We're going to be in Wicker Park/Bucktown, just 2.5 blocks west of the Damen blue line stop. It's an exciting neighborhood, full of bookstores, cafes, and a range of restaurants. Living in Greektown, we learned to love Greek food, but after three years, we're admittedly a bit tired of it. We'll love it more with distance. Goodbye to artopitas, avgolemono soup, olives and feta -- hello, eclectic cuisine! It's going to be so nice being within a few blocks walk of a bookstore, too. We stopped into Myopic Books yesterday and decided that we liked it a lot -- a charming used bookstore, where I didn't find any plane reading, but I did find a copy of Dragonquest, a title which has been unaccountably missing from my Anne McCaffrey shelf for many years. A small satisfaction. And the bookstore's open 'til 1 a.m. most nights, which makes Kevin happy. :-)
The condo itself is a fairly-new, modern-styled duplex up, two floors, 2400 square feet. Literally double the size of our current place. It has the Brazilian cherry floors I was longing for, a dark reddish wood, so lovely. Also cherry cabinets in the kitchen, which will be such a nice change from the peeling white laminate that I've kept glueing back on for the past few years. We've had this nasty corrugated white plastic countertop that's horrible to keep clean -- I can't wait to be rid of it.
The first floor is an open living/kitchen/dining room (in that order, lengthwise). It has a terrace running along the long north wall, just wide enough to squeeze a little cafe table and chairs into -- somewhere to have your coffee in the morning, half the year. The doors out provide a lot of cool light, which will make my orchids and other green plants happy. And the shorter west wall has tons of sunlight and two juliet balconies from which I can hang plants. Basil and other sun-loving herbs, here I come! The first floor space is very open and dramatic, great for entertaining. I think I'm going to have my desk down there too, in a south wall nook (where that green couch and bookcase are now, under the Snoopy art), so I think the first floor is where I'll spend most of my time.
There's one more flight of stairs, up to a large deck. There isn't a water hook-up right there, which is unfortunate; we may see if we can put one in, because we're planning lots of gardening for that deck, and it'd be great to have automatic drip watering, rather than lugging water up the stairs. Built-in planter beds, that kind of thing. A little garden in the heart of the city. I'm not sure we'll get to putting that in this year, given all the book tour stuff this summer (and that we're going to be moderately financially strapped for a year or so), but maybe -- and if not, it'll be there, waiting for us. Oh, my jasmine is finally going to bloom again -- each summer, it puts out a few tentative little blossoms and then goes dormant. Can't wait!
I have to wait, though -- our closing is early June, so it'll be a while before we can start moving things in there. And I suppose it could all still fall through for a variety of reasons, so it's early to be counting eggs. And I do periodically get a bit panicky at the thought of having an actual mortgage (and a large-ish one at that). I keep fretting about what happens if Roosevelt decides they don't want me to work there anymore -- big trouble, and frantic racing about trying to find a similarly-paying job. But it'll all be good, so Kevin keeps telling me. I just have to remember to breathe.