Leaving my mark on “The Block”

There was a time when I really liked the word journey.  I liked the idea of going on a journey, being on a journey, setting out to achieve something.  Then that darn Bachelor and Bachelorette show arrived on the scene, and they went and used that  word “journey” about a bazillion times in every episode.  Now when I hear it I cringe, and some of my brain cells die.  None of you can relate, of course, because I am the only one that would waste precious time watching a mind-numbing reality show that doesn’t actually depict anything realistic at all….right?

block table detail

The truth is though, that I realize that life’s adventures are a journey of sorts.  The happy doesn’t necessarily come at the ending, but is in all the funny mishaps, failures, followed by small successes, perserverance, friendships, and profound discoveries.  Maybe those discoveries are about life, work, people, or yourself.  If you are tuned in, they can be life changing, if you are so focused on the goal, miss it you just might.

block kitchen

Standard Kitchen with Island – the Block has lots of built-ins so desks and tables aren’t required.

I’m one of those people.  Moving too fast, telling myself if I can just get on the other side of this week, month, year, I’ll be able to take a rest, enjoy, breath.  As I sit ensconced in InkBlock 2, the auspicious name of my new home, I’ve decided to enjoy being here in this experience.  It’s so different from Brownstone living.  It’s an elevator building with a concierge – three actually.  DeShawn, Andrew, and I’m not sure who the weekend watch is patrolled by.  There’s a swimming pool, and corn hole, outdoor gas grills, and flat screen tv’s, loads and loads of social spaces, gyms and yoga rooms.  I’m easing my way in.  I take the stairs so I don’t get overwhelmed, but I have used the pool.  The Lifeguard informed me that I have to sign in, and no swimming in the pool when she’s not there…liability, you know.

block bed 2

Large Bed with no overhead light.  X-big closet with sliding barn door.

In my unit, I decided not to paint, which I am a little sad about, but the thought of changing it back in just a few short months deterred me from making the effort.  I did however hang curtains, and some pictures, and unpack most of my belongings.  This is my ode to embracing the moment.  Who knows, I’ve warmed immediately to the idea of allowing these people to help me.  They are all so nice, welcoming guests, locking my unit after the cable man departs, letting the handy man in and out, carrying away my packing materials.  I’ve not been good at asking for help before, thinking that in large part people don’t really want to lend a hand, and being on my own, figured I better get used to doing things for myself.  What if I can’t go back?  Ink Block 2 could be responsible for me finding a husband at last.  See what I would have missed if I didn’t enjoy the journey?

Block Bed

A touch of the familiar.  Re-using what I have in new and imaginative ways.

Happy Sunday.

Inking About the Amenities

Boston is booming in case you haven’t heard.  They are adding residential units to the City’s stock like a short order cook turning out pancakes on a busy Saturday morning.  They say we need them, and perhaps THEY are right.  It’s astounding nonetheless.  Micro Units – those teeny, tiny 350 SF rentals that are more like dorm rooms than apartments as the building offers all the social interaction, and third place opportunities that your room and board, I mean bed, cannot.

600 Harrison Avenue

600 Harrison Avenue . New Atlantic Development . Utile Design

In the South End, Harrison Avenue said good bye to the Boston Herald, and hello to Ink Block a two building complex and the focus of this post, Sepia, and a 160 Unit Mixed Use Complex being designed by Utile and developed by New Atlantic Development whose construction will be wrapping up this summer.  Albany Street won’t be outdone is it has The Troy, and The Flower Mart just down the street is going to be flattened like those pancakes and tossed to make way for more….you guessed it, mixed use residential units.

600 Harrison Ave 2

600 Harrison Ave . New Atlantic Development . Utile Design

Having been blessed with an early release – thank you Lisa Wexler for helping us start summer off right – I took the chance to see what all the hype is about. Ink Block is comprised of 4 buildings – 3 of which are cleverly titled InkBlock#1, InkBlock#2, InkBlock#3, and Sepia.  There are 471 units, amenities include; a Whole Foods in Ink #1, an outdoor heated swimming pool – with Life Guard (I’m not kidding), a gym, a yoga studio, conference and meeting rooms available at no additional charge, underground parking, and I am sure much more.


I took a tour of the property with Heather Kavanagh, a young, energetic, and well informed leasing agent.  I suspected it would mostly be young people that lived there as the vibe is urban edgy, but unless they are rich young people, they’ll have to find other accommodations.  I did see a Mom with two kids, and a guy my age – if you think that means I’m telling you my age, you are crazy – so a mix of folks.  Heather reported that the flexible leasing timeframes mean that they get a lot of out of towners on assignment, and she also shared that many moved in while they were having their houses renovated.  Interesting.

ink 1 bed

InkBlock . 1 Bed

The units I saw where quite nice – a good size, a little over 500SF for a studio, and 700 plus SF for a one bed.  They are well appointed with modern design aesthetic, in unit washer and dryer, and AC.  Some units face the pool which are no doubt much quieter than those that face the highway.  Each to their own.

InkBlock Common Areas

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.  I thINK I give Ink and A.  #InkBlock