Hey people! Came across a short (but awesome) piece of news — including audio — introducing us to Vera Abbott, a cheery Bellevue resident enthralled by her quiet neighborhood and its astounding views.

From my bedroom, I can look out across the city. I can see all the way from Southwest over into Virginia. It is at the top of a hill. And you just look over and you see the Potomac River, so you look over, and have a river view, in other words.

I know dat’s right, Vera!

From the second floor of my home (admittedly on tippy-toes in some areas), I can see the skyline of DC on the front, and Bolling, the Potomac, and Virginia on the back, all while overlooking my ever-evolving garden (don’t hate—a brotha loves his garden).

She also touches on a point that I’d wager most would be oblivious to, considering the less-than-glamorous reputation that Bellevue often enjoys in the news.

I like Bellevue. It’s a beautiful, quiet neighborhood. The lawns are maintained and in the residential areas—it’s just quiet, and friendly and pretty much lovely.”

This is the Bellevue that people don’t know about—myself included, until I purchased my home in 2013.

To wit, when looking to purchase, I looked online at where it was located and was like “AW HELLZ NO!!!!“. But after several frustrating months of not finding “my” home, I decided I had nothing to lose and made an appointment to see this small, fairly unremarkable house located in a neighborhood ranked by FBI data as the 22nd most dangerous neighborhood in the country.

Ugh.

Additionally, the house was in close proximity to innumerable liquor stores (my first time coming across a drive-thru liquor store—who knew), a very scary Auto Zone, a panhandling 7-Eleven, and a couple of dank strips of stores which beckoned me in absolutely NO way. Of course, all that was capped off with the gargantuan Eastover Shopping Center near the Maryland line, seemingly trapped as a place that time had unceremoniously forgotten. But, it had a Giant supermarket, a Ledo’s Pizza, a hardware store, and a Radio Shack, so I kept the house on the list.

Don’t ask—I don’t know either.

But check this out y’all . . .

As an aside, check out the hilarious Eastover web site. The home page features 5 sliding promo images of shoppers blissfully shopping . . . uh . . . somewhere. Below them is a wide shot of actual Eastover store signs. Not a S-I-N-G-L-E person in the promo images is black—and none of them are pictured shopping in the Eastover Shopping Center.

That joke so very successfully writes itself.

🙂

Anyway, after turning onto the street where the house was located, I was immediately struck by how the tree-lined street seemed so quaint, quiet, and idyllic of a sleepy little neighborhood, completely belying its seemingly ominous, FBI-ranked environs.

Garden | BeforeLong-story-longer, I went inside the house, checked out the first floor, then through the back door out to the back yard, which was huge compared to my previous home. It had two levels, no fence, was replete with weeds, and overflowing with mad potential. So gangsta—I was all in!

I immediately told my realtor that I’d take it. I didn’t go upstairs. I didn’t go downstairs. I stayed outside for a while and processed how that space would be created and evolved over 1 year, 3 years, 7 years, and so on. As an avid gardener, seeing a huge expanse of space waiting to be transformed into an amazing garden sold me. Right there. Forreal.

Garden | After | Year 1.5 of a 3 - 5 year projectSo Vera had long enjoyed what I’d just discovered, and since this is my forever home, I ain’t goin’ nowhere, and I’m trickin’ this crib out . . . hard!

For those unfamiliar with Bellevue other than the statistics that kept me and others from even considering it, don’t sleep, because it’s a beautifully-concealed gem that those of us who happen to reside here LOVE.

Who knew?

Vera did.

s | m

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