a School Before, now a Condo


Converted in 2004, the Lovejoy Lofts are a converted schoolhouse located near H Street NE. I’m fascinated by historic buildings such as this one being reconfigured for different purposes or – rather than being torn down – being incorporated into additions and conversions.

Walking through the building’s hallways, I almost expect to see and hear kids and lockers and teachers … yet, you open the door to what could be a classroom and are greeted instead by a modern loft. Yeah.



Oh, yes, and if you’d like to see for yourself, come to:

440 12th Street NE #105
I’m hosting an Open House from 1 to 3pm!


You don’t wake up thinking, today my dog is going to die. But, he did. I’m en route to Ohio now to hold Ralfe one last time before I let him go to run wild, forever and always.

Rescued in Haiti, Ralfe had just turned 3 in August (I swear he was a Leo, in personality and character). When I had my first pet, Cori, I was in middle school, or perhaps elementary. I literally remember worrying about how long he would live (15 years seemed a long ways away)! As a dog mom to Ralfe, the thought of my life without him — even after he lived a long and full life — brought me to tears. To think he didn’t even make it to play with my (future) kids … no words. To think I helped save his life in Haiti to only have it end tragically in the U.S. … no words. To think his small, strong body was left on the road after being hit, with the driver leaving him to bleed and bleed … no words.

To all those who knew Ralfe, they know the street dog mentality never quite left the dog. He was energetic beyond belief, and ate every meal as if it were his last. Listening he did, on occasion. The Ralfe that I saw, however, was not only mischievous. He was curious, in a beautiful way, and he loved me and my family unconditionally. He helped me rescue and feed many a stray dog in Haiti. He snuggled under my covers. Jumped and howled in greeting, always. Followed me at home, everywhere. Listened to me sing, without complaint. Allowed me to carry him like a baby, and dance, dance, dance. He was my renovation buddy. He was my cheerleader. He helped me appreciate life outside of the office, outside of real estate, outside of Home Depot and IKEA (though he would patiently wait for me in the car while I ran my errands). His sweet face, trying  to process scents and places and things at a mile a minute while walking Roosevelt Island, left me laughing.

I loved you Ralfe, I always will. Mwen renmen ou.

Silly a request as this may be, if you have any memories of my crazy pup, please post them for me to remember.

Pictures Celebrating Life:
(1) Little, Haiti, US: https://goo.gl/photos/Wtsb8F4naXRjryiC9
(2) U.S.: https://1drv.ms/a/s!AoFzXgzKBWbarloMrP6tFCxUHk1_
Hit and Run (not pretty, do not open if you do not wish to): http://1drv.ms/1NBDRlA

Run free, puppy baby.





DC Welcomes Pope Francis

While I may only hear the sirens and see the throngs of people awaiting a glimpse of Pope Francis, it is remarkable to think that he is here, in a town I now call home.

Beinvenido Papa Francisco

DC Market Trends

Pictures and the story behind my renovation’s yellow pine to come soon (proud I am!), but first … I just wanted to say, shout out to all of the buyers who are successfully purchasing homes in Washington.

Why, you ask? Because, in short, buying in D.C. is competitive — with plenty more losers than winners. Check out these stats prepared by Real Estate Business Intelligence (RBI):

  • Median sales price of homes in the District jumped 9.5 percent in August 2015 when compared to August 2014
  • The median sales price was $520,000!
  • Inventory: It is a tight sellers’ market (ping me if you want specifics, it all comes down to months’ supply)
  • Demand is high: Most properties are under contract in less than 13 days

Washington, DC, you are expensive. But, there’s no place else I’d rather call home. I’m lucky, and thankful, to be able to. #Anacostia.

Peebles 100% affordable housing project in Anacostia but 0% affordable housing in NE project

Popular in my Anacostia’s community listserv today, we discuss concentrating affordable housing in our neighborhood.  It is incredibly disappointing to see hotel and apartment development, including a dog park and eateries, planned for 5th and I when Anacostia consistently gets the equivalent of the middle finger from developers.

The city dumps low-income housing into our neighborhood.  Is it true, as Four Points’ Stan Voudrie has said that due to low market rents in the neighborhood, using affordable-housing tax credits is the only way to finance [a] project?! I beg to differ.

Peebles Corporation:

5th and I: “[T]he hotel will occupy floors 1-8 of the new project, with a total of 153 rooms and 5,500 square feet of “meeting/function space.” On top of the hotel will sit 52 residential units on floors 9-12. There will be a restaurant and cafe on the ground floor.”

Anacostia: “The development team plans to build the project’s affordable units off-site in a seven-story building across the Anacostia River at 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, a proposal that made local voices east of the river [none too happy] when it was floated last year.”


Developer Tim Chapman:

“The Big K site on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, nicknamed after the liquor store that once operated there, has sat vacant for years as the city mulled its development potential. Although the solicitation recommended that the site not include housing and the initial plan was for offices, Chapman later determined that the best use would be affordable housing. The current plans call for 114 income-restricted apartments, available to households making under 60 percent of area median income, and ground-floor retail.”

“The shift has upset many neighbors, who argue that Anacostia and Ward 8 already have too much affordable housing, and that what the amenity-starved neighborhood really needs is market-rate housing that will attract high-quality retailers.”




Hello Anacostia!
Hello Anacostia!

So, tiling has started at Shannon #2. Having practiced on Shannon #1, I thought my second time around would be a breeze. Then, I remembered the importance of leveling, that thinset can be messy, and, of course, the importance of appropriately cutting the tiles used. I also came to realize that pre-mixed thinset can sometimes take longer to dry.

A couple days of 24/7 fans, re-doing tile, and admitting (to myself) that some pieces of tile are not level to perfection, my laundry area (under the stairs); HVAC utility closet and data hub; and, powder room are mostly complete.

Shout out to Stephen Ortado from Historic Structures for graciously donating the tiles used in my laundry and powder room. (For anyone who has purchased tile, you now how costly it can be!) For my utility closet, I used the remaining tiles from Shannon #1.

Not a tile to waste!

Here are some pictures, before and after:

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