Friday, January 12, 2007

model house reviews: clarksburg town center

BUT FIRST: The Post gives O'Malley's trip to Einstein a cursory mention at the end of a story about how he's slowing school funding to MCPS; meanwhile, Ike Leggett doesn't mind keeping his grandson in a "learning cottage," but my seven-year-old brother still gets money for a new school; and friend of Just Up The Pike Hans Riemer is nominated president of the Action Committee for Transit.

panorama of clarksburg town centerOne of my favorite hobbies is visiting model houses. I couldn't ever live in one, but I like to see how The Other Half must be living. Here's another installment of Model House Reviews.

Curiosity brought me up I-270 at rush hour, but it was the call of nature that brought me into Bozzuto's condominium model at Clarksburg Town Center. Even with all the controversy, the Upcounty new town has grown rapidly into a little patch of city in the middle of nowhere.

My problem with Clarksburg Town Center is not that half the houses were built too tall but that there are no bathrooms anywhere. With no stores or even a gas station to be found (yet), a new community center still locked, and no bushes planted where I might've found relief, my only hope was to find a model house, which are in ample supply.

I figured what I was about to do was in wildly poor taste, but I had to do it. As soon as I burst into the Bozzuto model condo, a woman emerged from a back room and asked "Can I help you?" "I have a strange request for you," I said. "Do you have a bathroom?" "Yes," she said nervously, perhaps unsure of my intentions. (Not because of age or race, I hope, but merely out of confusion.)

The bathroom was amazing. A simple set-up - sink, toilet, tub - but classy nonetheless, with good lighting, a large mirror, and tasteful gold-striped wallpaper. The hand towels, while thin, matched the wallpaper and dried my hands most effectively.

Emerging from the bathroom, I explained my case, but realizing that it was almost 5 and the woman had her car keys, I knew it was time to go. We commiserated about the horrible traffic and, after offering my thanks, I said goodbye and left.

As I sped south on 270 past the Cesar Pelli-designed COMSAT building, recently saved from the wrecking ball, I looked at the line of headlights going northbound, which extended from the Beltway probably as far as Frederick, and thought of the sales woman, who was heading out that way, and all the families starting their lives in Clarksburg. While the town has its charms and one of the nicest bathrooms I've had the pleasure to use in a long time, I'm not sure if it would be worth that kind of commute. Yes, I was happy coming home to East County, so long as I was getting there at 70 miles per hour.


Anonymous said...

Don't worry, if the slow-growth crowd gets its way, you'll find even more people having to county-hop to Frederick and beyond to find housing they can afford.

Anonymous said...

Why are you limiting yourself to model houses? How about checking out some of the one-of-a-kind homes that weren't built by tract home builders?

The cookie-cutter homes in Clarksburg make it look like Calcutta.