describe your dwelling, neighborhood, etc.

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brett
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Re: describe your dwelling, neighborhood, etc.

Post by brett »

* describe your dwelling.
1650 Sq. Foot of Suburban Townhomage. 3 br, 2 1/2 ba, 1 car garage and a full basement.

* describe your neighborhood.
Nice, Family Oriented, Lots of young professionals. South OP.

* why did you choose to buy/rent there?
All the room, close to work, price was great.

* list a couple pros and cons about where you live.
pros: all the room. close to work. price is terrific for what we get. nice scenery. all grocery stores are 2 minutes away. highway is easily accessible.
cons: no culture or history, no unique stores, 20 minute drive to downtown or anywhere else interesting.

* would you recommend your living arrangement to others?
Definitely. as a young career-oriented guy, there are lots of opportunities and a great environment.

VeraCharles
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Re: describe your dwelling, neighborhood, etc.

Post by VeraCharles »

* describe your dwelling.

A 1300 s.f. Victorian cottage in Longfellow, 2br, 1.5 bth. Has a large and private backyard and two car garage

* describe your neighborhood.

Pretty cool. It's a mix of rentals and owner-occupied homes dating to the early 20th c. and prior. I'm told some of the houses were moved to the area from the land on which Union Stations now sits. There's also some light industrial stuff in the area. I'm two blocks from the Coffee Girls and the new Gillham Row loft/condos and there will soon be some new shopping at 29th and McGee, or so I'm told.

* why did you choose to buy/rent there?

We downsized from a 3500 s.f. home in central Hyde Park. It was crazy-big and given the current economic climate, we figured a smaller place and a smaller payment made sense. We still wanted to stay in the Midtown/Downtown area. I'm now withing a comfortable walking distance from work.

* list a couple pros and cons about where you live.

Pros: Beautiful older neighborhood, close to work, nice mix of people.
Cons: Could be improved with some essential services and shops. I'd love to have a decent grocery store withing walking distance, but that's not terribly realistic. Also, we get some siren noice from emegency services vehicles making their way to Truman and Children's Mercy, but it's not that bad.

* would you recommend your living arrangement to others?

Totally!

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Re: describe your dwelling, neighborhood, etc.

Post by QueSi2Opie »

This is "Urban Living" so why are people describing their suburban dumps? 
The Pendergast Poltergeist Project!

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staubio
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Re: describe your dwelling, neighborhood, etc.

Post by staubio »

QueSi2Opie wrote: This is "Urban Living" so why are people describing their suburban dumps? 
Go ahead, QueSi, you can describe yours too!  :D

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chrizow
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Re: describe your dwelling, neighborhood, etc.

Post by chrizow »

i forgot about this lost treasure of a thread.  most people who have posted on this thread live in different homes now.  and, of course, many people have yet to chime in. 

so let's have it:

* describe your dwelling.
* describe your neighborhood.
* why did you choose to buy/rent there?
* list a couple pros and cons about where you live.
* would you recommend your living arrangement to others?
* etc.

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Re: describe your dwelling, neighborhood, etc.

Post by dangerboy »

Yup, I'm one of the ones that moved recently.

House: Two story 1910 shirtwaist
Neighborhood: Volker (West 39th Street).  Lots of great bars and restaurants. Also walking distance to Westport and the Plaza. 
Why: Traded for bigger house with more character, a smaller yard, and a front porch.
Pro: Walk Score of 97. Three blocks from the grocery store.  Multiple bus lines with two blocks of the house.
Cons: No Trader Joe's or Target within walking distance.  Close to Southwest Traffic, though I have plans to fix the trafficway.

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chrizow
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Re: describe your dwelling, neighborhood, etc.

Post by chrizow »

describe your dwelling.

finally i have a place in KC to talk about.  (i posted this thread in 2005, when i still lived in columbia). 

house:  1909 two-story detached home in south hyde park.  i actually don't know what the "style" would be.  it is sort of like this, only more attractive and doesn't have an inhabitable third floor: 

Image

it is approx 1450 sq ft.  it's listed as 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath, but the "third bedroom" is tiny, has no closet, and is off another bedroom so it's more like a sitting room or nursery or something.  i would say it is 2.5 bed, 1.5 bath.  it hasn't really been updated at all - it has either been untouched or restored to vaguely original condition, with modern colors added.  if i ever get good photos of the inside, i'll post them here. 

describe your neighborhood.

south hyde park is a dense (by kc standards) exclusively residential area bordered by 39th to the north, cleaver to the south, troost to the east, gillham to the west.  it runs along gillham park south of 39th.  overall it's a pretty cozy, handsome area.  laidback, neighborly, diverse in all ways.  nothing in immediate walking distance other than gillham park and the nelson-atkins, but it's a very short drive (or bike ride if that's your style) anywhere in town. 

why did you choose to buy/rent there?

i wasn't really looking at houses in hyde park at all.  i was looking more in the brookside area, with a couple of forays into union hill, coleman highlands, etc.  we basically fell in love with the house, and our affection for the neighborhood followed suit.  since moving into the area, i have come to realize that hyde park is one of the most unique, interesting - and misunderstood - neighborhoods in the city.

list a couple pros and cons about where you live.

pros:  great neighbors, close to the park, beautiful old homes, urban, diverse.

cons:  no actual cons that i can think of, other than the seemingly pervasive perception that hyde park is a "high crime area" b/c it is near troost.  the reality is that it's about the same as other parts of midtown - meaning yes, an elevated risk of crime compared to brookside, but nothing terrible.  i also wish there were more cool things within easy walking distance (hello troost redevelopment!)

would you recommend your living arrangement to others?

absolutely.  what's not to love about a historic home, great neighbors, a giant park 50 feet away, and entry-level home prices?!

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Re: describe your dwelling, neighborhood, etc.

Post by DaveKCMO »

i'm surprised i never responded initially! here goes:

* describe your dwelling.

"art deco" crossroads warehouse converted to condos in 2004. my unit is 2nd smallest, but has a glorious 14-foot concrete ceiling unique to 1st floor units.

* describe your neighborhood.

see the countless crossroads threads.

* why did you choose to buy/rent there?

fell in love instantly with the model unit and had admired the surrounding galleries from afar (joco). i hated managing a single-family home but wanted to buy.

* list a couple pros and cons about where you live.

pros: galleries, restaurants, bars, transit, architecture, skyline view, like-minded neighbors, walkability
cons: ghost town most of the time, preponderance of surface lots, downtown and midtown are both uphill (sucks for biking)

* would you recommend your living arrangement to others?

absolutely, but only if you don't mind the occasional reminder that someone's living above and on both sides of you. our place is a tad small for two (956 sq. ft.), but it works for active types.

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Re: describe your dwelling, neighborhood, etc.

Post by PumpkinStalker »

Just bought a house in Waldo this past July.  I need to update my own thread about it, much has been done since the last time.

Describe your dwelling:
1935 with a cottage/story book feel.  Brick facade on front, the rest is stucco.  Small screened in porch on the side.  Interior has original red oak hardwood floors in all rooms except kitchen.  Interior doorways on first floor are arched.  Fireplace has brick surround, mantel above has a arched cubby with an electrical outlet.  Another arched cubby at the base of the stairs to go to second floor.  Backyard is good size for the neighborhood.  One car garage was torn down by me.  Eventually I'll build a new garage to fit style of my house and look original.  I am in the process of restoring mouldings and plaster elements.  Long term, I want to updtae the kitchen.  Upstairs has an original pink and black checkered tile bath.  Attic space has been converted into living space for a fourth bedroom, office, or exercise room.  Doesn't get good air circulation though so it's either unbearably hot or freezing cold.

Describe your neighborhood
I live two blocks off Wornall and a stones throw from almost everything I need.  The neighborhood is very diverse with residents as well as architecture.  I have dutch colonials, bungalows, storybook tudors, and four squares all on my street.  The residents are black, white, hispanic, old, young.  Some houses on my street were built in the teens while others like mine were built in the 30s.  Larger lots were subdivided to make room for newer homes.  My title search turned up original documents that stated that my neighborhood (like many others) prohibited any other race except caucasian.  Takes a different meaning when you read it first hand on original documents.

Why did you choose to buy here?
I love Brookside/Waldo architecture, especially story book homes with nooks, crannies, mix of brick and stone, turrets, a "dungeony feel" with arched wood front doors that look like they go into castles.  Houses were still very well built in the 30s but were starting to get more modern updates.

List a couple pros/cons
Pros:  Walk score is 75, but for me, it's more like 95.  I *need* to drive almost nowhere.  I have absolutely everything I need.  I have watchfull neighbors and an active homes association that doesn't meddle yet does useful things like getting the city to only allow parking on one side of the street instead of both or scheduling bulky trash pick ups.

Cons:  My neighbor across the street has a cooler house than me.

Would you recommend your living arrangement to others:
Most def.  I love this neighborhood and it's proximity to bars and restaurants.  I can walk to 75th St Brewery and other businesses in under a minute yet live on a fairly quiet street with very few "thru" traffic.

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staubio
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Re: describe your dwelling, neighborhood, etc.

Post by staubio »

My dwelling:

750 square foot one-bedroom made studio on the 6th floor of an old River Market warehouse. Two walls of brick, huge windows, 16ft+ ceilings, dark stained and polished concrete floors with original river rock aggregate exposed. By joining the bedroom space with the rest of the space to make it a true loft, it has a great airy feel for a small space. The River Market's skewed grid makes my west exposure slightly south, which makes for great light and brilliant sunsets over the river, west bottoms, downtown airport and DT KCK's skyline.

Neighborhood:

The River Market is a pretty familiar neighborhood to most on the board, though it really is still realizing its potential more and more every day.

Why I chose it:

I didn't really "get" the River Market but when I started doing serious shopping, I loved the fusing of a real urban neighborhood and a genuine neighborhood feel. It is officially "downtown" but embodies more of a real urban residential vibe, like a SOHO of Chelsea. I also got in right at the beginning of my building's conversion and got a great deal and bought an old rental unit "as is," meaning I can take the time to make changes as I go but have a very nice unit in the meantime.

Pros:

The neighborhood is great and it is always changing and growing. If you try, you can find everything you need in blocks and form relationships with the vendors. The City Market is a great resource and it brings an international / ethnic flavor that makes you feel like you are in an even bigger city. Great neighborhood establishments dot the neighborhood and people are friendly. Riverfront access and the promise of more recreational trail opportunities is great. A small neighborhood park next door is handy. A great neighborhood association.  8) Building is social with a great mixture of young professionals and empty nesters who are mostly considerate; I rarely hear my neighbors. For an old building, it is in good shape and we have a strong plan for ongoing maintenance. Transit access is pretty much as good as it gets in KC. Isolated neighborhood creates a sort of self-sufficient "village" feel.

Neighborhoood is growing and improving all the time, making it an exciting place to be and making one feel as if they are part of something.

Cons:

People still love to drive in and out of this neighborhood. Street life at night is mostly made up of dog-walkers whose creatures overrun the neighborhood at times -- and make the neighborhood park unusable. Not enough people take advantage of the location and amenities of the neighborhood. It is a neighborhood in transition, with several buildings mostly empty undergoing condo renovations and new buildings coming online to return rental options to the 'hood. Too many cars, too much parking. Third Street becomes a traffic sewer at times with traffic cutting to the Bottoms from I-35 despite better options. Petty theft from cars happens from time to time. Still waiting on the Riverfront Heritage Trail and improvements to River Front Park and other Port Authority projects to come to fruition. Delaware struggling to find an identity and is killed by too much office and not enough retail and residential. Uninviting overpasses connect to downtown.

Would I recommend it?:

Yes, absolutely. I honestly believe the RM is the pinnacle of urban living with one of the greatest upsides in the city. It is part of greater downtown but still its own little nook. It needs some help but it is getting better all the time.

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Re: describe your dwelling, neighborhood, etc.

Post by loftguy »

Westside, 27 years old, looks like a butthole shack from the outside, awesome colorado mountain house inside, built with salvage materials from multiple KC properties that were demo'd.  Nothing fancy and it's perfect.

99% of neighbors Hispanic and great people.  It took a while for them to warm up to the anglo interlopers, but now they've got our backs covered.

I am so f'ing lucky to live where I live.  My gf found this house 3 years ago and I would love her for that fact alone.

mean
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Re: describe your dwelling, neighborhood, etc.

Post by mean »

~1890s-1990s (apparently nobody knows for sure) 3-story house in Independence Plaza. All rose marble tile and hardwood floors, with wainscoting, historic crown molding, pocket doors, etc. Tall ceilings on every floor. Just one bedroom, on the second floor, with a library / study / computer room on the second floor as well.

The neighborhood is great, a lot more walkable than Walk Score gives it credit for. I'm less than a 10 or 15-minute walk from groceries, convenience stores, as well as an abundance of panaderias, tortillarias, and carnicerias. Quite a few restaurants, mostly divey taco shacks ala Taqueria Michoacan or Super Pollo. There are also music stores nearby (especially if you're into Los Tigres...har), clothing stores, and so forth. The only thing that I don't like is being unable to communicate effectively with many of my neighbors because we don't speak (or barely speak) the same language. But it works out fine.

Moved here because we loved the house, loved the neighborhood, and felt like it was an area worth trying to do whatever small part we can to try and help bring it back from the brink.

I recommend it to people all the time, especially when I see houses for sale in the area--which is fairly frequently. No one has ever taken me up on the offer, though, with comments generally along the lines of, "I just want somewhere quieter," and I can't help but imagine that in most cases 'quieter' means 'whiter'. Because, with the exception of an isolated incident shortly after we moved in, it's been very quiet.
"It is not to my good friend's heresy that I impute his honesty. On the contrary, 'tis his honesty that has brought upon him the character of heretic." -- Ben Franklin

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Re: describe your dwelling, neighborhood, etc.

Post by LindseyLohan »

* describe your dwelling.

1960s ranch. Unmolested, outdated, but solid and in great shape. 1700sq ft, 2 car garage, full unfinished basement, huge attic, 6ft privacy fence, big trees...

* describe your neighborhood.

Raytown, egh. On two major bus lines and close to conveniances. Old, quiet, and semi secluded neighborhood. Everyone is old and retired...

* why did you choose to buy/rent there?

The space above Happy Gillis was getting tight with a child. Lived there since SoRedux. I was determined to buy a house this year (tax credit and low rates) and was tired of looking at half ass rehabs in midtown and northeast. I stumbled into this foreclosure and went for it only because it is right next to two major bus routes and the most conveniant suburb to my work, fiances work, and daycare. Figured Raytown might have something going for it (350 corridor improvements and heavy school investments) and I could make a decent profit once I do some small renovations.  I hope to make it to Rockhill or Brookside in 5 years.

* list a couple pros and cons about where you live.

PRO - best bang for the buck. Don't have to drive 15 minutes to a decent grocery store. Conveniant to KCMO. Don't really run into traffic. can still utilize the bus. I can grill out. park my cars, scooter, and motorcycle in the garage. let my dog out in the backyard. I can have tools and tinker with things in my huge basement. Raytown still has some character.

Cons - no $5 cab rides or stumbling home from bars. Not as interesting. No longer 5 blocks from work. would you recommend your living arrangement to others?

Not sure if this is a pro or con - but it doesn't have new strip malls and big box stores everywhere.

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Re: describe your dwelling, neighborhood, etc.

Post by LaurenKU »

* describe your dwelling.

1948 Cape Cod, 1 1/2 stories, 4 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, 1500 sq. foot + unfinished basement

* describe your neighborhood.


Prairie Village subdivision, PVKS - nice, single family homes, with well-kept yards and large mature trees

* why did you choose to buy/rent there?


Started looking for a home nearly a year ago.  At first, we thought we wanted to live near our apartment on the plaza, but really wanted a yard.  So we looked at a few homes in the West Plaza area, but didn't find anything we really liked, let alone loved.  We then expanded the search to the Brookside area, found some houses that either he or I really liked, but nothing we could agree upon.  We then expanded our search further, and looked at homes in Westwood, Westwood Hills (almost pulled the trigger here), Fairway, Old Leawood (again, almost pulled the trigger) and Prairie Village.  He saw the house we eventually bought while I was on a business trip, and was really excited to show it to me, when I got back. 

I loved the house...had great curb appeal, NO carpet - all hardwoods, a really livable layout, a screened porch, nice fenced backyard, etc...and when I was out in the front yard looking at the place, two neighbors stopped to chat and were really friendly.

* list a couple pros and cons about where you live.

Pros:

I can see us staying here a long time.  We have plenty of room to grow, when we decide to start a family.  I love my backyard, and the friendly neighbors.  I feel very safe, and I sleep really well, instead of being awakened throughout the night by drunks stumbling around the plaza, sirens, car noises, etc.  We're about a 2-3 minute walk from the Prairie Village shops...so I can still walk to dinner, shop and now I can even walk to the grocery store or Bruce Smith Drugs.  I'm also closer to my office, and he's much closer to his...I only have to fill up with gas every 3-4 weeks now.

Cons:

I guess I'm not as "hip" as I used to be, back when I lived in the Urban Core.

* would you recommend your living arrangement to others?


Sure.

lock+load
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Re: describe your dwelling, neighborhood, etc.

Post by lock+load »

* describe your dwelling.

1920s two-story house with large, screened front porch.  ~1500 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, original hardwoods throughout.  Unfinished basement.

* describe your neighborhood.

Armour Hills- 65th to Gregory, Brookside Rd. to Oak.  Relatively quiet and friendly neighborhood, with a good mix of younger couples and long-time residents.  Park with playground equipment and tennis courts nearby.  Close to Brookside shops.  Short walk to either the MAX or 57. 

* why did you choose to buy/rent there?

We looked at over 100 houses from about 50th St. to 75th, State Line to Oak.  Very close to work, friendly neighbors.  It’s hard to find houses in this area that haven’t been stripped of their character by previous owners and don't have ugly-ass add-ons.

* list a couple pros and cons about where you live.

Pros:  Low crime, diverse (age wise).  Very centrally located.
Cons:  Very white. 

* would you recommend your living arrangement to others?

Absolutely.

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Midtownkid
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Re: describe your dwelling, neighborhood, etc.

Post by Midtownkid »

lock+load wrote:
Pros:  Low crime, diverse (age wise).  Very centrally located.
Cons:  Very white. 
Not to try and start all kinds of controversy...but why is necessarily a con to be in a neighborhood that is all white.  Yeah, living somewhere where you can see all kinds of different skin colors is great, I guess, but can't there be diversity in the people themselves, not just their skin color?  This seems a little racist...  (Not calling you a racist, this whole idea just seems a little racist...and it's not just you who follows that kind of thinking.)

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Re: describe your dwelling, neighborhood, etc.

Post by cknab1 »

*describe your dwelling.

1250 sq. ft condo.  One bedroom two bath.  Used to be two bedrooms but we took out some walls to open up the place.

* describe your neighborhood.

Santa Fe Place – Crown Center

* why did you choose to buy/rent there?

Wife passed away, kids graduated from college, no need to stay in Oak Grove.  I work at Hallmark so it was a no brainer to try this out.  I moved to Santa Fe Place when it was rentals in 2002.  That gave me time to check it out.  After it was converted to condos, I brought a corner unit and remodeled it.  I meet and married a fellow Hallmarker, saved her from Kearney and brought her here.  We both really like the lifestyle we have here and downtown booming just makes it that much better. 


* list a couple pros and cons about where you live.

PRO – We have one car, walk most places or take the Max.  I can walk to work without being worried about gas or weather.  Living here is like living in a small town.

Cons – No garage which I really miss, no yard (a plus and minus) No storage to speak of.
I'll have what the gentleman on the floor is having.

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Cheffreygo
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Re: describe your dwelling, neighborhood, etc.

Post by Cheffreygo »

* describe your dwelling.

1925 Dible Tudor (http://sarahsnodgrass.com/blog/whats-a-dible-tudor/).  The house is 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and about 1,760 sq. ft. (not including the full unfinished basement -- which is dry!).  The house recently underwent a renovation, but still has the original charm like crown molding, chair railing, wainscoting, hardwoods, etc.  We just bought the house in December and love it!  There are a few project we'll be undertaking soon like new windows, but overall it is very livable and we couldn't be happier.

* describe your neighborhood.

We live right of of Holmes & 73rd in Waldo/Rockhill Gardens.  The neighborhood is comprised mainly of a mixture of tudors and colonial-style tudor homes with very similar floorplans.  Most of the residents are either young couples with children or older residents that have lived there for decades.  I was told by a man that has lived in the neighborhood since 1971 that the neighborhood used to be an affluent Jewish neighborhood.  At the time he was the first African American to move to the neighborhood.  Now, the neighborhood is about half African American and half white from what I can tell.

* why did you choose to buy/rent there?

We looked at about 50 houses before we found one that we fell in love with.  We loved the charm of the neighborhood and the house itself (and the price!).  After living in Overland Park for a year and a half we were ready for some character.

* list a couple pros and cons about where you live.

Pros:
-Close to Waldo & Brookside Shops
-Relatively close to Downtown & Midtown
-Somewhat close to 435 and 71
-Much more character than the suburbs

Cons:
-Farther away from work (Lenexa for me and Overland Park for my wife)
-Higher crime (supposedly -- we haven't yet experienced any, but I get weekly crime reports via email that suggests higher crime than OP)
-More expensive utilities due to old windows and doors.
-Schools (when we have kids)

* would you recommend your living arrangement to others?

Absolutely.  My sister and her husband might be moving to the area and I'm practically begging them to look at nearby properties.

* etc.

Here are some photos -- my apologies for the ericamay photography stamp -- I pulled these off of my wife's blog! :)

Exterior -
Image

Living room -
Image

Living room from other angle -
Image

Kitchen -
Image

Dining room -
Image

Master bedroom -
Image

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warwickland
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Re: describe your dwelling, neighborhood, etc.

Post by warwickland »

63116 Edition -

* describe your dwelling.
190X brick working class flat over flat

* describe your neighborhood.
quasi-hip / quasi gentrified / quasi sketchy (south part) early streetcar/working class factory neighborhood (on the west side where I live)

* why did you choose to buy/rent there?
most of my favorite bars are there

* list a couple pros and cons about where you live.
PRO - fairly dense, fairly walkable, many bars.

CON - people are somewhat irritable and avoidant. somewhat insulated from the greater city (as most south st. louis neighborhoods are).

* would you recommend your living arrangement to others?
yes.

64111 Edition -

* describe your dwelling.
3 story colonnade style apartment

* describe your neighborhood.
art slum/offbeat high streetcar suburb.

* why did you choose to buy/rent there?
cheap rent, walkable to westport/highly transit accessible

* list a couple pros and cons about where you live.
PRO - interesting and friendly people, walkable to westport, very much connected to a greater linear core, very accessible to efficient linear transit, largely non gentrified yet largely maintained. art school nearby.

CON - immediate neighborhood lacking amenities and sustained density, quasi sketchy in parts. art school nearby.

* would you recommend your living arrangement to others?
yes.


alas, some mixture of the two would constitute the perfect neighborhood.
Last edited by warwickland on Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: describe your dwelling, neighborhood, etc.

Post by Blueprint4Escape »

This is an amazing thread.  I've absolutely enjoyed reading everything.

* describe your dwelling.

1200 sq. ft. true loft apartment (smallest in the building of seven apartments) in Soda Lofts (sodalofts.com) on 5th St. in Columbus Park.  The building is a renovated soda water manufacturing building built in 1921-1923.  My space has two stories, but some of the spaces are three stories.  Raw open space, 23 ft. ceilings, 10 ft. windows, wood flooring on main level, carpeted loft bedroom area, restaurant quality stainless steel kitchen, etc.

* describe your neighborhood.

Moving from 37th & Central in Midtown, Columbus Park feels amazingly safe.  The people are friendly and very diverse.  There are really good restaurants in the neighborhood and a few good places to grab a drink.  Several art galleries and such with "3rd Fridays" hosted here.

* why did you choose to buy/rent there?

I've always been in love with Columbus Park.  The apartement was exactly what I was looking for and in my price range.  The people in the building are amazing.  With only 7 apartments, no one can really be an asshole.  We have regular "Course & Cocktail" parties and random gatherings involving alcohol.  The area is semi-secluded from the city while being apart of it all at the same time.  Not to mention we have random wildlife (my favorite being the groundhog accross the street).

* list a couple pros and cons about where you live.

Pros - Amazing highway access.
        Close enough to everywhere I want (and most of the places I need) to be.  (walking or $5 cab ride)
        I've never had my car broken into or stolen from here. *knock on wood* (:
        Raw true loft space. 

Cons -  Have to travel to do most shopping.  (I guess that's a con)
          No garage to park my car in.  *shrug*

* would you recommend your living arrangement to others?

Absolutely!

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