there is no place like home. . . . wherever that is
A fridayfive on a topic close to home -- moving! Maybe one day I will write a book. I could, you know.
1. How many houses/apartments have you lived in throughout your life?
Would you believe, 26?
Hudson Ave -- don't recall much about this place.
Palisades Ave -- top floor apartment of a 4-story walk up.
Duncan Court -- live downstairs from grandparents on a dead end street.
Thorn Street -- attached home bought in foreclosure, transformed by my mother.
Walnut Grove -- apartment that was on the site of a walnut grove.
another apt in Chico -- second story apartment in large complex.
5050 Linden Ave -- lived in 1-bedroom with mom and sister on adult side of complex. Scary place.
Lemon Ave -- small house with hydrangea bushes in nice neighborhood (at the time).
Lakewood -- slightly bigger house with large picture window in living room. Landlord painted it yellow one day on a whim.
Reseda -- yes, the place in that song about vampires. Enough said.
Sepulveda -- nice three bedroom apartment, own room again, but still in the valley.
Keystone West LA -- first owner of townhouse in six-unit building.
Irvine -- lived in townhouse with owner/roommate who was never there in Woodbridge, a planned community.
dorm Cambridge, England -- no phone, bath in the basement, but lovely all the same.
studio Newport Beach -- lived alone in tiny studio, steps to the beach, private dock, took ferry to school. Would have been great except landlord who I worked for turned out to be crazy. You can't have everything.
Berkeley sublet -- bought fan, flip flops, and cleaning supplies to survive.
Agate St, Balboa Island -- tiny 2-bedroom over garage, with drama student roommate -- didn't want to leave.
Berkeley sublet -- with friend, caused problems with other friend. First time didn't work the summer.
Jade St, Little Balboa Island -- huge house shared with two other women. We brought diversity to the place. Again, plagued by crazy landlord.
Downtown Berkeley -- parking is a nightmare in downtown Berkeley, need I say more.
Berkeley with RMB and Helmet Head -- these two plus the wonder cupcake loving cat made life here a nightmare. A chronicled one though.
Albany, California -- this was about location and price. Don't know how we survived there as long as we did really.
Emeryville, California -- would you like a condo? Okay.
Robin Hood Lane, Austin -- note left on door while friend/boss I was staying with was out of town, simply said "Get Out". That about sums up that two months.
Thrushwood Dr, Austin -- night moved in with only my sleeping bag was warned about rats. They never appeared, but Mister Pond Scum and a squirrel coming down the chimney were enough to get us to leave.
Emeryville, California -- here we are again on the 27th floor.
2. Which was your favorite and why?
It's always so hard for me to pick just one. Balboa Island was definitely one of my favorites. Despite how tiny it was, the place was just enchanting. My roommate and I got along well (wonder what Krista is up to these days?). I got my first car. I could walk about 50 paces to the beach and feed the ducks. Leo, the orange tabby, adopted me. I loved the sounds and even the smells. The ferry to the fun zone was just down the block. I felt safe. I was in love. If I had a couple of million dollars you know where I would be.
Runner up would be Keystone Ave in West Los Angeles. Living the Valley for two years finally paid off, and I was involved in the process of house hunting for me and my mom. My mom was about ready to sign on this place I hated. It had ugly green shag carpeting and smelled like cat piss. My mom promised it would be fixed up and I would love it. I remember going home and crying myself to sleep, praying that after all we sacrificed surely there had to be something better than this.
We headed out the next day to sign the papers. On the way we saw an open house sign and my mom gave in and stopped. It was a new development. A six unit condo building. I feel in love instantly. It had everything we wanted: sunken tub, 2.5 bathrooms, three levels, lots of light, and a roof top garden. It was a small building in a nice neighborhood. Less than a mile walk to my dream school. I still remember going up into what would become my bathroom and crying. I so wanted that house, and felt like I was living part of a dream when we moved in. It brought out the princess in me.
3. Do you find moving house more exciting or stressful? Why?
Despite the fact that I have moved over 25 times, I have found that it doesn't get easier. Sure you get better at packing boxes, but there is a reason that moving is almost equal in stress points to having a significant other die. That's not to say there hasn't been some level of excitement with these moves, but the stress usually wins out.
4. What's more important, location or price?
Location, location, location. Even if you live in the smallest place in the nicest neighborhood, you still can enjoy all the amenities of said neighborhood.
5. What features does your dream house have (pool, spa bath, big yard, etc.)?
I have been in this house in my dreams. It is by the water. Yet the city isn't too far away. There are lots of windows and light. It is about entertaining friends and raising a family. Every detail is planned and thought out. The kitchen alone could fill a book.
There is a swimming pool and gardens overflowing with flowers and fountains. Oh, yes, fountains. Like the ones at Fashion Island. Little sploops of water popping up at unexpected moments.
It's elegant yet comfortable. Peaceful, yet whimsical. Energy efficient, blending it with its surroundings.
It's a place where you wouldn't be surprised by the giggles of playing children. Where you would want to be invited to a celebration, large or small.
Yet also a place to retreat. A quiet place to think and create. A place with art and color. A place with a place for everything. A place filled with love and life.
And yes, there is a little Yorkie who will greet you at the door.