Moving Day

Yesterday I moved.  I did it without fanfare, anxiety, or anticipation.  I just did it.  I made the call to Humboldt Moving and Storage who have steadfastly supported me throughout this quest.  I packed my boxes in-between the dozens of events I’ve had over the last few weeks.  Tossed the clothes, donated the books, re-gifted, re-cycled, re-peated all the things required of someone moving, for the 8th time in 10 years.  It no longer feels special.  It feels mechanical.  Even the hunt, which has always been one of my most favorite activities – seems less exciting.

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It’s a wrap.

Is it the fact that there are so few properties on the market?  Is it the fact that the stocks are being batted around like a ping pong ball being hit by a pale blue Tiffany Paddle (it’s true – they have these – I just saw it advertised for the person who has everything – good golly!  If I was gifted such a thing I’d feel compelled to encase it in a lucite frame and design a room around it.  Suffice it to say, that I am not in danger of having this happen, and you are not in danger of having to witness it.)

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See…there they are in all their Tiffany Blue glory.

So what is dampening my enthusiasm?  Number 5 should feel like a milestone – half way to my quest.  Is it that I am not half way to my financial goal of $1M.  I say this and fail to scowl as I envision Mike Meyers with his pinkie finger poised at the corner of his mouth….one million dollars – as if that were a lot of money.  But it is a lot of money to me, and I imagine to many of you, and that does make me smile.  Am I making more money for the people associated with the process than I am making for myself?  Is the only way to do this, to do it on the cheap.  I rail against that realism, and steadfastly refuse.  I am interested in design.  I want to create beautiful spaces.  I believe that the beauty of them is not skin deep, that proper wiring, sound structure, solid doors, and working plumbing are all beautiful – even though, like a problem child, they are only given any attention when they are acting up.  I know, and work hard to leave what lies below, better than when I found it.  This costs money.  I wouldn’t want to do it any other way.

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Adios pretty pastel kitchen.

This is an important time.  I have four months to find a place or I’ll be forced to rent.  Four months of living out of a suitcase, and by the kindness of friends.  Four months to figure out if a need to move into another that I own, invest in a rental with friends, find a suburban property that I can flip for the cameras.  It’s a lot to consider, and I have never before had to consider so many options without a clear answer.

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Sayonara!

Advise welcome.  Happy Sunday.

Home – LESS: Living out of a suitcase

Left:  88 Waltham St. #3 . South End – note the brick wall – recessed back from the fire place.  A perfect spot for closets.  I’d build them in – encasing the non-working fire place, hiding storage above, and building in bedside table nooks on either side of the head board.  A la , La Belle Julliette Hotel . Paris.

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Gut it and forget it.  It all has to go.  Tub to be replaced with glass shower, Duravit vanity, some beautiful tile.

Living out of a suitcase is nothing new to me.  Between most property flips, I’m stowing away my belongs, and living with whatever I can fit into 2 or 3 suitcases.  That is hard to do.  Even if you travel light as I do, it always seems as if the seasons change and I’m left without a winter coat, or my spring wardrobe.  Ugh.  Thank God for Jo-Jo’s closet where I “shop” until I’m settled into my next home.  Jo-Jo has a closet full of clothes that still have the tags on them.  She allows me to borrow and return.  She’s a big heart with exquisite taste.

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Note this particularly well done closet/beside built-in combo. You charmed me Charmonix.

As I consider how little time I am spending in my home these days – work – work – work – clients, friends, appointments, weekends on the Cape (year round), I think I could do with a lot less than I am currently making do with.  That is to say….space.

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That closet has to go.  This needs to become a dining area.  Small round table that snuggles into a banquet and serves its purpose for meals and work on the computer.  

I’ve looked at couple tiny beauties.  Bid on both, lost both, but the allure of having a 300 – 400SF space, and converting it into a luxury hotel room for the likes of little old me,  well it’s kinda cool.  They don’t come on the market every day, and they have a lot of competition – investors looking for a long-term hold, and a stable return, first time home-owners that want a toe in the market, and can actually afford a shoebox sized home, and people like me.  Living and working in the city, away on weekends – being home less makes this type of property a really great investment for me, and one that , dare I say, I would likely keep.

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This has to go too, obvi.  Don’t think that small means inexpensive.  This small means more expensive than you can imagine – if you are going to do it right.  All top of the line appliances required because you can buy them in petit sizes.

Don’t go getting crazy with protestations about not meeting my long-term goal of 10 properties.  I’ll keep at it, and this will make the process a little less sawdusty.  I think I’ve earned it.  But I’ll need all your positive energy to help me find the next one.  On that most hallowed of days I will close, and turn right around and flee the country to recuperate from the trauma of it all.  Buying and selling can be very stressful.  I’ll need four days of yogic breathing to recover.  They are tossing in art afternoons to kick-start my creativity.  It will be the perfect introduction into living more simply that will simply have to take me over the hurdles that are placed in my way on the hunt for No. 5.

 

Happy Sunday.

Ode to More than a Piece of Luggage

This weekend I visited NYC to take in Hamilton, listen to some Jazz at the Blue Note, eat some good food, and generally enjoy Manhattan in the not so springy springtime.  My suitcase did not join me for the trip.  Somewhere between the vestibule and the trunk it went its own way – ending our association.

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Kate Spade for Streamline Luggage

I said it was fine, that its just a material thing, not my good health, or the loss of someone you love, or something truly tragic like living in the middle of the country and not being able to smell the salt in the air, and take a dip in the ocean, where truly all your ailments seem to vanish away.  Nothing that catastrophic, and still it’s left me a little melancholy.

Dallas . TX Top at Blue Print Store.  Bottom Left:  Cape Cod, Middle:  Farmhouse Pottery, Woodstock. VT, Right:  Hermes Pop-up . Nashville . TN

My Kate Spade for Steamline Carry-on had been a lot of places with me.  I bought it just after I sold my first home – that was three homes ago, and at least a half dozen rentals.  It had been to Paris three times, to the South of France, to Venice, Croatia, Bosnia, Switzerland, and Costa Rica.  It had been to Florida, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, New York, DC, Illinois, Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and probably a few states in between.

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The Club Car. Nantucket . MA

It was my constant Cape Cod companion, and adored Nantucket though it pretended to have no favorite.

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J’adore . Dior . Paris . France – Les Arts Decoratifs

Perhaps it grew tired of never be fully unpacked – not being allowed to breath.  Maybe it had some bad jeu-jeu like this rash that won’t seem to leave me alone.  Maybe I should consider it a ritualistic cleansing?  Do you suppose the same could be true of my adorable little Chanel booties – the ones that could carry me at a fast pace trot through the city with nary a complaint from me or the boot.  And what of my leather pants, and my beloved faux fir Gucci knock off slippers from Target?  What about them?

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Croatia.

That’s enough now – it’s enough.

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Water Taxi to Splendid Hotel . Venice . Italy – my Steamline was right beside me.

I had a beautiful weekend – even if I did have to wear the same clothes the whole time.  Sometimes you’ve just got to call a Spade a Spade – I’ll carry on….wink, wink.  See, I still have my sense of humor.  I never pack it, it should always be readily available.

Happy Sunday.

Mad Dash on Moving Day

Never enough time in a day, and often too much time to make decisions that would better be made in a few minutes.  I say this having no evidence whatsoever that my agonizing and indecision, my procrastination, and hemming, have resulted in any better a decision making process than those made on a spur of the moment.  Those spontaneous decisions don’t carry the weight of uncertainty, or result in costly scheduling delays.  How could they.  You simply make them.  What a novel concept.

Well it looks like I am at that point, like it or not where I will be making many a decision which are the result of months of delays, and which I could pretend to myself were made in an organic and spontaneous fashion.  If for no other reason than to make myself feel better.  This late Sunday, the decisions are exhausting.

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decisions . decisions.

I will leave the comfort of my sister’s home, and head to my new home.  I will paint the freshly painted walls with a host of new sample colors and when I awake in the wee hours of the morning, I will make a bleary eyed decision on the new living room wall color.  I simply cannot live with Alpine White, which screams yellow to me.  To name it white seems like false advertising.  Come on Ben Moore.  I thought you were on my side.

Left:  Benjamin Moore’s Calm – Right:  Benjamin Moore Vintage Taupe

I’ll shuffle down the hallway to see if I can locate a box marked bedroom, and dress my beloved bed.  We’ve only been separated a short while this time, but I miss it nonetheless. If I can’t locate it, or muster the energy to dig it out, or climb to the top of the stack and bring it down, I’ll just crawl on top of that unmade bed and close my eyes.

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Benjamin Moore . Cloudy Gray

Tomorrow is another day.

Hope you close out January strong.

It’s in the stars

I love stars.  A starry night, those charismatic figures on the big screen, America’s stars and stripes, the iconic symbol adorned on my clothing or woven into its design.  They’re so optimistic.  You can imagine why I was drawn to my horoscope, as I flipped through the pages of a fashion magazine, comfortably ensconced on my sister’s sofa, where I will be for the next few weeks….awaiting a point in time it’s permissible for me to inhabit home number 4.  My capacity for disruption is great, but I have yet to master walking on air, and my floors won’t permit footsteps until they are properly stained and fully cured.  Note to self, levitation 2018.  It really would come in handy.

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The Golden Age of Hollywood…Golden Goose VSTAR2

Back to the horoscope.  You absolutely wouldn’t believe what the Astrotwins, Tali and Ophilia Edut predicted for me – a Scorpio, in the month of February.  Here it is in its unabridged delightfulness:

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The Astro Twins!  Tali and Ophelia.

(October 23 – November 21)  In February, you’ll finally find your little patch of peace as the Sun nests in your cozy fourth house until the 18th.  Feather Chateau Scorpio into a sacred oasis – and dinner -party central.  Vibrant Venus and motivator Mars hold court in your wellness zone from the 3rd on.  This planetary pairing makes you quite industrious, so promote thyself, because a status-boosting lunar eclipse on the 10th pegs you as a force in your industry.  St. Valentine’s arrives slightly late, with the Pisces Sun on the 18th.  But his magic lingers for four weeks – and a swoonworthy solar eclipse on the 26th refreshes your romantic status in exhilarating ways!

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Not quite ready for primetime.

Did you hear that?  “my little patch of peace awaits in my cozy fourth house”.  Hello, I crave peace, and I am moving into my fourth house, and the Sun nests – Quest for the Nest, these gals are good.  I can also find no fault in being industrious, clearly I wouldn’t be moving and renovating, and decorating, and buying and selling, and running as fast as I can just to stay afloat if I did.  If I was not entirely convinced they were writing to me, and me alone, they sealed the deal with “his magic lingers for four weeks – and a swoonworthy solar eclipse refreshes my romantic status”.  What’s not to love about that.  Thanks Tali and Ophilia for giving me the planetary boost I needed, just when the gravity of my construction situation was weighing me down the most.

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Closing in on ready.

Off to contend with the floors, and find out just why Micah isn’t happy with them.  Not happy at all.

Big Talk: starting the year out…

My year feels big already.  As I look around my apartment at open cupboards and stacked boxes, the reality that I am moving again sinks in.  I’ve moved 8 times since May of 2015.  When I move this month it will be nine.  Remarkably, that is not daunting to me, but other things are.

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As I think about this new year it is hard not to look to others.  How do they begin?  I’ve noted that some look to trends in fashion, the market, real estate, color.  Some pick a single goal, and map out many achievable steps along the way, while others pick many in the hopes that one will stick.  Some revisit old lists and friends, while some vow to make new.  Some pick a word that they believe will help define their year.  Others pick one that they decide will no longer define who they are.  Resolve.  It’s a powerful thing.

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Karina Silverman and the Big Talk Movement

My good friend Julie Brown introduced me to the Big Talk Movement.  This movement was what I call – unintentional by a young girl named Kalina Silverman who was clearly intent of figuring out how to give her own life meaning.  Big Talk instead of small.  To ask and to answer is to quickly give meaning to, and understand your life and the life of others.  People fascinate, and sometimes dismay me.  Sometime you get just a few moments with someone that will leave an indelible imprint, while I recognize that I’ve known others for years, without really knowing them at all.

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Here are 5 of my favorite Big Talk Questions…

What gives you goose bumps?

Where would you like to wake up tomorrow?

What are the first things you notice when meeting someone?

What is your next great adventure?

What is the kindest thing someone has ever done for you?

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My color for the year is blush.  It feels young and fresh, and full of possibility.  My word is ascend.  As I step firmly out of three and up to four I get goosebumps thinking about getting closer to my goal of ten.  I would love to wake up tomorrow in my new room, having forgone the remainder of the packing!  I notice if someone looks you in the eyes, and wonder what they see.  My next great adventure is either No. 5, or something I haven’t yet conceived of.  Kindness…in the midst of the hustle and bustle of life, it feels pretty special when someone takes the time to hold a door.  Happy New Year.

 

Time to Kick the Sticks

On this old tent.  Though the metaphor isn’t exactly me, (it’s still cute) as I’m not much of a camper.  I’m more Glamp than Camp, though one wouldn’t know it with this lifestyle I keep.  It’s a lot of inconvenience, a good deal of sweating, a little nail biting, a few sleepless nights, with a little glamour sprinkled in between.  Clearly I can go a long way on a perfect moment.  When something that should by all rights, not come together, when all the obstacles have been crossed, when the plan a, b, and c have been put in place, shifted around, compromised, and still inexplicably it turns out.  Well, it’s sublime.  I live for it.

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But breaking camp is never that much fun.  I am always surprised by what I have managed to collect, this time in just 7 months, and how well I do, hiding it all away.  It’s not so pretty when it’s spread all out over the living room.  Nonetheless, I have a system in place which is incredibly efficient, and doesn’t involve Jo-Jo, my little sister clearing the shelves off into boxes and shrieking, “there’s no time to organize it – we just have to get it packed.”  Oh Tink, there is time, and I managed to get it done in a day.  Of course I will call on my favorite movers – Humboldt Storage and Moving Closing 2#howcanwereduceyourstresstoday.  It’s love.  I beg them with each move, I am part of their frequent flier club so we are well acquainted, to please open other divisions to manage the other aspects of my life, for which I am in desperate need of assistance.  Alas, they seem committed to sticking to this one area, that they are super good at.  I’d like to hold a grudge, but they are just too…too.  If you know what I mean.

So it’s true, I got a little restless.  I watched the market, and my gut told me to join in the fun.  This week alone in the South End 43 properties where reported on as having closed in the Spring Market.  10 of which went for over $1000. a foot, 4 over $1100., 3 over $1200.  That’s practically the definition of insanity, and I love a little insane when I’m on the selling side of the table.  I absolutely abhor it when I am trying to buy.

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If the truth be told, neither side of the tent flap is all that easy, and yet here I find myself again.  Until Friday, I’ll be on the inside looking out.  On Saturday, I’ll be the one looking – wide-eyed and all.  Wish me luck.

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A huge thanks need to go out to my Real Estate Broker, Alan Duggan of Compass, to my good friend and Artist John Vinton for loaning me the perfect painting in preparation for the sale, and to all my friends and family for putting up with the happy chaos which is my life.