The Back Story:
We have lived in our current home for five years. We have loved it. It is in the neighbourhood of Bankview in Calgary, AB. It’s a pretty diverse community with little amenities but a lot of character. And only a 15-minute walk to Calgary’s only real walkable hip strip, The Red Mile. Named for its famed debauchery and tomfoolery that took place when the Calgary Flames almost won the Stanley Cup in 2004.
This house has been in our group of friends for over a decade. There is a two bedroom self-contained suite upstairs. The downstairs is a two floor, two bedrooms, two bathrooms with den suite. My friends Mary Jane and Cody lived upstairs in the early to mid 00’s while I was in College. The memories are hazy, but it happened.
In 2007 my younger brother and two fellow employees at the local hot dog restaurant, Tubby Dog moved into the downstairs suite. It quickly became the late night/daytime/anytime/all-the-time hangout for partying, pizza and passing out.
Side Note, My little brother Ewan and I both worked at the Little Ceasar’s pizza joint (late 90’s) that is still just down the street. And trust me, I eat at a little too often. But damn if this house hasn’t kept that little place in business.
People broke up, people moved out, new couch surfers started paying rent and so on and so on. There have been so many people in fact, that I have decided to make a family tree of the house. I’ll frame it and hang it next to the front door before we leave. Just one more task that MUST BE DONE before we move in two weeks because I live for the pressure god damn it. One of the sweet current downstairs neighbours named Adrienne just moved in. Adrienne lived only five blocks away up until this month. She was speaking to her neighbour as she was moving out, her name is Shelly. Shelly told her that this current house is the where she lived as a baby and most of her childhood. That’s crazy talk.
What’s up now:
We have been talking for a while about what our dream home is. I am obsessed with HGTV, for I am human after all. I love interior design. Both my mother and brother share my obsession with paint, furniture, the constant tinkering. We are never finished. It is a hobby and a passion and a constant annoyance for our significant others. I dream of having ten acres of land within a short commute of downtown where I start an artist commune, and we grow our own food and listen to loud music, have farm animals, and money is no object. I even took a small home design course at night school last year to fully indulge my fantasies. I know this is completely bonkers and not something easily attainable. But the idea of creating my dream space is thrilling.
Stephen is a bit more of a realist. While Megtopia sounds like a great time, he understands the value of a dollar and the impractical places my brain and enthusiasm sometimes take me. But we are both artists and our studio practices are vast. Stephen wants to live in a studio apartment. I want to convert a Warehouse. How do we find the perfect fit?
We have been outgrowing this charming two-bedroom upper floor suite for years now. Our bedroom is the tiniest room in the house. Your sleeping and screwing. What do you need more space for? Naturally, the largest room in the house is the Studio. Stephen is a photographer. We have backdrops, lights, cameras, computers etc. I am a printmaker with 10 giant paper portfolios, every tool you need for stamp making, an endless supply of cardboard and too many glue guns. I haven’t even listed the supplies for my painting passion, my digital film work. You get the idea. Half of our living room is now also my puppet fabrication studio. It’s a bit much. Sure sure, we could get rid of it. I hear you. But, NO.
So Stephen took a look on Kijiji one day. I would use Kijiji to find a toaster. Stephen found our dream apartment.