These are the nine different places I’ve lived since I left my parents’ humble abode in 2000. Creepily, all nine of them are visible on Google street view. More creepily, I took screen grabs of each one for posterity. Most of them are not particularly charming places. And sadly most of them look better on the outside than they did on the inside.
As we’re about to take the plunge on what will hopefully be our last move for a LONG TIME, it’s kind of fun to think about what I liked and didn’t like about some of these places. Five of these nine buildings are in Philadelphia, the only city I actively miss from the northeast. Most of them were in West Philly around Drexel. They’re mostly carved up old row houses I lived in with a wild assortment of rotating roommates. But the last one (right column, center in the pic) was in the art museum area on Spring Garden Street. I lived in this delightful one bedroom apartment all by my lonesome. But it wasn’t lonesome at all, I thoroughly enjoyed flying solo. This is the apartment where I learned how to cook, somehow had free cable, lost 20 lbs because there was a gym around the corner, and decided to close up shop and move to NYC.
This is the only nice picture I can still find of the inside of this place. The wall of built-in book cases made all of my junk look awesome. Notice the old 45’s on the wall behind the TV? Stylish and understated, no? That papasan chair was purchased hastily from a thrift store in Charlottesville, VA without realizing that the dish-shaped piece would not fit into my little green Saturn. So it was lashed to the roof and driven 5 hours back to Philadelphia on a non-rainy day with so many strange looks from passers by. (It’s since become the dog’s favorite place to nap.) But what made me love this apartment the most was that it was in an old building and kept so many of the old details, like that mirrored closet door. It was also the last place I lived that had a dishwasher. That was 2005 and I miss it desperately.
When I first moved from Philly to New York, I lived in a grossly overpriced fourth floor walk-up in Park Slope. There wasn’t much to look at inside the place. It was a dump. And although my roommates there were overall a pleasure to live with, they did like to throw garbage on the floor. But being that this place was on the top floor of the building, we had a dangerous little ladder that led up to the roof and a really striking view of the entire city in one direction, and the Statue of Liberty and North Jersey smog in another direction.
So the moral of this story is “this is why we can’t have nice things.” I’ve put off buying anything nice for years and years, because there was just another horrific moving day ahead of me. Only one more to go, and then I can finally stay put!