Monday, October 27, 2008

The Thing With Two Heads Is On The Move!

Exactly a year to the day after arriving in Harrisburg, PA from Queens, NY, Christine and I are moving again, this time even further into the recesses of small town life. We had actually looked at Dallastown, PA before deciding on Harrisburg, but we didn't see any homes that we thought would suit our needs. Christine's dad, Pat, owns a building dating back to the 1920s that's just a block away from where Christine and I got married in Dallastown. This building houses his crab steaming business called Paddy's Seafood. The shop is on the ground floor and it's entrance faces the back alley. He rents out the front of the building to some ladies that have a beauty salon, and it's entrance faces Main Street. The second floor of the building is our new apartment. The former tenants lived there for 32 years. Apparently the couple didn't like the smell of paint, so general repairs were never made during the 11 years that Pat has owned the building. Their departure provided the first time Pat ever really got to see the place at all! Knowing that he had to rent it out, he figured he better get to work remodeling. One weekend when Christine and I went to visit we asked if we could see the apartment, just out of curiosity. We had no idea how massive it was, as the view from downstairs made it look deceptively small. I think it took us about three minutes before we asked if we could have it. The rent is the same as we're paying now, plus Pat pays the utilities! How could we pass this up? It just wasn't gonna happen!

Here's the back, the entrance of Paddy's Seafood:

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Going up the staircase on the left, we're greeted by a nice little porch where we plan on having some loungey furniture, our bbq grill and a nice box garden for our herbs and tomatoes:

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Below is the view from the porch. We'll have some amazing times out there at dusk when the weather gets warm again:

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If you go back to the picture of the patio, you'll notice that we have two front doors. One is super-narrow, about half the width of a standard doorway. To it's left is the standard size door which leads in to what will become our record room. When you enter the narrow door, we're immediately in the hallway which divides the apartment by (from front to back) the record room, kitchen, dining room and living room on the left side, and the laundry room, bathroom, guest bedroom and master bedroom on the right. The hallway runs 46 feet from the entry to the rear, where the master bedroom entrance is:

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Here is the laundry room on the right:

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The record room is about the same length as our current living room, and maybe a couple feet wider. It's the perfect size for our current collection, with plenty of room to dance! We'll pretty much have the same view as we have from our porch:

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Here is the same room, but this is the view going back towards the kitchen:

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Our new kitchen is pretty magnificent compared to what we're used to. There's plenty of outlets for counter top appliances, a phone jack, a counter that runs all the way across the room with a lazy suzan on each end, above counter bric-a-brac shelves on both sides of the sink, and above the oven and stove, we have another gorgeous vintage oven from the early 70s! This will come in handy for when we finally host Thanksgiving or Christmas. Here is the view from the far end of the kitchen (I wanted to post a picture from the front, but i had the best angle from the dining room):

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The dining room is just behind the kitchen, and get this... it's elevated!

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Here's another shot of it from the back, with Corey, the remodeling crew member and eletrical wiring genius, cruising back to the counter :

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Directly behind where I stood to get that shot is our living room. The windows face Main Street, and we get to look at two historical Dallastown landmarks which are directly across from us: Sechrist Brothers Butcher Shop (making the most delicious smoked hot dogs on the face of the earth since ca. 1875!) and the Dallas (movie) Theatre which opened in 1927, and was recently purchased by a hip young couple who's ultimate mission for the theatre is preservation! Nice to have some like minded people so close. Anyhoo, here is the living room (the carpet is coming out so we have more hardwood!):

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Did you see that couch? It comes with the apartment. SCORE! It's a mint-condition 60s studio couch. The back and seat actually slide down to make it a bed. I guess you could call it a proto-futon. This is going to be the permanent couch in the record room. Here's a close up of this funky sofa:

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Okay, moving on and leaving the living room, here's the the dining room again, showing the rear entry arch:

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Now since we are in the rear of the apartment, we'll move to the other side of the hallway, working our way back to the front. Our bedroom is below. Notice how much floor space we have, and how high the ceiling is. Once again, these windows face Main Street:

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Here is the view leaving our room, and moving towards the guest bedroom which is at the other end of a very short hallway, just behind that center door:

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Here is the guest bedroom, in all it's pre-remodel glory:

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Halfway down the hall back towards the front door is going to be a giant walk in closet that was once a bathroom, and adjacent to that closet, going towards the front door, is our bathroom. You can't see it in the picture, but there is a large linen closet to the right:

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And full circle, back to the (narrow) front door:

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The only thing not pictured is the attic. You can't see it from the back on the outside, but it's the entire third floor of the building, and it's acessible to us from a staircase inbetween our dining room and hallway. It provides 1,300 extra square feet of living space, and as with the rest of the apartment (minus the kitchen & hallway) it has hard wood floors. One day I hope to have my own recording studio up there!

Well there you have it, gang. We move in on the 29th of November. Christine and I send our utmost thanks to her father for letting us move in, and for all the hard work he and his crew are doing to get it ready for Dallastown's newest residents. I'll be updating this blog with new pictures once everything is in and presentable. I hope you've enjoyed the tour!