Crafty Women

24cottagespanSUB-1-articleLarge I'm a sucker for Thursday's home section in the New York Times and Sunday's real estate section. Steve usually scoffs when I grab the real estate section and mumbles "that's house porn." Yes, it is. And I loves it.

This Thursday, I checked out a little Victorian shack in the woods that was refurbished and decorated by a tiny woman from Long Island. I admired the vintage screen door and the dish collection, but I'm not a shabby chic person. I don't like all that flowery stuff.

I'm amused to see that this article is in the top ten for the day. This is the Etsy and chicken-keeping trend. It's driving certain sections of the blogosphere insane. 

18 thoughts on “Crafty Women

  1. I (mostly) like the cottage, but that’s a pretty weird couple! I wonder if their story is interesting.
    I basically never read the paper Times anymore, but one of my favorite parts of the on-line version is the “What do you get for $X” feature each week or so. It certainly drives home the importance of location.

  2. Yeah, they were unusual, Matt. I think that they were part of the appeal of the article. There’s a real neo-hippy movement going on right now. Some days, I’m into it. Other days, I think it’s insane to spend so much time making stuff that nobody sees.

  3. Apparently, instead of learning how to write or report, if you want to work in journalism today, you should just cultivate friends who are weird, but weird not in a “this guy might sell meth” kind of way.

  4. but weird not in a “this guy might sell meth” kind of way.
    I don’t know- the guy in the linked article, living in his trailer in the woods with his extra run-down “man” trailer, looked to me like he might well sell meth. That was part of what made the couple weird.

  5. Nobody that heavy sells meth. His size, history of manual labor, and bad back mean that he sells Oxycodone if he sells anything. Which, he probably doesn’t if he let them photograph his place.

  6. Since this thread is about non-standard housing in the woods, my digression will be a bit on topic. To get space to clean the garage, I’d parked one of the cars down the street a bit. I was walking to my car at about 8:30 this morning when I passed a young woman (maybe 20) wearing shorts and a t-shirt but no shoes. This struck me as odd, but really didn’t register. Then, about 30 seconds later, I saw a guy about the same age also wearing shorts and a t-shirt but with no shoes. Now I’m paying attention and I see another woman about thirty seconds later. This woman is maybe a few years older, white, dread-locked, and wearing a hippie skirt (but she did have shoes). I said hello or nodded or something. Maybe I just stared at her. Anyway, she said, “Happy Monday” and moved on. I just stood there for a couple of minutes to see that nobody else was coming.
    Given where the three people were coming from, they had either left a house on my street or had come out from behind the houses. I didn’t hear any doors closing and did not recognize the people. There is no reason to be behind that particular row of houses unless you live in one of them or are a guest of somebody who does. It is probably somebody’s guests and I just didn’t hear the door. But, in that case, why would they have come out individually? And who walks barefooted on pavement? And who wears tie-dye and says “Happy Monday?” As I said, I waited to see that nobody was coming and then drove around the neighborhood and did not see them anywhere. Which again seems strange as there is no indoor public space that I think they could have walked to in that amount of time.
    Anyway, it’s probably nothing, but now I’m wondering about the overgrown area behind the houses. There are places that could play host to a hidden campground, at least this time of year, as long as everybody was reasonably quiet. I think I’m going to have to clomp through the woods when I get home. At least two of them did not have enough clothing to have passed the night even in the warm weather we’ve had lately, so if they are back there, they must have left stuff.

  7. A couple winters back, there was a guy living in the woods a mile or so from my parents’ place in rural Western Washington. It doesn’t get as cold as Pittsburgh, but the winter is chilly and miserable. As I recall, he had a tarp and a large collection of the sort of stuff you’d need to carve out a homestead/dispose of bodies in the woods, but no vehicle. Memory is hazy, but I think he would walk 4 miles to the highway, catch the bus to town, then spend the day at the library, then come back. My dad eventually gave him and his stuff a ride elsewhere, but it was a weird episode.

  8. MH, their Tardis had a 30-second delay feature. It’s the default factory setting, nothing to worry about, they just need to go into the Preferences menu and choose, “end child safety protocol.”
    Seriously, though, don’t go alone to check out something like that. They were probably on their way to a friend’s house, and were dropped off by a car you didn’t notice. If you walk barefoot much of the time, the soles of your feet get very tough, so they could have walked much farther than your estimate.
    Last year, some teenagers from a neighboring town set up a party spot in the woods in the middle of a very upscale development. Gossip claimed they had carried in a couch. Now, it was pretty brain dead of them to choose that particular spot, as even in summer the neighborhood’s inhabitants keep a close watch on the cars in the neighborhood. A whole bunch of strange cars showing up at night, parked far away from the houses, miles away from anything interesting, did not pass unnoticed.

  9. The bottles from somebody’s party were there last time I was in those trees. But this isn’t in the “woods.” There is no point of the trees is more than 50 yards from somebody’s house. Nor is there any point that wouldn’t be visible from the sidewalk once the leaves fall.

  10. Anyway, whatever I do will be safer than giving them a ride. I have, in rural areas, given rides to strangers, but I see no reason for that in city.

  11. Possibly it is Freegans. I’ve seen them before, but only by the universities. It would be a bit alarming to learn that they are camping within range of my wireless network*.
    *Yes I have a strong password. I’m just trying highlight the short distance involved.

  12. MH, you’re in a Stephen King story.
    That’s what the “Happy Monday” comment made me think. I probably wouldn’t have mentioned the episode if that hadn’t have been said or if everybody was wearing shoes.

  13. I went back into the woods and found an empty Cuervo bottle that was pretty much new. Given where it was, it was probably thrown from the deck of my neighbor’s. I also found the decayed brick steps of a house that has been gone since the 60s. And, a pair of purple sneakers that didn’t look wet enough to have been out before last night.
    After this I also told my wife, whom I didn’t tell this morning because pointing out teh creepy and then leaving for work would have pissed her off. Between the two of us, we remembered the neighbor’s kid who I thought I knew fairly well. If two semesters at Penn State can fundamentally alter your appearance (which seems possible), then it is probably just him frightening mom and impressing dad by having two girls visit at the same time.

  14. I see the story has moved on to Act II: “Oh it’s fine, honey, nothing to worry about.” Does he ever write ones with happy endings?

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