Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The search continues ...

Tonight we looked at what we hoped would be our new home for the next ten or twenty years. His Holiness and I arrived early and met the owner at the front door of an amazingly well kept pre-war building in the Belgian Quarter. It is a fourth floor walk-up, something I would not have even considered in New York, but here in Cologne all the really cool apartments are in Altbauten (old houses) and none of them have elevators, so that is that. I’ve known about this building for about three weeks since the ad first appeared in the local papers, and have walked by a dozen times to stare up at it’s gargoyled façade and imagine the perfect space within. The owner was waiting for us at the front door this evening at 6:30 when we arrived. Accompanying him was his secretary/partner/lover – I don’t know who she was or what role she plays but she was a perfect specimen of Germanic womanhood – tall, blonde, beautiful and dressed in that conservative-hip-sleek style I find very attractive. She didn’t say a word all evening.

The apartment is on the top floor of the building, which I was built in the mid 19th century. The ceilings on the lower floors are just ridiculously high – the ceilings on the top floor are comfortably normal. There are three bedrooms (all small) a nice bathroom, a very nice terrace with a view of (what else?) the Dom and the killer – a very nice sized living room/kitchen combination – just the way I like it. Now the only two drawbacks to this being an otherwise perfect space are the too-small master bedroom and the stairs. The stairs can keep you honest – I won’t be tempted to slip back into cigarette smoking with steps like that to tackle two or three or four times a day. Aside from these two items – the place is ideal. To top it off there is a wonderfully romantic, almost storybook café on the ground floor … with red lacquered fixtures, good music and a soft-spoken waitress who my two-year old son has fallen in love with. He calls her “the lady” and follows her around the café while she attempts to service the other clientele. I could envision spending far too much time in that café.

We will thrash it out in the coming days and make a decision. It is so difficult deciding where to settle down. In my experience, the first place you live is the only place you live … at least that was the general rule of thumb in New York City … Real estate prices rose so dramatically that once you found a place you liked and could afford you stayed there. I expect things are similar here in Germany where you have the added task of installing a kitchen – which is no small expense. This space will be the subject of much discussion at the dinner table in the coming days. We love the area, the building, the space, (except the small bedroom and the high floor), but there is always something.

More anon …


Blogger Cathy said...

I started feeling dreamy just thinking about it; the cafe got me; I'm sold.
And what exactly do you mean by conservative chic? :)

3:09 PM  
Blogger Berlinbound said...

Manolo's , close-fitting black or midnight-gray Chanel wool crepe skirt, cut just above the knee, worn with a fine, thin cashmere pullover (color choice here is yours) ... Something like that.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

A man you knows what he likes.
So did you give the missus a cashmere sweater for Christmas, then?

6:10 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

I meant "who" not "you"; I have got to start spell-checking; I am a little trigger happy with the send button, I'm afraid.

6:11 PM  
Blogger m said...

hi, i found you through froth on the day dream. i love a well written, inteesting blog so im sure ill be back.
im heading to germany for the first time in a few weeks, although just for the weekend. im going to visit berlin, and cant wait.

all the best with everything.


6:50 PM  
Blogger Berlinbound said...

m ... thanks for stopping by ... "froth" is a well written dream ...

cathy ... I know what I like - but I also like surprises...

8:19 PM  

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