Tuesday, August 02, 2011


Last night was my first night in Whimsy Cottage [aka Whim Cotty], my home for the coming year. It was strange to have moved just a few streets away from Patty's Place. As small and homogenous as State College can be, living here for four years (starting my fifth!) has revealed some of the nuances of residence cultures and economic structures. And let me tell you: S Barnard is a different beast altogether than the corner of W Foster and Sparks. Whim Cotty is on what I can only describe as a partying street, though perhaps not quite as intense as what I've seen happen on N Barnard. My house has been the exception to the rule: a two story, yellow stone house with a white picket fence and a maple tree, it seems to have drawn a quieter crowd than the apartment buildings and old duplexes that make up the rest of the street. This year is no exception. Patty's Place was very different. It had a larger yard and lived on the border street between student housing, smaller houses, and the lovely well groomed yards and homes of professors. It was very quiet. Whim Cotty is a small plot of quiet in a busy street. It is also a change in sleep for me: this is the first time since we moved from Georgia when I was nine that I will have a room on the ground floor and this time with a fireplace!

Oh and the desk has found a new home facing the window that looks out on the walkers of Barnard street, all likely headed to campus.  It'll be fun to have people to watch!


Charlotte Holmes said...

I love South Barnard. Although the old homes mostly have infill housing behind them now (a travesty that happened a decade or so ago when a loophole appeared in the zoning--a loophole that was quickly closed, but not until the damage was done) there's still a sense of charm on the street. The bungalows and cottages would have been perfect starter homes for young families at one time--a time that is long past, and with the infills, now totally out of reach financially. It's shady, tree-lined, with big front porches on many of the houses--in spring, life flows outside as if released from winter's iron grip. I hope you like it there!

Dana Ray said...

I can see it being a good street for young families. The trees are lovely. Foster Ave does seem to act as a boundary line between student renters and more permanent residences even on Barnard: south of Foster is quiet; north of Foster has glass in the street. The difference in upkeep is stark and saddening. I've gone from living on the border to being "North".

dolce vita said...

No matter how much I whine about living at home and have to drive into work, there is something really wonderful about escaping campus. It's a different world.