Wardman Court: Space to spin your wheels!

by Will Doig
Published on March 13, 2003, 12:00am | Comments

SPACE TO SPIN YOUR WHEELS! Roomy 1BR w/ balcony, dishwasher in recently renovated bldg. Sensibly furnished, top-notch security, steps from Columbia Hgts Metro. Perfect for the differently-abled. $685/mo. Occupant is young GM w/ eye for art, fine and otherwise.

Wardman Court (formerly Clifton Terrace) is currently under redevelopment. Its 285 assisted housing units are being converted to 152 apartments for low-to-moderate income families, and 76 condos. Resident Kevin Corbett works in the Circles Office at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Kevin: I'm trying to avoid going the IKEA route. The dining room table is from there, though. These stools are Target, the lawn chairs are Target and the pillows on the lawn chairs are IKEA. I feel like the only element that's really missing is a couch to crash on and drink beer. My parents are coming and I want them to stay here, so I'm hoping they'll want to sleep on this air mattress. I think everyone wants to grow up and have a place and be able to accommodate their parents.

[In bathroom] I've got cinnamon sticks in an open wooden box, but they don't really smell anymore. The whole apartment is Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant, so there's a seat in the shower and a chrome grab bar on the shower wall and another one by the toilet. It kind of makes it feel like an office.

[In kitchen] There's so much space in here to move around. It's because of the ADA thing again. That's why the sink is so low. I hung this fabric below the sink to create a little storage space behind it. Did you know you can hem fabric without even sewing? The lady at IKEA showed me how. They've got this tape that you adhere to where you want the hem to be and then you fold the fabric over it and just iron it in till the fabric sticks and voila!

[On balcony] People here are kind of private. I used to keep my blinds closed at all times, but then I realized that everyone across from me was closing their blinds too, so now I don't bother. I wish there was more community here. I wish there was drama. But everyone goes to bed pretty early, I think because there are so many families.

The first night I moved in, I locked myself out and Wanda -- she's the security guard, I made cookies for her on Valentine's Day -- and I went from apartment to apartment to see if anyone had keys because the maintenance man wasn't here. I had just put pizza in the oven and gone down to take out the trash and I forgot my keys. So the people above me, they were making a bed, and they let me hang off their balcony and swing down onto mine. I figured if I fell, worst-case scenario, I'd break a bone.

Wanda knows Jason by now. She calls him my "friend, " but she knows. He got assaulted out here in front of the building. This guy said "Fuck you " and Jason said "Fuck you " back and the guy just took him and threw him. It was like eight in the morning. We went to the emergency room, but he was okay. Just a black eye.

When I look for an apartment, I put on my Mom Goggles and try to imagine if she'd feel comfortable in the neighborhood. My income can't exceed $36,000 or I'm not allowed to live here anymore. I just got this second job so I'm a little nervous. In order to get a place here I felt like I had to present myself as poor and destitute, but as I've met more people who live here, I've realized that everyone here is like me -- just moved into the city, entry-level jobs, lots of young people. Everyone was doing the same thing. I really want to get to one of the tenant meetings.

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