friday five

I first saw the Friday Five at T. Kevin’s Synaptic Discharge site. This will be the first one I’ve completed:
1. How many houses/apartments have you lived in throughout your life?
Whew… several years ago I used to joke that I would have to buy all my friends new “W” pages for their address books, because I’d had so many addresses. There was the apartment we lived in until I was two, at which point we moved into the house my parents built, where I lived until I was 18 and where they still reside. During my college years, I lived in six places, if I count dorm rooms, and one if I don’t. After college, I lived in two group houses in Somerville, and two different apartments in the Fens. And since moving to the DC area in 1987, I’ve lived in two townhouses in Alexandria, one apartment in Dupont Circle, and four townhouses and apartments in Arlington before finally buying my condo six years ago. So, that totals fifteen without counting dorm rooms, and twenty with.
2. Which was your favorite and why?
In 1993 and 1994, I lived in a three-story house in the Cherrydale section of Arlington, with my friends Sheldon and Lisa, and my partner-at-the-time Jay. I loved living there primarily because of the family-like environment we two couples created, and the great parties we hosted there, and the open layout of the space.
I also like my current condo, because it’s mine, it’s cozy, and I feel like I have the best spot in the building… on the back overlooking the pool and courtyard, high enough to feel secure and to have a bit of a view, but low enough not to get the street noise from Columbia Pike.
3. Do you find moving house more exciting or stressful? Why?
Both. It’s always cool to put stuff in a new home, to have a blank canvas to work with. But packing up the old house, and the actual moving, are very stressful. Invariably something precious or valuable gets broken, tempers can fray, and it’s just exhausting. And, at this point in my life, I just find it painful to imagine how expensive and difficult my next move will be… considering how much time and effort it took to move into my condo, before I had bought the dining room set, buffet, china cabinet, queen-sized futon, wide-screen TV, patio furniture, etc.
4. What’s more important, location or price?
My initial reaction was to say “location.” But when I bought my condo, I traded the cachet of north Arlington, where I had been living and thought I wanted to continue living, for a cheaper mortgage and larger space in south Arlington, so price played a factor. Although, come to think of it, location did as well, since I had several friends already living in the building, and it was convenient to so many things.
5. What features does your dream house have (pool, spa bath, big yard, etc.)?
My dream house is a contemporary or mid-century modern (a la Eichler, Rummer or Charles Goodman’s Hollin Hills in Alexandria, Virginia), with walls of floor-to-ceiling windows and large open interior spaces. It would be in a private, wooded setting, and ideally would have an interior courtyard, with water and trees. It would be high-tech to the hilt, and have a media room and library. A fireplace would be nice, as would a secluded outdoor spa (so I wouldn’t have to wear a pesky bathing suit). Alternatively, my dream house might be a Gothic or Tudor chateau with huge gardens and lots of land, with many secret passages and dark wooden and plush velvet furniture. Or a houseboat or converted church. Or a loft.
Oh, and a cute, witty, smart guy, deeply in love with me, and who shares the elegantly simply, natural cherry, Thos. Moser four-poster bed would be an ideal accessory.