21 March 2005

Sunday Source.

I moved to Adams Morgan in 1995. I thought about the past decade today as I walked along the latest PN Hoffman offering in the area, the recently completed Adams Row. Everytime I walk by those units on the corner of Champlain and Kalorama, all I can think of is a giant aquarium. Fine fishbowl living. It's nothing but a wall of windows down there, and that might be great on the 18th floor in Manhattan or some LA hillside, but as you approach ground level in Adams Morgan you approach Big Brother House. Except instead of being paid to exhibit yourself, you have paid top dollar and the developer didn't even have to hide the ductwork.

Speaking of which, this whole loft thing is crazy. These aren't lofts. Old warehouses or factories with big high ceilings can be converted to lofts. Fresh built little concrete floored boxes with long nondescript nursing home hallways are not lofts. I was in one of these Adams Row boxes for an open house. They wanted around $550K for 2BR 2BA and one big common area. And at the end of the day you still have to walk down those hallways.

Anyway, the neighborhood has changed in ten years. Ten years ago, Ontario Road between Florida and Kalorama was nearly impassable with sinkholes and a gauntlet of drug dealers from the Marie Reed playground to the corner of Kalorama and Ontario. I used to live in Dorchester House, where they had to take out the payphone because it was being used as an office phone by drug dealers. The old roller rink is probably going to be a Harris Teeter. Nearly every surface parking lot has been converted to housing, which doesn't bother me one bit. I am an advocate of in-fill.

One unfortunate change in Adams Morgan, however, was the recent passing of Sid Drazin. DCist has an article on him, and so did the Post. I was only an occasional visitor to Comet, but that didn't matter. Everyone was at home there.


Yvonne said...

How refreshing to see someone REFLECT on the value of a purchase without rushing headlong into the "Oh my friends will think I'm so cool if I bankrupt myself for this piece of abstract real estate" trap. I mean, if you can't plant a flower on it, it ain't real-estate, baby, and I don't know many flowers that grow in poured concrete.

Just a thought.

If you like thought, you'll LOVE my blog - http://citricritic.blogspot.com Bring a friend - or an enemy.

I'll be back to visit. Nice blog.

Matt said...

Funny how I bankrupted myself by more than doubling the value of my PN Hoffman Adams Morgan box in three years time.

I bought it without any interest or intent on impressing anyone. I bought it most likely for the same reason you live in Adams Morgan - fantastic neighborhood, great culture, dining, and nightlife...and my neighborhood for the previous 10 years. Unfortunately there are those that simply must believe that no one would purchase a fantastic apartment in the middle of such a fantastic neighborhood except to impress one's friends or wear it like a Mercedes Benz. I have no idea where that mentality comes from but it is as narrow minded as those who actually DID purchase such a unit as a status symbol.

Dana Robitaille said...

hey happy thanksgiving!