The Space

By J. Cooper Robb
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Nov. 23, 2005

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Roland Burns
Occupation: Storeowner.
Neighborhood: Northern Liberties.
Style: 1,000-square-foot apartment.
 

Like many people, you may wish there were more hours in the day. Yet every workday you waste precious time. Even worse, you may spend that time contributing to myriad health problems, and ultimately to the planet's demise. How can you get those hours back and become a good global citizen? Like Roland Burns, you can simply shorten your commute to work. The owner of R.E.Load, a store selling messenger bags and bicycle accessories, Burns rents a huge apartment directly above his Northern Liberties storefront.


I guess you have an easy commute to work.
"Yeah. Basically two flights of steps and I'm there."

How long have you been here?
"Since February. I moved into the store and the apartment a week apart, so it was a lot of moving."

Did you know when you rented the store that you would live above it?
"Yeah, and I was a little wary of doing that. It's weird sometimes having your whole life in one building."

Would you prefer to live somewhere else?
"There are pros and cons to living above where you work. The pros are that any time I want to do something up here during the day, or if I just want to have lunch, I can run upstairs. And of course I can pretty much roll out of bed and be at work. Also a lot of the restaurants I like are right around here. The biggest downside is that on some days I never really leave this block. Sometimes I barely go outside. I kind of miss riding through other neighborhoods going to work or just escaping in general."

You have a ton of space here.
"That's one of the things I really like about this apartment. There are two big bedrooms, the kitchen and a living room area. And I have a deck, which I use a lot in the summer."

Is the construction on the adjoining building driving you nuts?
"The noise isn't too bad. It's weird, though, when I'm eating breakfast and there's a guy right outside the window. But there's construction everywhere in this neighborhood."

What do you use the extra bedroom for?
"I also work as a DJ a lot, so I have the turntable and all my records in there. It's great because I wouldn't have room for them anywhere else."

Have you done much to the apartment?
"I painted the living room."

I love the shade of orange you chose.
"I didn't do the greatest job of painting, though. It started out well, but then I got tired."

You have closets everywhere. They go all the way down this long hallway.
"My girlfriend doesn't live here, but she keeps a lot of her clothes here. She uses the closets more than I do."

Where did you get your furniture?
"Some is from Ikea. But the guy who lived here before didn't want to move a lot of his stuff. He said I could just have all his furniture, and it's pretty nice."

 

Got a great space? Email J. Cooper Robb (jrobb@philadelphiaweekly.com) with your name, neighborhood and contact info.

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