Oh, the Places I’ve Been

Well, hello there. Work lately has been a bit stressful and nothing helps me unwind better than the sound of my own voice, so here I am. Nothing’s on the agenda today, but I thought I’d mess around a bit with embedded maps. Because I am a nerd.

So, without further ado, here are maps of every place I’ve ever lived.

321 Cherry Tree Circle, Hagerstown MD. The childhood home. Where all the old, good memories are. The driveway was pretty steep, good for jumping your BMX. Dad built a treehouse in the backyard. At the age of 7, I went rebellious and wrote the word “shit” underneath my bookshelf. (Sorry, Mom.)

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11908 Woodland Way Road Myersville MD. When my parents split up right before high school, I moved with Mom and the step dad to this house. I used to tell people I lived on a hill in a valley between two mountains. And I did. And it was awesome. We had a pool, I set up a shooting range in the back yard, and sometimes hours would pass without a car driving by. The wind whipped from south to north up the valley.

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1006 Hamilton Boulevard Hagerstown, MD. This is where my Dad lived after the folks split. It was one half of a duplex. My bedroom was at the top of the stairs and had a balcony with a green hammock. The house was a 5 minute walk from my grandparent’s, a 10 minute walk from school, and a short bus ride from the comic shop. Here is where I nurtured my love for being in a work shop, eating grilled cheese, and watching bad sci-fi.

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Butler Hall 408, Loyola College. My freshman year dorm. All guys and at that point I was even less of a “dude” than I am now. Thought I’d hate it, but made some of the best friends there I’ve ever had. We played muddy football in terrifying thunderstorms and drank ourselves silly.

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Winwood (Wynwood?) West 802, Loyola College. Sophomore Year. Lived in a six person apartment with five of my best friends. We began to perfect the art of throwing amazing parties. I got an inkling for what it must feel like to be an adult. I learned what it was like to have brothers. You could see the Baltimore skyline from our living room window. I fell in love with a city. The dorm has a different name now, but it’ll always be Winwood and/or Wynwood to me.

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Gardens D302, Loyola College. Junior Year. Our room overlooked the volleyball court. I had already met Joey A, but he was a year older than us and had been studying abroad. Coming back, he didn’t have a place to live so  they stuck him with us. And thank god for that. Joe has been a partner in crime, a cheerleader, and a brother ever since. Here was the site of some legendary parties, and some indelible memories. I hate claiming that any years were the best of my life, but if I could go back and experience any D302 weekend all over again, I wouldn’t hesitate for a minute.

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Charleston 12B, Loyola College. Senior Year. The curtains were closing on the college career, but this basement apartment was the best place we could have lived. Me, Duff, Chris, and Griff. Becca, Jess, and Timmins upstairs. Rich stopping by regularly. We grilled, we hid kegs in the room and passed the tap discreetly out the window. Got drunk, slept late, didn’t do too much studying. But I learned a lot about life and a lot about myself.

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Twin Ridge Apartments, 10 Sunny Meadow Court. My first real place after college. BFox and I shared a pretty sweet two bedroom place. There was a wide disparity in bedroom sizes, which he was too gracious about. We’re pretty sure there were many heavy-footed russians living upstairs. One of the first weekends there, a gerbil chewed its way out from within my bedroom wall. I screamed like a nine year old girl. Tom, visiting, got a new pet.

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Waterloo, 640 North Calvert Street, Baltimore. After a year at Twin Ridge in Mount Washington, Fox moved away and I moved into this Melrose Place-like complex with Saulo and Chad. Bars and restaurants were closer, the city was mine to explore, and I eventually got used to the traffic noise. We through some pretty good parties, had a beer pong table in the dining room, and our kegerator was just steps from the swimming pool. Here I rediscovered the internet, learned that any movie, tv show, or song can be found free online, and learned about blogging.

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6225 Cliffside Terrace, Frederick, MD. Sooo…  I thought I was getting a job in Virginia. So much so, that I gave up my spot in the apartment. Then I didn’t get the job. With nowhere to go, Mom and the step dad took me in. I lived with them for nine months or so. A hell of a commute, but delicious dinner on the table every night and the opportunity to get to know your parents as (almost) equals. I lived here during 9/11. Work let out early that day. Speeding like a banshee out 70 to get myself in front of a TV, I was overflown by two f-15’s, low and fast, on full afterburner heading for Thurmont. The rumor at that point was that Camp David was the next target.

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1538 South Hanover Street, Baltimore. The more things change…    Saulo bought a house in Federal Hill (well, technically South Baltimore… I think) and needed a roommate. I needed to be closer to work. Back to Baltimore I went. Although not my house, I felt more at home than any of the post-college living situations. I also learned a lot by osmosis about what being a homeowner was like. Hung out on the roof deck, and played a lot of kickball.

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2007 Sulgrave Avenue, Baltimore. Life moves on. Saulo was getting married, I had a girlfriend, and it was time to find a place of my own. So, I found this basement apartment in Mount Washington, not too far from Twin Ridge. The place was small and musty. There was a disastrous sewage leak in my living room closet. I’m pretty sure my gas bill included the gas for all four dryers in the building. I spent a lot of time at Emily’s.

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3617 Keystone Avenue, Baltimore. Looking back, this may be where my adult life started. Emily had put in an offer (unrelated to how awesome I am) early on in our dating. By the time we were serious, my one year lease on Sulgrave was up so I moved in. No, technically, my name wasn’t on the loan. But I was and felt like a homeowner in every other way. The house was tiny, but I loved it – imperfections and all. The times we spent here, especially with Nick and Kate and Ben…  I’ll remember them forever.

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13B East Spring Street, Winooski VT. Everyone wakes up one morning and realizes that they hate their job. I had made it through eight or nine hundred such mornings before I did something about it. I quit my job, and Emily and I moved to Vermont. I went to grad school in a bold and costly attempt to change careers. But, Vermont. Ohhh, Vermont. It was like living in a little slice of heaven, if heaven is located next to Quebec. We lived on the top floor of a Greek Revival house, had a succession of weirdo downstairs neighbors, and slowly fell in love with our new life.

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  • 152 Allen Road, South Burlington VT. As grad school was wrapping up, so was our lease in Winooski. The future was a big question mark and we didn’t know how long we’d be in VT for. Our landlord would only let us sign another year lease, so we told him to pound sand and found a place managed by the company that Jessie worked for. The building was under construction when we first looked at it; we were the first tenants in our unit. Despite the empty lot in the satellite view, I assure you, the building exists. In the end, we’d only live there for three months, but it was a pretty nice place. The view across the street was a field, the first time I’d had that since Woodland Way.

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1136 South Oak Park Avenue, Oak Park IL. Which brings us to today. The post grad school job search led me to Chicago. After living in the country for two years, we weren’t sure where we’d fit in in one of the nation’s largest cities. We settled in Oak Park, which is just outside the Chicago city limits. Wide streets, tall trees, a very neighbor-y feeling. Our apartment is one of the sunniest I’ve ever lived in. I’m two blocks from the L and surrounded by delicious food. Dunno how long we’ll stay, but for now… it’s home.

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3 thoughts on “Oh, the Places I’ve Been

  1. sweet retrospective. an enjoyable diversion that didn’t crash a mac. i must say, i’m a fan of your writing voice. i was surprised to be familiar with at least 6 of the stops on your housing journey. i wonder how many of us are in the double-digits in places lived… i suspect quite a few.

    i’m also reminded of a certain clever, yet reversed bribe to a Comcast guy that occurred at one of those places.

  2. i truly enjoyed that. Some things I didn’t know about you. I might steal your idea for tomorrow’s blog post. don’t worry, i’ll cite you. lol. miss the keystone house but wish it weren’t in baltimore. you know what i mean.

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