We live in an old stone house located in a very green, Northern section of Baltimore City. The original stone house was built in 1920 and has been modified several times since it was built. On the first floor, there is a large central hallway, a newly renovated kitchen/dining room with a fireplace , a small office, a small bathroom, and a large living room with an additional fireplace, television, stereo, and piano. The farmhouse-style dining room table seats up to 10-12 people. The second floor contains a master bedroom with a king size bed, a couch, fireplace, and a private bathroom, another bedroom with a twin bed and couch, another bathroom, and a computer room containing two computers. There are two other bedrooms with three twin beds and a bathroom on the third floor. In 1950, Marcel Breuer, a well-known "Bauhaus" architect, built a modern addition to the stone structure. The addition connects to the house by way of a skyway. It contains an additional 2 bedrooms (though one is being used for storage), along with a small kitchen, a laundry room/bathroom, and a large recreation room (ping pong, fooseball, a fireplace, etc.) The house is very light, casual, and comfortable for families. There is a stone porch off the central hall which contains an umbrella table and chairs, two lounge chairs, and a gas grill. It is surrounded by trees and a low stone wall and feels private and peaceful. We have a large yard, a time-consuming garden (!), and a long driveway with a parking area that has a basketball hoop.
We live in a beautiful, green neighborhood that is tucked just inside the northern section of the city. We love our neighborhood because it is diverse (racially, economically, stylistically), it is very close to the cultural center of the city (Johns Hopkins University, the Museum of Art, the Harbor, etc.), and we love to walk its hilly, tree-lined streets. There are lots of young families, and our children walk or ride their bikes to our neighborhood swimming pool. Our home is located in a neighborhood called "Mount Washington," which consists of mostly older homes, windy streets with sidewalks, and a charming village of restaurants and shops that is a 15-minute walk from our house. There is a metro (light rail) stop in Mount Washington Village--it takes approximately 15 minutes by car or 20 minutes by metro to get to downtown Baltimore City. We are also located 10-15 minutes from the train station, from which there is easy access to Washington, DC (30 minutes), Philadelphia (90 minutes) and New York City (3-3 1/2 hours).
We are a family of five people and two dogs. My husband and I are both 46 years old. We have three children, a 17 year-old daughter, and two sons aged 15 and 10 years old, all of whom attend the same progressive independent school for which their father is the Upper School Principal. I also work at a school as a mental health counselor at a public high school in the city. We have two very friendly dogs, a large black poodle named "Gryphon" and a short red-colored mix named "Hooper".
My husband and I met in Nantes, France in 1981, when we were students studying at the Institute of European Studies. Since then, we have lived in Minnesota (where I grew up), New York (for graduate school), and Boston (where we lived and worked at a boarding school), before moving with our children to Baltimore in 1998, when my husband began the job that he currently has.
We are an adventurous family and are always looking for summer opportunities to travel or experience new things. In 2003,we spent a month in Paris, living in the home of the family that hosted me over 20 years earlier, and we later hosted their grandson. My sister works as an AIDs researcher in Johannesburg, and my older kids spent last summer living with her and working at an AIDs orphanage. We hosted a foreign exchange student from Afganistan this past year, and plan to continue to host foreign students in the years to come.
We are open to all kinds of home exchange possibilities, whether in South Africa (our preferance), South America, or Europe, on a beach, in a city, or in the country.