Our apartment

Our building, the Haley House.  Aren't the steps pretty?  We are the second row of windows.
Joey taking a break after emptying the cars himself.
I thought since yester- day's blog was so long I'd just put a little bit about our apart- ment today.  We live in a historic row house, which, according to the bronze plaque on the front of the building, was built around 1871.  It is named the Haley House (also according to the plaque in case anyone thought I had begun randomly naming things).   

The kitchen/dining area
The place itself is nice.  It has beautiful crown molding, granite counter- tops in the kitchen and bath- rooms, top of the line stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, berber carpet and a huge tiled shower in the master.   

Our back porch - the door to the bedroom is right behind the post.
Unfortunately, it is without storage.  Whoever renovated this place apparently decided two small walk-in closets in each bedroom would be sufficient for everything.  There is no broom closet, no pantry, no coat closet – just the closets in the bedroom.  Joey keeps saying “if we can fit it all in the car, we can fit it in here” but fitting it and accessing it are different.  I’ve turned the curio cabinet (can someone please explain why people think furnished has to mean decorated – keep your chatzke crap out of my space – I don’t want to look at it and I don’t have room) into storage for paper towels and first aid items.
A view from the other side of the post (back door).  The butterflies love the bushes.

The street is also part of a historic neighborhood, called Shaw.  A home only a few down from us is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Blanche K Bruce House.  He was apparently the first African-American to serve a full term in the US Senate.  If you're interested in reading more about our neighborhood (the history is actually fairly interesting), here's a link: http://www.shawmainstreets.com/shawhistory.htm
This is the view to the right of our apartment - the picture above is the view to the left (facing the building).
The view from our front door - luxury condominiums.

Post from Yesterday

I wrote this yesterday.  Unfortunately the internet was down all day so here it is now.

Wow! What a morning it’s been and its not yet 8 am.  I just got back from taking Joey to his first day of work.  This morning he’s at “Main State” which is in Foggy Bottom, apparently somewhat of a trek from the nearest Metro (or so I’m told – methinks its akin to not wanting to ride the school bus the first day).  Starting tomorrow, and for the majority of his time here, Joey’ll be at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) in Arlington, which is accessible by a Metro.  However, as we currently are juggling two cars and one parking space, Joey may be driving himself to work tomorrow since FSI has a parking lot. 

The drive to get Joey to work was easy – straight down 9th, take a right on Constitution (at the Smithsonian), go down Constitution to 23rd, take a right and he’s right there.  Unfortunately, the drive back was not so simple.  I couldn’t really turn around since there were 2 lanes of traffic in between me and the other side, and so I headed up 23rd.  DC is on a grid, with the numbers going one way (East/West or North/South – I don’t know which) and the letters going the other.  Diagonally are the state roads (i.e. Pennsylvania, etc.).  Well somewhere between 23rd and M and 9th are a lot of one-way roads, none of which seemed to be going the way I needed to go.  Though I got quite a scenic tour of the city (including Chinatown where the frigging street signs are in Chinese – a lot of good that does me – which resulted in a turn onto a one-way street and oncoming traffic (don’t worry I backed up, almost into several pedestrians crossing the street), I really would have preferred it on foot.  

Upon finally finding our address and attempting to parallel park the Volvo and a 7 or 8 point turn later, I was driving around the block back to the all day parking lot.  Now I don’t have to move the car every 2 hours and find a spot and parallel park.  The guy had me back into the back corner (since I told him I’d be back at closing time) and I thought apparently he didn’t see me driving around DC like a chicken with its head cut off.  Then, even though they take your keys, he made me pay now, which of course I don’t have cash.  So luckily there’s a little market across the street so I just had to walk pass the vagrants (I don’t know if they really were vagrants) to go inside and find an ATM – thank God there was one.  So $9 and a block later, here I am, relieved that when I opened the door the dogs weren’t barking up a storm in their kennels. 

The dogs seem to have adjusted pretty quickly.  George made friends this morning with 3 other dogs while out for his morning constitutional.  Joey, while taking Max out yesterday, met a woman who told him the neighborhood was not only very friendly but very dog friendly and told him about a dog park nearby so when we have a minute to breathe we’ll check that out.  Joey also met the neighbors below us yesterday when he fell down the stairs in front of our house while taking Moe out (it was raining) because he made such a thud they came out to check on him.  Apparently they were very nice too and offered help with anything we needed.  I’m happy to know Joey has interacted with some nice neighbors because the first neighbor I met was a royal asshole. 

Like I said above, we have one parking spot.  It’s in the back alley, where there are 4 other parking spots.  Ours is in the top right corner, parallel to a fence.  Someone parks behind us and three cars park perpendicular to us with a large space between.  Well, since we were unloading the cars, we moved both into our spot (parallel to the fence).  We’d been there about ½ an hour when Joey went to the corner cafe, The First Cup, to get us some sandwiches.  Soon I heard some knocking on the back door.  Smiling, I walked to the door, assuming a neighbor had come to say hello.  Facing me was a short, bleach-blond, ruddy-faced queen with his hand on his hip.  “Is that your car?” he blurted.  “I can’t get my car out you need to move it IMMEDIATELY.”  

In the meantime I’m trying to get out the door without the dogs getting out and Moe gets through.  Thank God he didn’t jump on this prick because clearly he already had his panties in a bunch – the guy goes “GET that dog away from me.”  Well no problem, asshole, Moe has run away. 

I said “Is that gate open?” 

Rupaul replied “The gate is always left open” then he goes into this diatribe about how I need to move my car and I’m like hey princess, my dog is in the alley I’ve got better things to worry about (I wish I’d said that but I only thought it and was really worked up at this point).  Thank God Moe is terrified of DC because he came running back immediately so first I get Max inside (who has also come out to see what is going on) then Moe inside, shut the door and now face my friendly neighbor and say, “Ok, I will move the car.” 

So I go inside and realize that Joey has the keys with him.  I get Joey on the phone and told him he needed to come back and he said it’d be about 15 minutes.  In the meantime (this is about 1 minute), dickhead is back and he is banging on the back door.  I mean just pounding.  The dogs, of course go nuts and so I just stay in the other room where he can’t see me.  When the pounding stops I go to the back door to close the curtain when he comes back again and as I’m closing the curtain the frigging curtain rod comes crashing to the floor.  I’m like great, this guy is being an asshole and here I am pulling curtains on the floor.  Meanwhile Joey and I have arranged that he’ll come back and deal with Princess and I’ll go to the deli and wait for our lunch.  So Joey arrives (through the front door) and I leave, shaken and totally annoyed.  Joey goes to the back and tells the guy in Joey’s oh-so-annoying-when-you’re-mad-at-him-but-awesome-when-you’re-on-his-team-supreme-calm way to calm down, “no need to throw a temper-tantrum,” we’ll move the car. 

Apparently Princess then said, “I called the police.” 

Joey replied, “Oh good, I’ll wait for them.” 

This sent Princess to a whole new level of rage who said , who began yelling “F you” (he said the whole word) repeatedly as well as “Move your f-ing car.”  Joey told Princess that since he had called the police he didn’t want to move the car and be charged with fleeing the scene.  Princess is still yelling the F word – now mind you, there was room this entire time for Princess to get his car out.  He just wanted to pick a fight.  So anyway, Princess and Joey go back and forth and Princess admits he didn’t call the police.  Joey acquiesces to move the car and Princess says “I got a picture of your tags.” 

Joey asked him what he planned to do with them, to which Princess replied his refrain (“F you, you f-ing asshole”).  Finally Joey moved the car but I’m glad he put Princess in his place.  Next time I see him I am going to woman up and thank him, as warmly as possible, for such a warm welcome to the neighborhood.  I’m still thinking about putting a sappy thank you note on his car but this dude is the epitome of a righteous, flaming gay man and I’m pretty sure it would only incite him to call the ACLU.  Because he’s the type of guy who would say we picked his car to block because he’s gay.  (Which now after my diatribe I feel like I should insert that I really like gay people and I am all for gay marriage and rights but this guy is the type who gives gays a bad name).

After that lovely incident, we parked the Eos, emptied the Volvo and went to Target (because what else will make you feel better more than a trip to Target?).  The Target here is really cool – it’s situated in a mini-mall with Bed Bath and Beyond and Best Buy and you can take your cart from the parking garage below up into all of the stores and the Target even has a cart escalator.  So two hours and $200 later, we found the Whole Foods, parked in its free garage (I love you Whole Foods), and walked across the street to get some food and much needed alcohol.  After a pitcher of strawberry-mint sangria, we walked back to Whole Foods, bought our groceries and drove home, exhausted. 

More unpacking yesterday was broken up by a run to the Capitol, past some of the Smithsonians, to the Washington monument (where there was a triathlon and Tea Party rally – seriously I wish the Tea Partiers would realize their message would carry so much farther without the camo gear), then by the White House.  We also had a gathering last night in Falls Church (only a few miles outside DC but it took us 45 minutes to find the place because A) the traffic, even at 4:30 on Sunday afternoon, is freaking nuts and B) the town of Seven Corners has seven different ways to turn off the highway and Google Maps doesn’t really cut it.   It was nice to meet some of the people we’ll be spending the next several years with – I also thought it was really funny when some of them told me they had read my blog. 

After the gathering we went to church, where the Archbishop of Washington said mass (random), and then out for beer with a few of Joey’s friends from Principal who were in town for the triathlon.   

Today my goal is to unpack some more, find a yoga studio, gym and map.  I really need a map.