Tag: home

The View From Halcyon Farm: How a House Becomes a Home



Halcyon House
Via roughluxeperspective.blogspot.com

When I look at some of the gorgeous houses featured in shelter magazines, my first question is always the same: where’s their stuff? Where are the books that they’re in the middle of reading? Where are the children’s toys, the dogs’ toys? Where are the family pictures, the treasures brought back from trips, the little pieces that show that you have interests and hobbies?

At Halcyon, you can read our interests the moment you walk through the door. There are paintings which reflect our interest in our history and in the history of Baltimore. The cookbooks, that are well-used and well-read, are close at hand in the kitchen. Flowers from the garden or greenhouse are arranged in old trophies, vases and glasses. Magazines are stacked and then read at leisure.

Pigtown Design: What My Friends Are Up to


I am so lucky to have a large contingent of interesting friends who are always doing interesting things!

I popped in to see my friends at Halcyon House last week, and they were getting ready for their annual end-of-summer sale.

Ravens Roost: Where Does Ray Go to Lick His Wounds?


Monday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day here in Baltimore. They lost. My gloominess was at its worst as I sorted the beer bottles for recycling. Hard to imagine that just the day before they had helped fuel hopes of a Superbowl trip. The weather certainly wasn’t helping to lighten the mood. The icy fog made me feel like I was living on that Swedish island in the “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” For those not familiar, it’s not what you would describe as a happy place. 

In an effort to cheer up, I cleaned, grocery shopped, bought flowers and prepared a hearty dinner. Cathartic nesting works for me. It got me thinking about the players and their sad faces as the ball sailed past the wrong side of the goal post (not that I’m are blaming anyone). Where were they soaking their sore muscles on this cold and yucky day? 

Well, I know the answer to that question in the case of our most beloved black bird, Ray Lewis. I live near his Baltimore residence (he lives in Florida in the off-season) which is a 28-acre ranch-style spread off Tufton Avenue in Reisterstown, a line drive away from Cal Ripken’s house, coincidentally. (Please don’t harrass; stick to drive-by gawking.) There is no view of the house from the road, but the entrance can be identified by brick pillars topped with stone horse heads that flank the driveway. How appropriately “Hunt Valley” Mr. Lewis! You may also recognize Ray’s crib by the ginormous tents that often grace the front of the property. Number 52 likes a party and, rumor has it, at his 30th birthday guests greeted him from the comfort of a throne, yep a throne! Over the years, I have also spotted inflatable obstacle courses for paintball and kiddie rides.

Lewis bought the home in 2003 from builder Frank Favazza for $1,950,000. The house was renovated in 2006 and is described in Channel Magazine as resembling “a posh luxury hotel, overflowing in a sea of opulent golds and creams with pops of color. 

The fit-for-a-king bachelor pad,” the magazine continues, “is complete with every conceivable amenity including a sacred room set aside strictly for prayer and meditation. And the grand piano, located in the family room is not just for ambiance; Ray has sought private piano lessons and is mastering the keys.”

Check out the pictures of the house here. Looks like Ray has the cushy pad to recoup for next year’s inevitable championship win. 

Not So Empty Nests


In Maryland and across the US, would-be empty nesters are opening their guestrooms up to their adult children. The number of households across the country with an “extra adult” jumped up by two million from 2007 to 2011. High unemployment rates among young people seem to be the main culprit.

Many of us broke twenty- and thirty-somethings can be thankful our parents didn’t share our life trajectories. For example, my father got a job and moved into an apartment at eighteen, bought a house at nineteen, got married at twenty-two, became a father at twenty-three, and started a coin shop at twenty-four. Me, I’m twenty-eight with $57,000 of college loan debt, and I don’t own anything more valuable than a guitar. (I guess you could say I was actually well-prepared for the downturn — I had been living in my own personal recession since college.)

Certainly, not everyone from my father’s generation took his path, and thankfully not everyone in my generation chose mine, but I see the underlying pattern of later starts and more debt in many of my peers. If my son has to mooch off me in thirty years, I wonder what I will have to offer him.