At Home With: 

Donald Rallis; Geography professor

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I'm not well-suited to suburbia at all, and I was ideally looking for a condo. I certainly wanted something without so much as one blade of grass. So when I saw this, I called the Realtor immediately and within a few days looked at the unit. And I just loved the place. It's unusual and it's quirky and it's certainly urban.

It's a loft-style unit with very high ceilings at the living-room level and the factory roof with scars of past industrial use, I suppose. Most of the space is vertical rather than surface area, but it feels nice and bright and open. It's got windows all the way down one side facing south, which means the sun keeps the place warm during the day. It's certainly big enough for my needs. It's two bedrooms and two bathrooms, one for me and one for my cats.

I'm a geographer and interested in cities, not only as places to live but places to understand and observe. This struck me as a really interesting area because it's clearly an area that's changing. It used to be industrial and there's still some industry here, but there's also offices like Style Weekly, and it's a historic district. Turning this factory into condos seems to me to be the first stage, and with the plans for Boulevard and the movie theater just a block and a half away — if those all happen, then the area will certainly change.

At the moment the disadvantage of this place is that there isn't anything nearby that is easily walkable — restaurants, coffee shops and things. Actually, the closest retail establishment to here is the place that sells portable commodes and medical equipment. I think that's going to change, but at the moment, this is an area which is industrial by day and by night it's very quiet. HS



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