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August 26, 2008

9 Years of Irving & Some House Talk


This coming Thursday is the ninth anniversary of Irving's adoption. He will be ten years old in November. Sometimes I look at Irvopolis and am amazed that we've been buddies for almost a decade. He's one of the sweetest animals I have ever encountered- scabbier and itchier than ever but still the most loving feline around. Here's to our little orange buddy- he's survived nine years with me!


I took last week off from work and spent a few hours doing some house research. One of my big dreams in life is having all the time in the world to research buildings. I find it to be such a calming activity and incredibly satisfying- it's a giant almost archaeological paper trail, a dig that requires you to dust off layers of the past in order to compile a coherent story. I also absolutely love spending time at various buildings and records departments (my favorite is the one in Queens, which is like sitting in some sort of building records soap opera). If I had a few months, I would do a project about expediters and title search people because they are a fascinating group.

I had already found an original ad for the house and some of the basic information that one can pull from the internets, so I arrived at the Brooklyn department of records already armed with a good deal of backup data. I headed straight for the conveyance records, which are my favorite part of the process (pre-1960's, most of the conveyances were hand written into books, which is fascinating in itself). There I learned that the house had only passed hands three times in 80 years.

This is not an unusual fact for a house in Brooklyn. Still, there's something that feels warm and nice about knowing that families have lived for at least a decade- or in some cases, generations- in the home you are about to inhabit. Perhaps some people prefer shiny new things, to start their life in a house like a clean slate, but I love the idea that we are starting as a young family in a place where others have done the same.

Sometimes I imagine that buildings absorb little pieces of their inhabitants over time. No matter how much a place is gutted, painted or reconfigured, it still retains silent, invisible histories of the people who have lived within its walls. In that sense, each successive person or family that comes along both breathes in and absorbs a bit of that past and, in turn, leaves a little of themselves behind.

P.S. A few people have asked me a) when the heck I will let them know where this place is and b) when the heck I will have some real photos. I'll leak out the general area at some point...just not yet...and as for photos, right now all we have are the crappy ones from the realtor. I promise that once we are fully done with this process, you will see more photos of home interiors than you ever wished to experience.

Posted by callalillie at August 26, 2008 7:02 PM | Feline Musings


I just saw that you are back!! Yey!!! Thank you!

Posted by: Helena at August 28, 2008 10:11 AM

Oy Irving! Such a ferbissenah punim!

Posted by: Vickie at August 30, 2008 6:28 PM

wow. I JUST happened to come here, maybe out of habit I don't know, expecting to see that last post of yours with the photo of one of your cats sitting in that beautiful wood chair with his back to us (is it Irving?). That photo + that post title always makes me a bit melancholy and nostalgic (for what I don't know, really). It's funny how I felt compelled to drop by from time to time to see that photo again. But today, just now, imagine my surprise when I saw a different photo, with new entries! I had been a reader of yours for years, but never commented. This is my first. Hopefully not my last.

Posted by: sweet fine day at August 30, 2008 9:00 PM

Aw. Such a sweet kitty.

Did you get the direct message I sent you on Twitter, btw? About that book I thought you'd enjoy? :)

Posted by: Gina at August 31, 2008 3:14 PM

Every once in a while I'd peek and hope you were back online, maybe I should get a life, but I am so glad you're back. I missed keeping up w/ you and the kitties. Congrats on the house!!!

Posted by: Cheryl at September 1, 2008 3:59 PM

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