Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Photo: Stuart Isett for The New York Times
Any of you who have had the misfortune to bring up real estate around me while I'm into my cups knows that I have some pretty strong opinions about the whole racket. Set aside what you would expect me to say about retaining history and celebrating quirky character within community. Yep, I'm all for those things. The real issue I have is with the phenomenon called "First Time Home Owners". A home is where one puts their roots down and stays. It is the bottomless container for memories. It is the place where the grass is never greener. It's the place where your kids will bring their kids to visit you. Most first time house owners, don't stick around for more than 5 years, their houses are nothing more than a series of growing investments. This results in the development of shitty, temporary communities with no infrastructure or character. Case in point. Try to find one of these new developments in your area that is in walking or bike-riding distance to a library. But I digress.
I read this article about Edith Macefield’s tiny house in Ballard, WA that made a really sweet point about the most important location in anyone's life, their home. Even though she was offered a cool mill for her house, she passed. Not because she was some wingnut with an itinerary like the crackpot who wrote the previous paragraph in this blog post, but because simply and earnestly it was her home.
From the New York Times article:
“Everybody that’s come in and tried to talk about this has tried to create that image of her,” said Mike Semandiris, whose family has owned a chili parlor around the corner for more than 70 years. “But she didn’t give a damn about preserving old Ballard. The lady just wanted to live in her house.”
I'm not to sure which side of the fence I'm on about the decision to sell her house for demolition following her death this past spring. A big part of me (again see the first paragraph of this post) thinks it should remain. But a bigger part of me feels that with no family to leave it too, her home became just a house with her passing.- Link
Posted by Unknown at 8:06 AM