Places Where I Have Lived

We have all lived in some places. These are the places I have lived. Where have you lived?

Argyle Ave, Los Angeles, Calif., $350/mo.
Graduated college and hopped a plane to L.A., where I shared this two-bedroom sublet with three boys. We all slept on air mattresses on the floor and pretended to write screenplays (well, I pretended — I think they actually did?). I don’t recall ever using the kitchen, and instead subsisted off of $8 protein smoothies that we’d get after midnight runs to the gym (when in Rome, etc.). Lived here three months. Felt like three years. One of the best times of my life.

Stratford Ct, Del Mar, Calif., $900/mo.
Shared a two-bedroom duplex with another Southern-transplant I found on Craigslist in this incredible neighborhood in this really rich little town. Two blocks from the beach, with ocean views. The only reason we could afford to live there (well, and I actually technically couldn’t afford to live there, but I wouldn’t find that out until later!) was because the owner wanted to tear down the place and build something bigger and better, but in this particular community, you couldn’t change anyone’s ocean view AT ALL, so poles and strings had to be put up reflecting the dimensions of the proposed structure, and then everyone had x amount of time to complain, and then things had to be amended, blah blah. So the idea was that we’d live in this duplex and deal with the poles and ropes everywhere and also would only have 30 days notice if/when the plans ever got approved. That was a good year, domestically.

Sydney Place, San Diego, Calif, $850/mo.
Totally cool cabin that I moved into with this couple and the coolest dog ever, who gnawed on potatoes instead of bones. It overlooked a canyon and was totally amazing, except that it had no insulation (at all) and also single paned windows and also, you might not know this, but: it can actually get cold in San Diego. Also, the crawl spaces were home to some kind of small mammal. Moved out on New Years Eve by myself after the couple and the dog followed their hearts to Vermont, and I couldn’t afford rent/convince anyone to move into the Coldest Apartment In The World with me.

 

Somewhere in South Park, San Diego, Calif., $465/mo.
I crashed in a friend of a friend’s spare bedroom for a few months after moving out of the cabin. I don’t remember much except that I barely unpacked my car and spent most of my time at the bar around the corner, which is pictured, as I cannot remember the address or location of this place, at all.

 

Laurel Ave, Los Angeles, Calif., $0/mo.
Squatted on a mattress under the dining room table for … several months. Worked temp jobs and didn’t pay rent, because it was all very temporary and I wasn’t really living there. Eventually did pay each boy, like, $100 each, which was insulting in its smallness. Pros: Lived rent-free for many months. Cons: Now indebted to three boys until forever.

 

SE 35th Ave, Portland, Ore., $275/mo.
Lived here for three months when I first moved to Portland. Sublet a room from a dude who was taking the summer to fight forest fires. It was a gross house, and so I spent most of my time in the park across the way or the bar across the other way. The roommates were a preschool teacher/doula, a hipster handyman, and another person who I never saw or met in three months. This place had the gnarliest kitchen I had ever seen, and have ever seen since.

 

SE 45th Ave, Portland, Ore., $425/mo.
Lived with three girls I met on Craigslist, at least one of whom I was convinced was stealing my clothes.  Once a week someone made a big pot of miso with kelp, which would set me gagging when I approached the porch, and just as often there were crafting parties during which people would knit ovaries and uteruses and be totally fem twee. But: My room was dope and had a huge closet with a window in it, and for that reason, I stayed for a year. When I left, the Craigslist ad they posted to replace me basically said: “We’ll take anyone who wasn’t our old roommate, as we hated her.”

 

NE 10th Ave, Portland, Ore., $525/mo.
AKA the dream house. Our apartment was the top two floors of a three-story craftsman duplex with two of my very best friends. It had huge windows, hardwood floors, a working fireplace, a tiny and perfect backyard that felt like a fairy garden, and a balcony in the treetops where we sat all summer. We had dinner parties every week and a guest room that was always full and someone was always cooking dinner and had enough to share and there were fresh flowers always, and it was basically the most perfect year of my life. I moved out to live on my own. Terrible idea.

 

Alberta Ave, Portland, Ore, $800/mo.
Baby’s first studio. On top of a food co-op, which was convenient but also loud, especially since there was a permanent free pile under my balcony that doubled as a hangout for people who liked to get in arguments at 4 a.m. It was here that I figured out that if you yell at people that you’re trying to sleep, they flip you off, but if you say your baby is trying to sleep, they shut-up. Had exactly one party before I moved, a brunch in which we went downstairs to get extra champagne and orange juice approximately four thousand times and spent approximately five zillion dollars, but it was worth it.

 

Missouri Ave, Portland, Ore., $500/mo.
Split two-bedroom apartment with bad light but hardwood floors and an immaculate garden kept lovely by the octogenarian landlady. Closest business was feminist sex toy store (awesome); second closest business was gourmet organic local sustainable immaculate ice cream place, with fresh-made cones (more awesome). I got fat.

 

Somewhere in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N.Y., $700/mo.
I rent a little room in a little three-bedroom apartment with two roommates that I see sometimes, but mostly not. Totally the worst of all the apartments that I looked at, and yet I decided to live here! Cried the first night because it was so disgusting, but: With help from friends, ripped up carpet, repainted, and now it’s tolerable. Except for the bathroom, which is The Worst, but it’s Newww Yorkkkk. Also: It always smells like curry, as these place tend to do. I’m not putting a picture of my home, because of Personal Safety (and also embarrassment), but instead here is a bar that I like called The Drink.

 

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29 Comments / Post A Comment

For a year, I lived on the top floor of a Catholic high school in Queens, in what used to be convent quarters (no joke). I also worked down the hall. It was free (the provided “housing” for my volunteer program), but the place was kind of totally gross most of the time. 6 other community members, only 2 of whom ever washed/took responsibility for their dishes.

deepomega (#22)

When I moved to LA I paid 200/week for a couch belonging to a Craigslist stranger. At least I wasn’t murdered!

My most favorite apartment in DC was an English basement that you could only access through an alley…very European (how I viewed it), and/or very dangerous (how my mom viewed it). I shared it with a stranger and the oldest, smelliest Pomeranian ever. Paid $700 a month and had parking, which was a plus because I had hundreds in unpaid parking tickets at the time.

@Lauren@twitter girl i want to hear about those parking tickets

melis (#42)

Misread that as “hundreds of” parking tickets; am slightly let down.

@Logan Sachon I was on the run from the boot man! I caught him approaching my car boot in hand and had to make a quick getaway. My tickets were probably $500 at least. I safely hid my car behind my house for 6 months while I saved up.

I live in DC and this makes me want to cry. I pay $675/mo for half a 1-bedroom basement apartment, and I’ll have to pony up a whole lot more if I ever want to live above ground.

melis (#42)

@cuminafterall YOU STAY DOWN THERE WITH THE REST OF THE MORLOCKS

atipofthehat (#58)

I had a back yard in Bed Stuy!

That was interesting. I planted sunflowers.

That dream house was AMAZING, Logan. At first I thought the house preceding it was the one I visited, and I was like “THOSE BITCHES HATED YOU?!” But then I read on, and all was well. Remember when you made me mimosas? You’re such a lady!

I’ve lived in my parents’ house, a basement that was painted with the walls of horrifically rendered Disney characters (and Shrek, inexplicably), a crappy house in Charlottesville, a decent apartment in Charlottesville, and now a lovely-but-overpriced apartment in a rowhouse in Richmond.

@allison cintins PICS OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN. meaning: write me up a post, woman! (this goes for everyone else with apartment tales to tell. also: i like drawings, if you can draw. logan@thebillfold.com)

BABOLEEN (#59)

I love this site! If I listed all of the places I have lived as an adult, you would have a novel.

Ellie (#62)

I lived in an apartment in Hyde Park in Chicago, at 51st and Woodlawn (near Obama’s house so you can’t Google map it), my senior year of college. $550 a month. It was four blocks from the best bar in the world where I went all the time, and five blocks from the gym and library. I had an extremely small room that was supposed to be the mud/trash room. It was off the kitchen and the washer and dryer were in the half-bath off the room, so that my roommates walked through my room when they had to do laundry, but I loved having my own bathroom. It looked onto the alley behind the building and I could see a bit of the street through the gate, the bike racks, and the Dumpster. It took you the time it takes to smoke a cigarette to walk to the shopping plaza with the grocery store and liquor store and CVS, and the front of the building was on a private park with lots of kids and dogs and a green in the middle. I moved in there with people I liked, but we ended up with several subletters and social relations deteriorated completely so that I spent almost all my time in my room drinking and not finishing my thesis in time to graduate when I was supposed to. I spent the summer riding my bike around Hyde Park all day, reading at Café Istria, and going to bookstore and the bar. I have the fondest and most nostalgic memories of that apartment and that summer.

@Ellie I love this. Youth!

hopelessshade (#580)

@Ellie NEIGHBORS. Well, past-tense, we decamped to the north side after I graduated. 51st and Ellis, with a famously-murdered boy’s abandoned house opposite. Best Times!

wondajules (#80)

it thrills me to no end that other adult people have had 10+ post-college dwelling places.

ohk (#119)

@wondajules Was about to say the same thing! I’ll have two more to my roster by year’s end. So it goes.

StrangeHue (#84)

I swear to god I have lived across the street from or around the corner from at least 3 of your old apartments. Gosh this is a small world. (I did things in the opposite order though – Brooklyn to Portland.)

jenfizz (#100)

I often think about how many professional opportunities I’m forgoing by staying in the town I got my MA in, but then I remember that I live in three-bedroom house with a screened-in porch on .3 acres and pay $695 a month. I love my life.

alpacasloth (#108)

The Whistle Stop on Fern and Juniper! Such a great place to spend your money. I don’t live in SD anymore but when I go visit friends and we can’t figure out what to do (because we are older and less adventurous than we used to be?) we just go to Whistle Stop. Still a good time.

cherrispryte (#19)

With how much I’m paying in rent, I could live in several of these places at once.

I am paying too much in rent. But moving is prohibitively expensive! Also my apartment is quite literally the only thing keeping me sane.

MsAmosFrankly (#114)

Oh man. I have too many of these for being so young. From my mom’s house in a lower-income, north-central Illinois farm town, I moved to the dorms at my mediocre state university (NIU) for two years, and from there into several different apartments. The first was a tiiiiny 2 bedroom that I shared, and paid $310 a month for, followed by subletting a place with my then-boyfriend for $350 a month, then a one bedroom for all of two months for $795, a room in a townhouse with 2 boys who kind of screwed me over for $350, right around the time I dropped out of college in my junior year, half of a two bedroom with a terrible abusive ex for $400 a month, then, gloriously, into a mis-labeled “efficiency apartment”. Three enormous (12×12 or 12×10 with 12 ft ceilings) rooms, kitchen, bedroom, living room and a bath over an old Main Street type building for $500 a month and electricity. The hallway and stairwell were shady as hell, and it had a floor to ceiling stripper pole in the living room when I did my walkthrough of it, but I loved that place. Rents were so low because we were 30 miles from the nearest suburb, and about 60 miles from Chicago itself. Now I live in Madison, WI with my boyfriend in a 3 bedroom house.

Megano! (#124)

Man, I feel pretty good about only having lived in…5 places in 8 years now. I do have some tales though. Some of them are pretty gross.

Harriet Welch (#127)

California just didn’t work for me. I paid $650 for my share of a “loft” with three craigslist strangers and no walls in LA. Right now I pay $650 a month for a 1750 sft house with a fenced in yard with husband.
Home sweet home!

missvancity (#146)

The last time I rented was five years ago. It was a three bedroom basement that was $1800/month and there were five of us. The ceilings were 6′ and the shortest of us was 5’10″ (the tallest was 6’7″). The bathroom was a giant step up and we all had to duck our heads in there. There were always spiders, and my clothes smelled moldy for months after I’d moved out.

taffs (#147)

Ha! I used to live in that complex on Argyle as well! The total Hollywood-starter apartment, complete with fake hardwood floors, an amazing view, cokey neighbors and constant break-ins (my roommate’s laundry was stolen out of her car, my PowerBook was snatched out my bedroom window)!

pearl (#153)

Ah ah!! I’m 22 and have lived in nine different places in the past four years (including my parents’ home and college dorms), the best of which was my last apartment during my study abroad in Berlin. A glorious five months paying €305 a month for a furnished two bedroom apartment which I singly occupied, including utilities and a short walk to the closest metro/tram stop and discount grocery store (I miss my dingy Aldi and wonderful Netto!). Now I pay roughly the same amount to share a studio in Hollywood, near Sunset/La Brea (no utilities included). I sigh for those bohemian days

that bar in south park is the whistlestop! i just moved to LA and damn i miss that place…

Oh man, I’ve lived in nine places in seven years. http://eemusings.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/a-rundown-of-my-renting-history/ Some good memories, some bad.

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