SUNDAYS WITH STRANGERS
I grew up in the Midwest, where there’s no tradition or appreciation for aesthetics, so the local architecture was a schizophrenic mishmash of random styles. I remember on the block where my best friend lived, there was a Spanish-style stucco house next to a weird Roman-esque mini-mansion with fluted columns next to a house shaped like a big frickin’ donut, complete with sprinkles. (Couldn’t even make that up; the high school art teacher lived there.)
So coming from that, it can seem like in DC, all the houses look alike. Which is a nice, roundabout way of saying that in DC, all houses look alike. The rowhome is like a child; everyone thinks theirs is so special and unique, but the rest of us are pretending to cough to cover up our convulsive yawning. So it’s a nice change to come across a place like this. This Logan Circle penthouse loft has nineteen foot ceilings, a wraparound terrace, and three exposures, so you’ll have to put on sunscreen and a hat just to sit on your sofa. The main living area is a huge amphitheater-like space with windows on all sides, a floating staircase, and a wet bar. There’s a long kitchen with stainless steel appliances and black marble countertops off that area; I’ve come to appreciate long, narrow kitchens over the usual square, island-style kitchen. In my experience, the former encourages efficiency, whereas the latter encourages sprawl. Plus, if you don’t have an island, there’s nowhere for your significant other to sit and offer “helpful suggestions” while you cook, until you’re genuinely considering turning off the burners, walking out the back door, flying to a random city, and starting a new life there under an assumed name, just so you’ll never have to hear “you sure you sauteed that garlic enough?” ever again.
Upstairs, there’s a sitting room area that has a pleasant “crow’s nest” feel to it, since it’s at the very top of the penthouse; instead of getting a television, I’d suggest investing in a moderate-quality telescope, to spy on the surrounding buildings. (Don’t expect to see much sex, though; most people spend their alone time eating crackers while staring at their laptop.) The bedrooms each have balconies, so if you ever wake up in the middle of the night with a powerful urge to spit, well, how convenient! The master bath has twin basins, and a glass-walled shower with a small drop-down seat in there, which we all know will come in handy; every time you lather up your disgusting feet while standing in the shower, you’re basically taking on a 30% risk of slipping and conking your head on the tub floor like a pumpkin falling off the back of a truck.
The place comes with two parking spaces, so if you’re unhappy with the rate of global warming, you can do your part to speed it up. And finally, the wraparound L-shaped terrace outside is perfect for parties, and since there are two separate sections, you could invite your work AND your regular friends, and keep them separated so neither group has to see how totally different (i.e. fake) you act with the other group.
1401 Q Street NW #605
2 Bedrooms, 2.5 Baths
All photos courtesy MRIS; listing courtesy Keller Williams, 202-243-7700
BY FRANKLIN SCHNEIDER