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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon

photo by David Johnson

photo by David Johnson

 A lot of my friends are musicians and my old grocery store works as a perfect place for house shows.  Someone even built a stage in the 80’s when it was converted to a house.  I like to think that the place has seen a lot of music in its 99 years of being random warehouses.  Two years ago it was foreclosed and left vacant.  The first day the bank put a sign in the yard they got 9 offers.  I don’t know if its because we were first time home buyers, or the sappy letter about our plans for the home, or that we left out all the buyer contingencies in the contract but after four days of bidding our final offer was accepted.  I can assure you we weren’t the highest and if I hadn’t just started working at a bank I don’t know why someone would give me money.  So we bought the place winterized, neglected, and without a home inspection.  It was one of our luckiest moments.  It also began two years of near solid renovations.

Chris Suder and me

Levon and Chris: photo by David Johnson

  

Nathan Fox

Nathan Fox: photo by David Johnson

 

But now we are leaving.  I’ve never “landlorded,” if that is a word, and I’m nervous about being in Brooklyn when the sink leaks or the dishwasher breaks.  I remember the things we used to do as renters in college.  Dropping firecrackers in the toilet and blowing the bottom out then stealing a replacement from the condemned house next door.  Now, having experienced picking out and spending money on a toilet, installing it incorrectly, making three trips back to the store for additional parts, and then sealing it down to my new tile job on the floor, I guess I’ve become a bit of a grandpa about the place. 
 
Also I can’t sell things.  The only thing worse than me stumbling through car talk with some guy about the Datsun is me showing my house to a potential tenant.  I pull out the finer points; “You’ll notice that there aren’t many windows, we just put in the smallest one that codes will allow because the brick walls are so thick.”  and “The utilities are cheap because we hardly use them.  You can keep it at 58  and the heat rises up the vaulted ceiling and you’ll be sweating upstairs.  We don’t come down much in the winter.”  
 
Yesterday, our potential renters bailed.  That was the only piece of the puzzle we thought we might have figured out.  Ashley is doing the talking from now on.  We likely won’t find renters for March at this point but we’re still moving.  We’ll be homeless and unemployed but will work to earn a spot on somebody’s couch.  If you live between Knoxville and Brooklyn, make a list of home repairs or let me give your kid piano lessons.  Ashley can alter your clothing or decorate. 
 
Or, call me if I’ve convinced you that should drop everything and move to Old North Knoxville in two weeks.  http://knoxville.craigslist.org/apa/1012859596.html  or while we’re at it http://knoxville.craigslist.org/cto/1028877928.html 
 
Levon
 
 
 
 
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