Sunday, May 30, 2010

I Like Old

We both needed a break from working, so we went to an open house on our street today — a brand-spanking-new one-bedroom floor-through (do I win the most-hyphens-in-a-sentence award yet?).

It was bright and shiny, with white marble kitchen counters and walls — stuck in one corner of the all-white living room, of course. It had one of those counters that you're supposed to use as a breakfast bar. I never drink, but I know if that if I tried to balance on a stool to eat breakfast before about 10 am, I would fall off, taking my toast with me. The breakfast bar is a doomed invention; I can't believe anyone can actually sit at one and relax. I prefer a nice upholstered chair. With my feet on the floor.

The floors were light, bleached wood, the fireplace was fake (gas) and the hardware, from doorknobs to faucets, was brushed steel. If you added one speck of color or one piece of vintage furniture to that condo, you'd wreck the whole concept. The closing documents probably require the new owner to furnish it only with white carpets, curtains, linens, and upholstery, or pay penalties.

The realtor was very proud of the renovation. It was indeed high quality. She pointed out the ceiling molding — an unusual finishing touch these days. We have a lot of wide, fancy molding in our place, and it makes all the difference. Theirs was neither wide nor fancy.

The realtor said that the only things remaining from the original Victorian townhouse were the two front doors and the staircase. "This isn't a renovation, actually. It's really new construction," she said. How depressing. We politely praised the place, and left.

Why live in a Victorian townhouse if there's not an inch of original detail left? Why live in a historic neighborhood if there's no history in your building as soon as you're through the front door?

It was nice to come back home.

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