I’m moving. But don’t panic, I’m not leaving Dublin. I’m actually only moving about five minutes away from where I live now. This is what I do. I’m what one might call a serial mover. This will be my twelfth move, not counting dorms and a few hiatus’ in Buffalo due to lay-offs and/or natural disasters.
All the packing and schlepping and other fun stuff one does as part of a move has me reflecting on the many homes I have had in my adult life and the impact they had on me:
LAKEWOOD (Ann Arbor, MI) – My second year of graduate school the head of our department moved to Japan for a year and rented his house to a friend and I. This was my first time living in something that wasn’t just a dorm room with the toilet and showers down the hall. It was a house. An actual house. A strange house though. There was wall-to-wall-carpet in every room, even the bathrooms and the kitchen. The bedrooms were downstairs and the kitchen and living room were upstairs. Odd, odd house. But it was the home of some EPIC parties – there are readers of this blog who know exactly to what I refer. 😉
KENWOOD MEWS (Burbank, CA) – My first place in Los Angeles. This move was the start of me pursuing the career of which I’d dreamed since I was a kid. Until a major earthquake struck in the wee hours of a January morning and I never again slept in my bedroom, and seven months later I left LA, vowing never to return. (PS – earthquakes suck.)
WINDHOVER (Orlando, FL) – This move was me finding a way to pursue my dream sans Los Angeles. At the time, Nickelodeon had a huge studio in Orlando and the one thing I left LA with was a credit on “The Simpsons” and that got me hired. This place was peopled with very “colorful” personalities. One of my neighbors was bi-polar and took to wandering the parking lot at night screaming obscenities at the top of her lungs. My upstairs neighbor made her sofa squeak and shake rather intensely on a near daily basis – she lived alone. And one late Orlando evening, I ran into my apartment’s manager at a gay male dance club. Awkward.
HYER (Orlando, FL) – This might be the place I lived in for the shortest amount of time – three months. It was a great house with asshole landlords and a pool that refused to be anything but stagnant and green. Those were a wild three months though. I hooked up with a guy at our Super Bowl party, proceeded to fall in love with him (sort of, I think) and then get my heart ripped out, jumped on and cut into little pieces. I still believe that break-up is a major reason I remain single today. That green pool was bad juju.
PALMER (Orlando, FL) – I’d like to point out that I lived in Orlando for only two and a half years yet I lived in three different places. The Palmer place rocked. Same awesome roommates as the Hyer house, I started to move on from douchebag, and many, many awesome parties were had.
PROSPECT (Montclair, NJ) – When things started to dry up at Nick Orlando everyone made a choice – NY or LA. I, keeping to my anti-LA vow, opted for New York. Okay, for New Jersey – but it was just a short bus or train ride from my job in the city. This apartment was located in a huge house in the estate section of Montclair. The attic had been made into two apartments and I had the smaller one. This wasn’t a bad place to live but my landlady was rather miserly and there was a mural of a tropical rainforest on the biggest wall of the entire place. To this day I do not know why.
VALLEY (Upper Montclair, NJ) – Moved to this place with one of my best friends. We had an interesting couple of years here. Word of warning – DO NOT move in with a friend unless your friendship is strong enough to survive it. Ours was, but it was a bumpy ride at times – still we could make each other laugh like nobody’s business and it was in this apartment where I finally started to feel like I had a home, something I hadn’t felt since the LA earthquake had literally rocked my world several years before.
BROOKFIELD (Upper Montclair, NJ) – This was another attic apartment just a few doors down from the Valley place, where my friend still lived. Due to zoning laws, it had no stove or oven. Luckily, I don’t really cook and was able to survive with a microwave, hot plate and toaster oven. I loved this tiny apartment. This is where I first discovered that I am happiest when I am living alone.
CITRUS (Los Angeles, CA) – I broke my vow. I moved back to Los Angeles. But I really had no choice as I was pursuing another part of the same dream, this time with a writing partner. I lived here with my best friend and it was a beautiful place – the entire bottom floor of a traditional Spanish-style home. Gorgeous neighborhood. But after a promising start, I realized that LA was not going to be any kinder to me this time around and I grew to hate the city even more than ever.
KLUMP (North Hollywood, CA) – Has there ever been a better name for a street? Klump. I think I may have taken this apartment because I wanted my address to be Klump Ave. This apartment became my sanctuary in a city where I didn’t feel I belonged. I renewed my love of living alone and it was in this apartment where I realized that there were other dreams I had that might be worth pursuing. This is where I decided to get my Italian citizenship and move to Europe. I cried when I moved out of this apartment. I truly, truly loved it.
CROSBIE HOUSE (Dublin, Ireland) – This apartment will only be my home for another few days. This was the first place I looked at when I started my apartment hunt in Dublin and there is no denying that it is adorable. Crosbie House and I had a rocky start though. I had some very lonely, very scary moments in this place, crying my eyes out because I thought that by moving to Dublin I’d made the worst mistake of my life.
But that was more than a year and a half ago. Now, I love living in Dublin. And I think my moving to a second place cements the fact that this is a city in which I would like to stay for a while.