Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the places I’ve been and the cities I’ve called home. It’s like an odd glimpse into someones past and perhaps even a murky look at the map of their future.
I was born in Stony Point, New York a blink and you’ll miss it type place about 30 minutes upstate on the Palisades Parkway. Way back in the day it was rustic and peaceful.I had the privilege (although I didn’t know it at the time) of spending my youth trudging around our vast acreage getting lost and forgetting the time. I remember a pond, ancient horse stables built into the hill with stone, several cherry trees, an apple tree and berry bushes that grew wild down the rock walls that lined our property. My kids are children of the city. Being raised in the concrete jungle gives you a real appreciation for vast green spaces and outdoor hijinks. I miss that place more than anyone can ever know.
Like most of my friends, I moved from my idyllic childhood on to college (mine was on Long Island, blech!) and then out into the big bad world. Ready or not, I made a move to the deep south.
Georgia, here I come.
Atlanta Georgia was as far from everything else I had previously known as humanly possible. I was affectionately known as “the Yankee”, but mostly found my self confounded by the southern culture and mindset. My favorite employer (at sand blasting job shop no less!) kept a massive handgun in his desk drawer and called his beloved wife “Duke”. At the time I lived in what is probably the BEST place for youth to congregate and have fun- the world renowned Virginia Highlands. We rented a dirt cheap apartment in the North High Ridge complex on the corner of North and N. Highland. Our little slice of the world was an enormous two bedroom place with open spaces and great charm. Sadly, it burnt down a few years ago in a massive five alarm fire that made the papers.
I remember spending hours lounging around reading Creative Loafing, listening to good music, walking through town and trying to find my boyfriend (now husband) at Limerick Junction. We also made the occasional trip to Athens, Georgia for band practice and lots of drinking.
Sadly, I left Georgia before I had taken advantage of all it had to offer and I ended up in……………………Annapolis, Maryland.
I kept my mother’s newly purchased condominium occupied while she worked in New York and paid the occasional visit to my boyfriend (still the same one) in Alexandria Virginia.
Next, the District.
My love hate relationship with Washington all started in Columbia Heights, on the corner of 16th Street and Columbia Road. It was great to be able to walk so many places but equally unnerving were the number of bat shit crazy people you had to maneuver your way through to get there. Park Plaza had a pool, spacious units and an undetermined number of cats and dogs living there. Good times, until I had my first daughter and then quickly became pregnant with my second. We were running out of room.
Currently, I reside on a quiet tree lined street in Historic Mount Pleasant. Initially, I was not sold on the idea that purchasing a fixer upper, gutting it and essentially rebuilding it would yield positive results, but my very handy husband did a wonderful job. There are still plenty of complaints about the lack of space (it’s a long skinny row house with virtually no yard), rat problems, little to no parking, crime and erratic sanitation pick up but we’ve managed okay for nine years.
So, I suppose we are here to stay for a while with our three kids and two pain in the ass dogs. This walk down memory lane has left me spent and feeling like I need a shower.