Writer Anna Quon finds joy in the memory of an old attic loft apartment

·2 min read

In the middle of winter, in the middle of a pandemic, where do you go to find joy? Maybe it's a physical spot, or a memory. Our new Happy Place series explores both.

When Anna Quon thinks of her happy place, she goes back six years in time.

In 2015, she saw an ad for a loft for rent, and went to check it out.

It was love at first sight.

Anna Quon for CBC
Anna Quon for CBC

Take a listen to Anna Quon's audio essay:

Transcript, in part:

I remember feeling lacklustre about the online ad for the apartment. It looked small, this bachelor loft near the university, but it was in my price range, and close to the No. 1, king of Halifax bus routes.

I went to look, not expecting much. But my first step inside the old house's windy attic staircase, covered with original portraits, still lifes, and an antique map, was thrilling.

I fell in love with the loft — bright and spacious, simply furnished — immediately. The outgoing tenant told me the landlady's husband, a professor and master carpenter, had made everything.

The tiny tiled kitchen and bathroom were a delight, well-designed and spotless, the staircase to the basement laundry, like that of a castle turret, charmingly precarious. But I was in good health then, a scant five years ago, easily able to carry a wet load of laundry up three stories to hang dry.

The best part about this apartment was the handmade round wooden table, surrounded by four cheap and sturdy chairs, under a tilt and turn skylight. It was the place I worked on my laptop, and the hub of my social life. I had two new Halifax friends who I shared many a meal with there, beneath the sometimes star-filled, sometimes snow-filled, rectangle of that magical window.

If you have a Happy Place story to share, email natalie.dobbin@cbc.ca.