Log Cabin Français



RENT $1,300 [market]

SQUARE FEET 900 [top two levels of house]

OCCUPANTS Erin Knight [global traffic coordinator of packaging, Matrix]; Anthony Howard [client services representative, Lowe & Partners Worldwide]

This looks like where you would come after a moose hunt or a goose shoot—so woodsy and paneled. [Erin] It’s like a log cabin.

So Abe Lincoln, so ski chalet, so . . . I have no more references. Though in another city, I had an apartment with a room that was all knotty pine. I started a club called the Woodchucks. Dues were a dime for basic membership and then a dime later every time you passed through. We kept the dues in a cigar box in a secret cupboard. When a Woodchuck went to cover Jesse Jackson in Mexico and Germany, he brought back currency for the club fund. Have you been here long? Since July of last year. I’m from Gary, Indiana. My dad worked at a factory. Gary is turning into a sad, little city. [Anthony] I’m from Plymouth, Massachusetts. [Erin] It’s so quaint there.

There used to be a wooden thing for prisoners. I have a photograph from a childhood vacation—excuse another personal reference—I’m in my shorts, my arms are hanging out of the wooden block. [Anthony] Plymouth Rock is not very big. People look and say, “That’s it, huh?”

It is little but it’s the actual rock on which the pilgrims disembarked. It’s under tight security. You met at work. [Erin] It wasn’t really a workplace romance because I was leaving the job in a week when we started dating. I wouldn’t have dated him if we worked together. [Anthony] I lived on 3rd Street in Park Slope before. I was looking for apartments so my brother found the apartment and another guy came down and . . .

I was just in Belleville, the bistro on 5th. You said you like to go there. With the tiled floor, the waitresses in little French undershirts, it’s like a baby Balthazar, which is like a baby Le Dôme. Writing on the mirrors: “Digestif” and “Rouge.” They always write “Rouge.” [Erin] And “Mouton.” That’s what we’re trying to go for in the decorating here, kind of a modern, old-world French feel. I have that painting of a patisserie, a little French scene. I’m obsessed with all things French. I’m learning French. [Anthony] I get a few words here and there. [Erin] His usual response is “très bien” or “merci.” I watch TV Cinq. I’ve been to Paris. He never has—maybe on our honeymoon in 10 years. It’s the city of love.

Your water glass has “Fraise” and a picture of a strawberry. After you go on this honeymoon, where will you live? [Anthony] I wouldn’t rule out Manhattan. [Erin] I always joke that we’ll retire to Plymouth, live next to his parents, the ocean, and raise our kids. It’s a quaint little town, nothing like the Midwest.

The Midwest, with that big, leaden sky. It’s like a monster. In Plymouth, the doctor, beauty shop, and all the offices are in these little houses, not strip malls, with little signs in front.

The East Coast has an intimacy. The scale is so human, though sometimes dollhouse. In this apartment you have that hideaway feeling—the charming slope of the roof. [Anthony] The uniqueness stuck out. [Erin] It has an ambience. If I go into an apartment, I want to feel it. We came here and when we left, I said, Honey, I feel it. I feel it.

Your landlords’ sign in the window says, “Vote Out Bush/Cheney.” They put an anti-Bush newspaper outside our door. They’re very religious.

Orthodox? No, Methodist. They’re about 35. When I asked the wife what she did, she said she’s a mother and she worships. We wondered if our being unmarried would be a problem for them. It wasn’t. Yes, I go to church, Cadman Memorial, a Congregational church. I go once every couple of months. [Anthony] I was raised Roman Catholic.

I knew it. [Erin] I’ve known you two and a half years and you’ve never been to church.