Over the course of 12 weekends, we transformed our weed-infested front yard into a landscaped, welcoming entrance to our home. In addition to a nice-looking lil front yard (and a racer-back tan that’s never going to go away), we also got an unforeseen benefit: WE KNOW WHO OUR NEIGHBORS ARE NOW.
This is Offbeat Home's archive of neighbors posts.
My friends were shocked to hear that we had purchased a home in the suburbs. We didn't seem like the type, the couple to want the white picket fence and the perfectly manicured lawn. Only that's not the type of suburb dwellers that we are. Do I sometimes feel like a sellout to my generation for leaving the city for the suburbs? Hell yes. Do I feel like it was a lame decision? Sometimes…
We all know I am an avowed city girl, right? Backstory: grew up in the forest, moved to the city, then moved around to different cities, then settled in the city near my forest. I continue to make all sorts of logistical sacrifices to living my city-center lifestyle, including but not limited to having my son sleep in a walk-in closet and paying way more than I should for a mortgage. I love that I can walk out my front door and immediately be immersed in a flow of hungover hipsters, aging gay professionals, halfway house residents, Microsoft executives, and part-time yoga teachers/body workers/dance instructors/etc. who live in my 'hood.
But even as an avowed city dweller who loves swimming through people-stew every day, I still find myself sometimes taking the back alleys.
So this one time, the condo beneath ours was completely gutted and remodeled, with heavy construction for a couple weeks. The construction guys listened to a lot of Russian pop while they worked. Hours and hours of it. At a certain point, it got so ridiculous that I had to capture it. No tape deck, so I used my camera…but then I had to figure out something to fill the screen with while recording the ridiculous music. This very odd video was the result. Obviously, audio is key — and patience doesn't hurt.
My husband and I are getting ready to move into a smaller space with our son — right now we're renting a house, but are going back to an apartment soon. This is all part of a bigger plan to downsize our living space and therefore our possessions, and it's one that we're really excited about.
This was our first garage sale, and we were NOT prepared for the singular anxiety and crazy-making that comes hosting a yard sale. Luckily, we pulled it off, and here's how.
In the recent foreclosure crisis in the United States, a disproportionate amount of women and racial minorities were the victims of subprime loans and mortgages with adjustable interest rates — statistics that speak to inequality in housing. For Anita Hill, there is a "sense of belonging that comes from being at home" – so what happens when one is without a home? Reimagining Equality reveals that these biases are historic in the American construction of what "home" means.
Rockethaus is pretty public. I run two blogs dealing specifically with homes, I tweet pretty much all the time, and I am also a normal Young Professional living in America. A LOT of my life happens online, publicly, where other people have access to it, even people I don't know terribly well. We talk about parties, problems, events, and projects, and we do a lot of it completely in the open. My mom would argue that it's dangerous for people to know where I live and what my habits are, but I prefer to think it's part of community building.
Our condo faces onto a courtyard, and when the windows are open there's definitely a little Melrose Place action that happens. We hear neighbors coming and going, having sex, spanking each other, etc. It's always entertaining.
We can also hear the callbox at the front gate. Monday night, this is what Dre and I heard, as we sat on the couch staring each other silently with wide eyes that said, "Don't start laughing! They'll hear you!"