According to Triumphs & Tribulations X, my move from Japan to the United States was completed on this day 7 years ago. I moved into the Waldorf apartment, which was my home for 2 years during my first spell of residency here in the National Capital Region. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: the Westchester at the Pavilions apartment.
How I first came across this moment? Me ending up as a resident of the Westchester at the Pavilions apartment complex started when I was house hunting after reporting for the Joint Base Andrews assignment. My original plan was to set up shop close to the Branch Avenue WMATA station. I was actually looking to purchase a condo and there were plenty of them available at the Tribeca at Camp Springs. But I decided against it because it seemed like they put more effort into amenities I didn’t give a damn about more than they did the actual residential units. Then, there was the incident at the Metroplace at Town Center apartment complex. As I was walking out of the model unit with the leasing manager, somebody’s car was getting broken into…in broad daylight. While she scurried off to call the police, I tossed that application in the trash and headed back to the Colony South Inn, where I was staying at the time. An Internet search led me to Waldorf, Maryland being a big-time bedroom community for Joint Base Andrews and a quick search of apartments in Waldorf turned up the Westchester at the Pavilions. I made the drive down, liked what I saw, and ended up signing a lease for a 1 bedroom/1 bathroom apartment.
What it meant to me then? I loved the apartment. I was the first person to stay in my specific unit. It was perfect for my personality. At 794 square feet, it was plenty enough space for me. I was able to fit all of my IKEA furniture in there. And because it had the perfect breakfast bar configuration, I didn’t need to get a dining table. It was the 1st apartment I lived in on my own that had a dishwasher and a full-sized washer and dryer in it. From a civil engineering perspective, the carpentry and craftsmanship were amazing. I had a perfect view, from my balcony, of the manmade lake that separated the apartment community from the St. Charles Towne Plaza. It was safe, secure, and was comfortably within my housing allowance at $1425/month. It was home for 2 years.
What it means to me now? I still have an appreciation for the apartment in Waldorf. I had a bunch of great personal memories there. Had I not decided to bolt for South Korea in 2012, I probably would’ve stayed at least another year in residence there. When I relocated back to this area last summer, I actually sought out to move back into the community. And as luck would have it, the very apartment I lived in from May 2010 until May 2012 was available last July. The price was $1875/month though. I wasn’t feeling it for all of the following reasons: (1) the specific unit was 6 years older than when I first saw it and 4 years older than when I was last in it; (2) there were no significant upgrades…or even replacements as a marking I left on the inside of the bathroom cabinet door in 2011 was still there; (3) it didn’t feel as pristine as I left it when I vacated in May 2012. Though I ultimately decided against moving back to the Waldorf apartment complex, touring it did bring back good memories of what it was like to live there back in my first go-around here, in the National Capital Region. It was the perfect apartment for that time in my life.