I found The Kennedy Warren building by mistake.
My apartment search began downtown, but I soon realized that in Washington, you get a lot less for your money downtown than in Chicago, far as I can tell. For about $2500 or so, you’re going to land roughly 600 square feet. (This is a lot of money for not a lot of feet, in case you haven’t apartment-shopped lately.) As is typical in an urban area, the further out you get, the more feet you get for the money, so explored the neighborhood of Cleveland Park, just a few metro stops from where I live now. I like the neighborhood — lots of trees, a popular main drag with intriguing cafes, an old movie house, and a sewing machine shop! I found a few buildings I liked and had an appointment to see them.
But I got turned around. I was headed the wrong direction on Connecticut Avenue and that is one long, diagonal street — not a great street to be on if you want to mix up your east-west because you got a long way to backtrack, girl. But sometimes what we think is bad is good (and vice versa) — and I’m pretty sure it was good that I got lost because I walked past a building that took my breath away. Let me describe it to you.
The building is massive. I have learned there are 429 units in the Kennedy-Warren and that it was built in the 1930s. A fountain burbles in the center of the cul-de-sac, producing this tall column of water that falls onto itself and into the pool. The building is Art Deco, so the lines are long and the details are graphic (I’m not sure that’s a very good way to describe Art Deco but it’s true, anyhow.) The color of the stone is blonde and there are so many green trees all around the courtyard that I felt like I was in a garden.
“Woooooah” I said, and wandered in.
A doorman opened the door for me and I walked into this head-slappingly gorgeous lobby. The interior of the KW is a throwback: it’s a slice of the past, chrome and sea foam green, chandeliers and settees. Wood. A mezzanine. I was looking around, mouth open, and sort of floated to the front desk. I asked if there were units available in the building and the lady said, “Yes, I’ll call the leasing office.”
Fast forward. I go with the agent to see a one-bedroom. 800+ square feet and not as expensive as downtown. The floors are wood. I’d be on the 10th floor. The cabinets in the kitchen are all the original ones from the 1930s (repainted, clearly.) The building is immaculate. And as I mentioned in my last post, my windows look out over (and into, practically) the Klingle Valley below, which sits directly beside the building; it’s also close to the zoo, which is appropriate for me, I think. The leasing agent gal said that when she lived there, she could hear the bleating of the zebras when the wind was just right. Zebras, people. Zebras.
Oh, and the building has a bar in it. Yeah. A bar-lounge. And there’s a movie room where they play classic movies once a month. There’s a ballroom. And my favorite room so far is the South Lounge, which is decorated like your cool, bachelorette grandmother’s living room. There’s an Art Deco pool on the 11th floor. There’s a patio on the roof. And did I mention zebras are my neighbors?
I applied and was approved. There’s a month of free rent for new tenants, which is good. When I went the other day to turn in my deposit and my lease, I went to look at my unit again and I just stayed in that empty place for a little while. It was quiet and full of light and I knew I had made the right choice, at least for now.
Look, it’s another move. And it’s gonna cost money. I’m bringing my stuff from Chicago. It’s real, and it’s on. But my sister’s wedding comes before the move. That’s the focus now — the wedding is Memorial Day weekend, which is basically tomorrow — and at this point, after this year, I have the tiniest belief that things tend to work themselves out.