strips. The walls are pretty pristine, and we got a damage sheet listing how much we’d be charged for every hole. Unlike the old apartment, there aren’t an awful lot of holes in the original brick, and we don’t have any visible wooden support beams.
  • General storage. We have two empty sets of cabinets and one or two closet shelves that essentially are empty. I would very much like things currently sitting out to be stored in them. But we’ve only been here 1½ weeks and just couldn’t do work plus two solid weeks of packing and unpacking.

But I can’t wait for it to be done. I want to show it off.

I don’t know what it is, but something about this place seems more … adult. It’s weird. We didn’t buy or throw away any key items in the move, but our stuff just looks better in here. I wonder if it’s the scale. Our old place had incredibly high ceilings and exposed ducts, pipes and electrical conduits. The hardwood floors creaked and the walls were ludicrously thin. It also was lacking in proper storage. It was like one of those status symbol cars that lose $10,000 in value the second you roll them off the lot and then have a $1,000 problem within the first two years.

Here, ceilings are higher than standard, but not ludicrous. Despite that, the only thing proving this is a loft conversion are the two brick walls in the great room and the windows that reach about six feet in height. We have wall-to-wall carpet, only hear noises from the hallway through the door and have ample space to keep this from looking like the devil’s hog pen, once everything gets put away, on a daily basis.

Whenever I didn’t pick up after myself, especially on the first floor, Grandma said I made a room look “like the devil’s hog pen.” I occasionally say that, and I hate common areas looking messy because we were big on hospitality.

To continue the car analogy, it’s like this place is a sleek, understated machine. Its value won’t drop like a rock. It won’t become a money pit that defies your efforts to keep it well maintained.

Somehow, out stuff just looks better in here.

Never mind that this part of the complex was built in like 1995. It’s dated to the point that its retro. It’s old without looking “old.”

But we’ll have it together soon. There will be pictures soon. Some of you will be over soon. I can’t wait.

we’re in

I reserve this song for big transitions that involve me being disappointed in someone/something.

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Broadcasting live from my temporary desk.

We got the big stuff in today. There’s so much to do, but we’re both off until Wednesday. And we officially live in South Richmond until next Saturday.

I can’t remember if I mentioned it. This one-bedroom apartment is the same size as the two-bedroom we just left. The space is used more efficiently. We have a massive linen closet, a hall closet and a walk-in closet in the bedroom. The kitchen has more shelves and drawers than you can shake a stick at. As you can see, there are cabinets above and below the bar in our great room. The great room comfortably fits our couch, desk and dining room table.

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And the windows face the outside world.

When we got here, the carpet guy was finishing up. Our leasing agent decided at the last minute that we needed new carpet. Other than that, it has been raining all day, so this move has been a pain. We pretty much fizzled out around 7 p.m. The bed’s together, so at least we can sleep. My goal is to get everything out early Monday and have this place halfway presentable before we head back to work on Wednesday.

And hope and pray that we can get designated parking as soon as possible.

I’m fine with finding a spot on the street a few blocks away, but it’s a little ridiculous because of the draconian parking rules in the area nearer to our place.

But, yeah. It’s great so far. We’ve been here, and the only noise I’ve heard was from someone heading down the walkway near our windows.

And there’s so much space for activities!

And I now live closer to some of my friends.

And this place already feels like home.

I’m excited.

And I hope I can have some of your over soon.

penultimate

It’s our penultimate night in Manchester.

I’m surrounded by boxes, bags and things that blatantly aren’t packed. There’s a method to our madness.

It’s going to rain during our move Saturday, but at least the hurricane won’t get here. There’s still a chance our mattress will get wet, but there’s less of a chance.

We have Mikey and Craig helping us Saturday, so we plan on at least getting the big stuff over then. We have a U-Haul van for eight hours, so we might get a lot of it taken care of. Since we’re moving less than two miles, some stuff isn’t formally packed because we’re just going to bring them over loose (e.g., I’m going to transport my dresser drawers with my underclothes in them) or we’re going to unpack and reuse the boxes.

You see, we have an entire week to move.

But my goal is to have everything out and hand over the keys by Tuesday.

With each passing day, I’m getting increasingly excited about this move. Sure, it’s a one-bedroom, but it’s roughly the same size of this place. We’ll have more closet space. We don’t have to pay pet rent when we get one (at least for 18 months). More of my favorite things, like my barber and Alamo, will be within walking distance. Who am I kidding? I consider nearly the entire city to be in walking distance. But I don’t have to walk everywhere — the complex comes with two gyms. I’ve already claimed an exercise bike. I still don’t know if I want to get on a real one again, although a recent visit to Bryan Park made me want to get one.

But I’m kinda going to miss this place. Although the management went downhill to force us all out, I’m going to miss that it’s a loft in a truly industrial area. I’m going to miss how purposely rough the initial renovation was. I’m going to miss taking the Manchester Bridge.

Manchester Bridge

Seriously, I’m going to miss this view at night.

But it’s time to move on. I know when I’m not welcome. He’s to at least 18 months in our new home.

Convenient to downtown!

Back on The Peninsula (technically)

See you on the side of the James on which I was born.

translation

My interpretation in italics.

Dear Valued Residents Dear Suckers,

As you all know we are planning renovations of the property and apartment homes here at [the apartment building]. We said so in June. Finally, a critical number of you have decided to move out in the next 30-60 days because of our deplorable actions. Renovations on the vacant units are scheduled to start on Monday, September 19th in certain areas of the building. It will be all over the building, starting directly next to your bedroom wall. Construction hours are 8 am – 6pm on weekdays. After about three days, they will start hammering at 6:15. There may be some weekend construction days as well. Hope you don’t plan on sleeping in. Ever.

Additionally, we will be making repairs to the roof because the buckets of water on the third floor and a second-floor light well are kinda ridiculous. In order to ensure that all homes are waterproof, this work will be done in sections each day. Note that we don’t give times for this. You better go to bed  at sunset.
Be aware that this may be a noisy process. This is a pre-emptive “Stop complaining.” Due to this, construction will be limited to the above hours to help limit disturbance to the residents here at [the apartment building]. You know and I know this is a total lie.

If you are interested in transferring into an updated home, send an email to [us]. If you haven’t decided to move out, now’s your chance. I will be more than happy to schedule tours of the model once it is completed. Your rent is going to SKYROCKET. Seriously, you’ll find a better deal somewhere else.

Beginning on Monday September 19th, office hours will be Monday – Friday from 10am – 6pm. Now that the riff-raff has started to move out, we’ll actually start having customer service instead of saying 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and not showing up.
If you have any follow up questions, please do not hesitate to contact the leasing office at [phone number and email]. We’ll actually start returning calls and emails, too. Our new tenants, who most likely will not include you, deserve the best!

***

Actually, I’m looking forward to how this building turns out. It was one of the original lofts in Manchester and never got completed properly. There is a lot of unused space downstairs, mostly because of the tactics that led the original developers to go to federal prison. We tenants came in here knowing of the shortcomings, so it’s a little disappointing that someone wants to come in and do the job right but encouraging us to leave was part of the equation.

Them’s da breaks.

(At least our new place is awesome.)

remember how i always say i hate shockoe bottom?

Well, I’m going to be living in Shockoe Bottom.

At least it isn’t on 18th and Franklin.

Actually, I wouldn’t count where our new place is as Shockoe Bottom, but there’s really no other way to describe it, hence the city lumping it in with the city’s most concentrated bar district.

I’m excited. We get the keys on Oct. 8.

Meanwhile, the front door of our current building has been broken since Friday and there are some other issues, like the noisy and smelly renovation of the apartment next door that came without warning.

As I’ve said, this place was great. It had that grittiness we were looking for: the raw, exposed brick; the hardwood floors; the high, timbered ceilings. We don’t have amenities, but I considered being mere blocks from the James as an amenity. I considered being a 40-minute walk to work an amenity. I considered being able to stand in my free(!) parking lot and see the downtown skyline an amenity. Or new property management company has been disappointing that the flaws in this building we were willing to ignore no longer were worth enduring.

Although I’m excited about our new place, I am a little sad about leaving this place. I actually like this apartment a lot.

But we’re off to bigger and better things.

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Expect more photos from Great Shiplock Park.

17 months in south richmond

On Saturday, we applied for a new apartment. I really wanted to rent a house, but the search was terrible. We had two places we liked snatched from under us, and there was one I really liked but it’s currently occupied by a very cluttered family and all I could think about what godawful things have taken up residence there and will remain after they’re gone.

Anyway, this new place is on the north bank of the James River, which means I have spent a cumulative 17 months living in South Richmond. (Additionally, I have spent a little more than 4½ years living south of the James.) I think I’m going to miss it a little.

South Side is whole different animal. It’s markedly larger than the main portion of the city. Portions of it used to be a separate city. Large chunks are in the city because of a push to dilute the minority vote. Sometimes, it seems like City Hall forgets South Richmond exists.

If we get this place, we’ll be near downtown. It’s another loft-style place. It actually has amenities and energy-efficient windows, so we’ll have something facing the outside world.

But I will miss this place. South Side is gritty. South Side is changing. South Side is a hidden jewel. Given how most people flock to various North Side neighborhoods, South Richmond sometimes feels like the more Richmond part of Richmond.

But it’s time to go again.

The last time I lived on this side of the James, it established that I lived in the city and led to fulfilling years in Chimborazo. I’m hoping this South Side stint is another prelude.

brief hiatus

Currently, I have no satisfactory place to set up my typewriter, so no Noiseless Words for a while. I’m almost completely unpacked, but we need new tables, a chair and a dresser or two.

Oh, and a futon for the office/my closet/guest room.

Also,my bookshelf broke, so now need two new bookcases. Or a gigantic one.

Our goal is to enjoy the city next weekend and have some things in place so someone could come over and, for example, have somewhere to sit.

And I’m still commuting to Charlottesville for work.

That said, I don’t really have time for anything during the week, and when I do, the last thing I want to do is sit in front of a computer or TV. I’m so behind on things on those media.

But, once everything is settled, it will be well worth it.

the return

Somebody pinch me.

For the past few hours, I’ve been unpacking my Charlottesville life in an apartment with wood beams and original hardwood floors, exposed brick and insanely high ceilings.

Oh, and it’s in Richmond.

We’re hoping to get all our possessions out tomorrow and at least start the final cleaning process. We’ll have to hit it hard and fast, because the new tenant is anxious to move in.

And then it begins a long slog, because I still work in Charlottesville, you see.

Let’s hope it’s not for much longer.

But, whenever I think about that hour drive, I look around this apartment. This Richmond apartment. I’ll take photos once we’re properly unpacked and we decorate.

manchester

I can't remember I took a photo this abstract

Exposed brick and hardwood floors.

So …

I’M MOVING BACK TO RICHMOND.

I’m going to be living in a converted warehouse in Manchester. Because I’m of course I am. I’ll be there in two weeks, but I’m officially counting things on Nov. 1.

The apartment has almost everything I’ve wanted in a place — exposed brick and hardwood floors. The only thing missing is a killer view. Our new place faces a light well. Whatever. The second I go outside, it’s a short walk to where I’ve taken most of my downtown skyline shots. And there’s a community terrace on our floor.

Why am I leaving Charlottesville, you ask? My wife got a new job in her field. The first reason is that I dragged her to Charlottesville, so it wouldn’t be right for me to make her commute all the way there. The second reason is why I moved to Richmond in the first place. I want to be there. A good chunk of my friends are there. At night and on the weekends, I’m already there.

I’ll be at home.

Back in September, I was pretty certain we were going before the end of the year. I even wrote an acrostic on it.

What’s an acrostic? Something that makes my inner English major hate you because you don’t know.

RVA.

All.

Day.

Here’s a bonus song. My favorite movement of a No BS! song starts about six minutes in. Their newest album comes out in November, and I’ve heard it. I think my new favorite song is on it.