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.