Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The One that Got Away

We had a birthday dinner with my mother-in-law at her favorite Italian restaurant in Arlington Center last night. We were never sure why she liked this place so much years ago, when it was one of those plastic-tablecloth restaurants where the bread is terrible and the food is so-so. Now it's under new management and completely different, but she still loves it. The bread is much better, the tablecloths are paper over cloth, and the food is still pretty bland. My husband and I are always reaching for the salt shaker in this place. But the chef and his family are charming, and so I'm going to give them at least one more chance to feed us well before I name names. And I'm sure we'll be back, whether we like it or not.

Back at home after dinner, I decided to look at real estate listings around Arlington. It's very easy to drag the little Google map on Redfin.com all over the place.  But I didn't realize I had also asked the search engine to show me properties that were under agreement.

I so wish I hadn't, even though I keep saying that we want to stay in Back Bay. There's this house.... it's a dream house that would make me change my mind and leave the city. It's near Pleasant Street and Spy Pond. It's too big and has too many bedrooms and bathrooms, besides a full attic and basement. It's, well, beautiful. It's amazing. And it's under agreement, so unless the deal falls through — fingers crossed for that 1% chance — it will never be ours.

But here it is. I can't resist showing you:


Look at that front porch. I could live on that porch for months every summer.

The best part is the kitchen. This must be the original 1873 pantry:


That alone would be enough to make me move to Arlington. But it also has original sinks!


I'll bet that whoever is buying this place is planning to rip these out and put some stupid stock cabinets from Home Depot in here, with a stupid breakfast bar and some stupid stainless steel appliances. These sinks should be declared a national treasure, I love them. There are six taps!

And check out this stove:


I wouldn't care if this house were situated in an alligator-infested swamp in a combat zone — with a kitchen like this, I want it. I would give up my carefree, convenient city life. I would get a bike, learn to drive. Get a pony. Order my groceries online, whatever. I can only hope that at least one of the too-many bathrooms is from the same era, with a marble-topped sink and separate hot and cold taps. Sigh....

I realize this isn't the house for everyone. But, unfortunately, all day I've been realizing that this is the house for ME. It's funny: I used to think that St. Botolph Street was too much of a hike to get to Back Bay (and technically, St. Botolph Street is in Back Bay). Now I'm thinking that Arlington wouldn't be so bad. I used to work there, so I know the place. There's a great library, good restaurants, a cat hospital, and an independent donut shop, for instance. Trader Joe's is a bus ride up Mass. Ave... it's a village. I want a village, not a suburb.

Just listen to me! The house is Not For Sale! But if there's another one like it, we're moving to Arlington.

1 comment:

  1. If that amazing house isn't for sale, how where are those photos from.

    There are LOTS of houses like that in Arlington. Keep looking. It's a wonderful place to live if you live off Mass Ave and you don't mind your main street going on forEVER and you don't mind going to Cambridge to buy liquor (if you drink liquor, which you might not).

    P.S. I live in Arlington

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