Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Band houses, things that are worse than

Ginter Park's railway (by me!)
The first house Patrick and I shared in college was a band house.  And I'm not talking about an Iron & Wine type of band.  I'm talking about metal.  Industrial goth metal.  So when we finally decided to move out into our own place after college, we were stoked.  At least, I was stoked.  After all, living in a goth industrial band house means sometimes finding strangers sleeping in your bathtub when you, unwitting responsible person, have to look presentable for a 9AM class.  Sometimes it means your room shakes a little from the drums in the room below.  Sometimes it means things are set on fire outside.  Unrelated to the band, but that house also didn't have working heat in the downstairs portion (hello 1920's houses in Richmond), and underneath the house there was a desk lamp plugged in and aimed at the pipes to keep them from freezing.  Yeah.


New apartment meant peace and quiet and heat.  We were stoked.

We found an apartment that was part of an old re-purposed stove factory.  It had wood floors, new appliances, our own washer/dryer right in the unit, a wonderful view of the DMV lot where people would learn to ride motorcycles (hilarity) and also the science museum dome, was right downwind from the vanilla factory (awesome!)...............and was next to some train tracks.

No biggie, right?

I'm sure you see where this train is headed.

Because it wasn't train tracks alone.  It was a crossing.  Which meant every time a train passed through, cue the horn tooting long and low.  This, however, we learned to ignore by familiarity.

It was the sirens that really did us in.  Because in addition to being downwind from a vanilla factory (yay!) and a train crossing (boo!) we were also in a triangle-of-doom with a -- wait for it -- ambulance dispatch lot and a fire station.

I never in my life thought that I would yearn for the days of the goth industrial band house with no heat, but there I was, 2AM, 3AM, 3:22AM, waking up to sweet siren calls being answered by a million trains.  At least it smelled better than the band house, but still.  What kind of endorsement is that?  "Smells better than a goth industrial band house!"  Yeah, what doesn't?*

And that, my friends, is why you should never live in repurposed factories.  Wait, that wasn't it.  Don't leave the comforts of the cold band house?  Maybe just, in the words of MST3K, look for trains.  (Why don't they look?)

*In all fairness, it mostly smelled that one time a box of fruit was left in a room and forgotten during the summer...and that time *something* died under the house (raccoon?  we hope?)...


  1. Oh man, I've lived next to train tracks for most of my life, but the ambulances...
    The apartment we've been in this year is right in the middle of town near a hospital with a new trauma center. Ambulances EVERY. NIGHT. ALL. NIGHT. Then there are the buses that stop out front and we can hear perfectly "Route 92 to thorndale. Valley Road and Lancaster Avenue." Over and over...

  2. That's the sort of repeated phrase that becomes a permanent part of your dreams. :( And aren't ambulances the WORST??!! I mean okay fine they save people but STILL! :P