“Wherever is Your Heart”- Brandi Carlisle

I just got back from a walk on Monument Avenue. I am lucky enough to rent in the area and I’m so glad because I truly think it’s my favorite place in the city.

I’m forced to take the walk daily, except in the rain because Boomer is a princess, in order to keep my dogs from chewing through the rented walls with energy.

Currently they are passed out on the tile floor and panting heavily, we went a few extra blocks today and it might have been a tad warm to go exploring.

But like I said- I love Monument Avenue and it’s surrounding streets and it’s worth the tired pups to see the sights.

I’ve never seen so many different styles of houses in any other part of town. Victorian jeweled windows sit alongside Spanish-styled haciendas and plantation styled brick columns. An odd 70’s style building sits nestled between two cottages that always remind me of The Hobbit with their ivy covered chimneys. Wrought iron fences claim the territory of well-manicured lawns and secret gardens and yet a quick step beside is new, architectural single-story building that I swear runs off of solar panels.

Like the amazing Christmas decorations captured by My Milk Glass Heart

The houses here have personality. Good bones and lots of history. I’ve often stopped on a walk to chat with a neighbor about their home and the improvements they’ve made.  The dogs are well known in the area. Half the kids on my street come out their doors when we head out in the afternoons, eager to try and get Onyx to feign interest in them, and more than willing to be covered in Boomer drool as he happily wags his whole body.

We discuss the improvements they’ve made, the colorful string of lights they’ve added or the new deck they built. “Two years!” One neighbor always comments, the home improvements they’ve made making their property a statement piece, but seemingly never quite finished.  My roommate and I always tell them we have house envy.

House envy is a real thing. Mostly because there is nothing that I want more. Not fame or fortune, my American dream has been to find a home to call my own. One that I can make improvements on, build patios and plant tulips, paint and decorate, and never have to ask permission or revert back at the end of a negotiated lease.

I don’t need a McMansion. Honestly I really don’t want to clean a McMansion. I need a decent sized backyard, a good kitchen and family room, and ideally 2 bathrooms, but in the area of town that I love- that may be a bigger luxury than price.

I want to live in this part of town, where homes have history and personality. Where my neighbors look for the dogs on the warm days and whose kids run out to greet them. Where the main road is part of the friendliest 10k on the East Coast, the seasons are highlighted by blooming trees in the spring and glorious bursts of red and orange in the fall, and the best food and entertainment are but a few minutes away.

I love this city.

-Kerith

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