The SpaceWe lived in this unit when we were grad students, fixed it up, restored the woodwork, added new flooring and other upgrades. It's most spectacular feature: Large living room windows that provide a nice, light-filled, open feel.
Furnishings are basic but comfy.
Bedroom: A full-sized bed, two dressers, a small armoir, bedstand and lamp.
Living Room: Sofa (with fold-away bed), coffee table, solid wood table & chairs, lamps, bookshelf, windows outfitted with roman shades/window warmers.
Kitchen: dining room table & chairs, solid wood kitchen table & chairs, and, of course, microwave, stove & fridge (EnergyStar). Plenty of utensils: Glasses, mugs, plates, knives, forks, etc. Cookware includes pots, pans, mixing bowls, serving plates & bowls, cooking utensils, etc. Maybe not outfitted for a full-on chef's operations, but for basic cooking, it is all here.
Laundry: On-site washer (EnergyStar front-loader) & dryer--included (shared in common area).
Living space comfort: We've invested in significant, green upgrades with energy efficiency and comfort as priority. Super insulation in walls and window warmer shades, combined with a modern, ultra-high-efficiency EnergyStar hydronic heating (Viessmann!)--makes for very even heat in winter and nice & cool in summer. And the dense-packed insulation silences most outdoor sounds.
Classic, clean bathroom fixtures including claw foot tub. Did I mention they are old? Yup. Original. Early indoor plumbing. But still very functional. One exception: a new, high performance, EPA Watersense toilet.
In summer, the backyard is great for hanging out, grilling, etc. Outdoor clothesline is available in backyard, too.
Did I mention the house is old? It is very old. The floors are uneven, as is typical with houses of this age. The walls are original plaster, meaning there are some imperfections (if you look really hard, you'll see the wavey plaster over the lath; a seam here & there). The windows are old, a little wonky, but they are serviceable. In sum, there is a lot of character here. It isn't perfect, there is nothing fancy. It never was fancy--it was a farmhouse (now in the middle of a cool urban neighborhood). As far as furnishings, the apartment does not conform to the standard IKEA aesthetic that seems to be taking over the Airbnb world. Indeed, this is Old World Wisconsin--with key updates! In sum, it is a very clean & comfortable place for people who like the quirkiness of old houses in old, quintessentially upper-midwestern, mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods.
This would be ideal for one or two (Max: 2 human entities, no matter the age or size). Guest AccessYour apartment is separately, privately locked. Common front entry is locked. Shared laundry is in common hallway, shared bike storage in garage. There is another, separately locked apartment downstairs, permanently occupied by a very courteous, quiet professor here on sabbatical. Interaction with GuestsI hope to make your stay as comfortable as possible. I live about a mile & a half away and can be called for any issues that may arise.
That said, this is not a full-on, concierge, B&B experience. Though thouroughly clean, it does not waft of victorian scented potpourri. Decorations are modest/sparse (other than basic furnishings). Another thing it is not: the Marriott. I am generally available in case issues arise, but it might not be front-desk instantaneous. (I almost always get back within an hour, and usually much faster, if not instantaneously.) So please bear in mind, it is just an apartment, basically furnished and functional in a really cool locale. Martha Stewart might sneer at the interior decoration. And Chef Ramsey would yell at me about kitchen outfittings. But most people have loved the place and gotten a kick out of my off-beat advice for visiting the city & environs. And the location makes for a great base camp for exploring the city by foot, bike, bus.....
So this is ideal for self-sufficient travelers.
For others, I strongly suggest The Collins House B&B (usually listed here on AirBnB). Super nice guys run it, Bob & David are the best hosts one could hope for!
In any case, if our schedules permit, I will try to swing by to say hi! And hopefully we'll be able to invite you for a drink at our local watering hole, the Harmony Bar, or perhaps to a show if my wife's band is playing. But no obligations on your part, of course. The NeighborhoodTenney-Lapham is one of the most beloved neighborhoods in the city. It is, according to WalkScore, "Very Walkable" (Walkscore=78), "Biker's Paradise" (Bikescore=93), "Good Transit" (transit score=53; this is actually a very high score for a city without rail transit).
I would add that it is very convivial. It is a mix of grad students, state workers, academic staff & professors, young professionals, families headed by professionals, blue collar workers and service industry workers. Many of all of the above are involved in a myriad of creative pursuits Madison is known for. This neighborhood captures everything that makes Madison the easy-going & fun place that it is.
All that adds up to a busy place. And so it is important to disclose that East Johnson Street is a lively street. However, the house is so well insulated (dense packed!) that most street sounds won't be heard in the house itself.
Locales: Forequarter and Sujeo are among the best restaurants in town; both within two blocks. Johnson Public House is, in my opinion--an opinion informed by having lived in Italy for 4 years!--one of the top three coffee houses in town; it is across the street. Taguara, a Venezuelan restaurant, just opened up to rave reviews (and after our first visit, I agree!). A classic sole-proprietor bike shop is across the street. Burnie's Rock Shop is a rockhound's/jeweler's paradise, beloved far & wide, just down the block. Studio 924 Hair Salon, across the street, attracts people from all over the city. Half a block away is a classic owner-operated corner shop. Two blocks to a brand new full-service grocery store. But wait, there's more! Too much more for me to list here....!
Tenney Park, four blocks away, is Ice Skating Central in the wintertime. Skates are rented there, so anyone can enjoy it. (Think "Charlie Brown's Christmas"!!!). It is great for strolling or hangin' on the beach in the summer!
James Madison Park is two blocks away. It is famous for it's sun bathing/frisbee beach during our two weeks of summer. The rest of the year it is a great place to watch waves freeze in mid-curl!
And just recently an old ballfield two blocks away has become a center of sports events (lots of soccer), and even concerts: Breese Stevens Field. Wilco & Kurt Vile are on tap summer '16! I just have to note that the field & stadium was built, stone cut by stone cut, by hand, through one of Roosevelt's socialist programs back in the Deep Depression of the 30s--The Works Progress Administration, to be precise. In the urban renewalist 70s & 80s the short-sighted city bosses wanted to knock down this tribute to solid quality workmanship (too old fashioned in their pinched world view). Fortunately, several alums of the WPA protested and it was saved. Well, from the wrecking ball anyway. It was left to neglect for another 30 years. Finally, FINALLY the city woke up to the value of this structurally solid, historic, neighborhood-scaled venue, invested some significant rehab funds and now it is a favorite destination for big sports tournaments, live music, pop-up markets, etc. It is total class. Almost as great a feeling of being a part of history as seeing a live show in a Roman Arena in Verona, Italy! And it is only two blocks away from this apartment!
And yes, there is lots more, very walkable, very nearby....
So the good: The area puts you within walking/biking/bus distance of the very best fun Madison has to offer.
Please be aware that the street the apartment is on is a lively one. It is about 1.5 miles from one of the largest campuses in the world--UW-Madison. It is a campus famous for its, shall we say, fun-loving culture. (The undergrads love to brag that it is a "Study Hard/Party Hard school!") As a general matter, things are pretty peaceable out this way, as the house sits a good mile+ outside of the Campus/State Street party district. Most undergrads now live in the towers much closer-in to campus. So this is outside of the intense party district. But, it is what it is: a 2-flat house in a fun-loving city in a fun-loving neighborhood. A suburban cul-de-sac, it is not. There are neighborhood festivals with amplified music nearby in summer (usually done by 10pm). There is traffic (not very noticeable inside the apartment though; really only noticeable at rush hour when outside). That said, the house is well insulated, so most sounds from outside are silenced or at least very deadened (it is a pleasant surprise for most people who stay here!). But if your windows are open, it will not just be crickets you'll hear. Immediate neighbors, including the neighboring tenant and those of surrounding houses and nearby blocks are very respectful & quiet. I just want to be upfront that this is not a completely silent location for the reasons listed above. To reiterate: The area is not suburban quiet. All of the above applies to virtually any Madison listing within two miles of campus.
But if you are here to enjoy all the fun Madison has to offer, this is a prime location (see my guide for more!). We lived here for five years and loved it! It has only gotten better since!
To get a picture of the street, it might be worth viewing it on a well-known streetview/mapping program. Getting AroundInconvenient to the Interstate! In other words, easy for a car-free or car-lite stay. One block to coffee, art & lake. Easy walk to the Capitol. Quick bus/bike to campus. Bus lines: 2, 5, 9 & 10 (campus express), 28 (commuter express) and 81 campus late night bus all a half block away (all are accessible near the downtown Van Galder/Megabus/Badger inter-city bus stop).
In sum, VERY convenient walk/bike/bus to campus and downtown!
From Campus/Van Galder/Megabus, just head east on West Johnson St, which becomes E. Johnson past the capitol, til you get to Paterson St. (the 900 block of *East* Johnson St). 25 minute walk, 10 minute bike from campus. Or hop on these buses going toward east/north transfer points: 2, 5, 28, 9, exit at Paterson St., walk east 1/2 block, house on right (South side of E. Johnson). There is even a late night campus bus that runs frequently til 2 or 3 am.
If you take a taxi, and you are from country where tipping is not customary (Europe, etc.), please, Please, PLEASE remember to tip your cabbie. It *is* customary here. Tips are how they make their living!
Revolution Bicycles in the Atwood neighborhood is great for finding used bicycles outfitted to your specifications at a reasonable cost. Owned & staffed by bike-cultured, bike-passionate wrenches. It is the best bike spot to find out about all things bike (routes, politics, gear, etc.).
Machinery Row Bicycles is a good shop, locally owned, but more corporate in feel. They focus on new bike sales, but also rent nice bikes at a reasonable cost.
B-Cycle is Madison's bike share outfit. Nearest B-Cycle station is located right around the corner on N. Paterson St. at Reynolds Field.
Budget Bicycles on Regent St. Has a free bike loan program. It's called Red Bikes. Just give them a $40 deposit (or credit card #) and you get a bike. It isn't a super high end bike, but is in highly tuned up condition thanks to the ace mechanics there. When you are done--no matter how long you use it!--you get your $40 back. Even if it is wrecked and the tires are flat! (I had a little something to do with the founding of the Red Bikes program founding when it was in its non-profit phase!)
We have a bike storage area in the detached garage for the free use of guests. The door locks, but ultimately, bike security is guest's responsibility.
If you are coming by air, especially internationally, consider booking your flight to/from Chicago--not Madison--and taking our most excellent, frequent and beloved(!) regional bus service--Van Galder. Other Things to NoteThis is a new Airbnb listing so it has no ratings. However, our apartment below has quite a few ratings, with an overall ~4.5 stars.
The calendar for this apartment is open for only two months. But if you think you might want it for longer, I will try to open the calendar for a longer stay.
Please note: This flat is part of a clean air house. My main concern is to convey that this offer of housing is not valid for smokERS/burners of anything, anywhere (including outside). This is because I wish to keep the place comfortable and welcoming--a home--for the permanent tenant in the other unit as well as for the comfort of future Airbnb guests.
Some things to note: This is a "housekeeping" housing situation. A clean apartment with linens and other furnishings is provided, but there are no routine services provided during the stay (cleaning, computer networking, etc.). Emergency repairs, of course, will be serviced.
For liability reasons, maintaining safe access to the house (e.g., in winter weather) is the guest's responsibility (shovels provided; the sidewalk is very short).
Wifi is offered on an as-is basis and is a courtesy separate from the offer of housing. There is no guarantee of the reliability of the Internet Service Provider's services (e.g., cable co.) or the functioning of the wifi router. Network security is entirely the responsibility of the user (VPN is strongly suggested). There are no networking services other than the provision of wifi network name and password. In the event of a service outage, we will make every effort to get service restored. However, in the case of an outage that we are unable to rectify within 24 hours of guest's notice of outage, a refund of $2.50/day will be issued up to $25/mo. Because of these acknowledged limitations and the refund in the event of outage, the performance of wifi should not be a basis of negative ratings on Airbnb.
The House Rules are the same ones agreed to by the very responsible tenant in the other unit (a respectful & quiet downstairs neighbor, a professor here on sabbatical).