The First Year

Anne Cahalan and her cat Wobbles have lived at the El Moore for just over a year. She is an application developer for Detroit Labs, and enjoys baking, knitting, and hanging out in the parlor talking to Lodge guests. 

anne-square-1One year and a couple months ago, I was starting to think about moving. My old place was not very conveniently located and was a little too big for just me and my cat rattling around. The space was amazing–a giant loft right on the river, with views of freighters drifting by–but the maintenance was spotty and I could always hear the couple next door arguing in the middle of the night. The only thing I truly loved was my neighbors, the Adragnas, who lived right across the hall.

I had met Jeremy when we both worked at the Archdiocese of Detroit, and I remember the day he headed off to his first lunch date with Elizabeth, wearing two different shoes. When I decided to make a radical career change, moving to Toronto for a web development bootcamp, they were my biggest supporters. When I returned to Detroit, they encouraged me to move in across the hall. Whatever other flaws that building had, I’ll always treasure memories of watching their toddler son running up and down the hallway while the grownups caught up.

One year ago, almost exactly, things became untenable at the lofts–we discovered that the building had failed several (four pages’ worth!) of city inspections. Random late-night scrolling through craigslist apartment ads suddenly turned into a full-scale apartment hunt.

Elizabeth found The El Moore through the Green Garage, and I think I called five minutes after talking to her about it. That first tour, with the building still unfinished, was amazing. I stood in what would eventually be my apartment, with unfinished floors and no appliances, and I felt at home. A couple of days later, there was a dinner at the Green Garage and I met Karen and Harriet and Dan and Stephanie and that feeling of home got stronger.

The aspect of The El Moore that most appealed to me, and that I have treasured more every day of the past year, is the emphasis on community. Before work, I grab coffee in the parlor and meet our guests staying in the Lodge. I go to Eastern Market with one neighbor on Saturday. I can sit on the back balcony and have a beer with other neighbors. We have shared events, speakers in the parlor, and opportunities to learn from each other.

On a rainy day a little less than a year ago, the Adragnas moved to the El Moore, and so did I. One big moving van carried all our stuff from the old lofts to the new castle. Moving is always the worst, but like anything, it was easier with friends. The El Moore for me is not just another apartment building; it’s like a neighborhood in the best sense–a diverse community full of fun and interesting people, welcoming and warm. This past year has been amazing, and I can’t wait to see what the next several years bring to the El Moore community.