Fixed Gear and Fixed Rate

bikeandcondo

In the space of two hours on Friday afternoon, I closed on a condo in Jamaica Plain and picked up a fixed gear bike at Ace Wheelworks in Somerville. Sorry to drop this news on you without any run-up, but that’s just the way it has to be. I can’t really explain why I haven’t written about any of this all summer, but it was apparently too much to both blog about major life decisions and make them at the same time.

Buying this condo happened rather quickly–I got my real estate agent on June 21 and I closed on August 24th–so I haven’t had time for much else besides work, dissertation, and a bit of summer fun here and there. I realized during this process that I’ve been unconciously cultivating an image of myself as a rootless nomad, about to pick up and move at any moment, when in fact there’s little evidence for this–after all, I lived in my place in Allston for 7 years. But it was a frame of mind that I think grew from the kind of transient neighborhood Allston was and from my ongoing ambivalence about being in Boston.

But now I’m settling in, at least for the time being, and it feels good. I’m excited about my little corner of JP with it’s Minton Stables community garden and Franklin Franklin just a short walk in either direction. I’m excited about the chance to learn from being in a vibrant urban neighborhood, and trying a new relationship to place.

I closed on Friday and moved in on Saturday, which happened to be the hottest day of summer. In a true test of friendship, Cathy, Nirmal, Cheryl, Andy, Alan all showed up to give me a hand, and we managed to sweat our way through the move in an efficient three and half hours. Thanks everyone–it was a great way to start things off.

I’m also beginning a new relationship with my bike–a fixed gear Redline 9-2-5 –which has been a joy to ride so far. I’m still getting used to the new connection we have, in particular the obligation to keep peddling–all the time–but it’s clearly the best way to commute every day in all weather without the hassles of unnecessary maintenance.

I’m finding that a bit of fixity can be a good thing, whether it be in mortgages or gears, and I’m glad to have the chance to experience both.

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The Quint House

house1-21_640x480The house where I live was built in the 1890’s and used to be the parsonage of Allston Congregational Church next door. There are six bedrooms, and, since I’m a graduate student, I feel right at home on the third floor in what used to be the servant’s quarters.