Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Google Home

I've been thinking. Well, I've been wallowing is more accurate. So, I haven't been much inspired to post anything. No. That's not true either. I've wanted to post, but I figured if I did you'd all run away screaming. But a 5.5-mile walk in 90 minutes today while listening to Paul Simon's "Graceland" album may have helped get me back on track. My sister Dale's birthday is coming up and, although she's been gone more than 32 years, this one has been strangely difficult to face.

VAN SICLEN AVENUE, BROOKLYN, NY.

Instead of one of my more usual blogs (do I have a usual blog?), I decided to go on Google Maps and see if I could find every place I've ever lived (not including college dorms or anyplace I/we stayed less than 6 months). A few places are in "gated communities," which Google must not have had permission to drive through. In Guilford, they just didn't drive up our cul-de-sac. In those instances, I either included a photo of the community entrance or an aerial shot.

NORTH MASSAPEQUA, NY.
BROOKLYN, NY.

One really fun discovery: I had been under the impression that the house we lived in when I was born had been torn down long ago. It was built in 1901 (and, yes, it was already a really old house when I was born!). But there it is on Google maps— still standing. It's the first in the series.


The University Years
BROCKPORT, NY.
BROCKPORT, NY.  (APPROPRIATELY, AT THE END OF HIGH STREET.)

A Place of My Own
BROOKLYN, NY.
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS.
BOSTON.

The San Geraldo Years
BOSTON.
MARINA DEL REY, CALIFORNIA.
GEORGETOWN, WASHINGTON, DC.
NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT.
GUILFORD, CONNECTICUT.
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA.
SAN DIEGO.
SAN FRANCISCO.
PALM SPRINGS.
SANTA BARBARA.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA.
LAS VEGAS.
SEVILLA, SPAIN.
AND NOW... LOS BOLICHES, FUENGIROLA, MÁLAGA.
(AND, I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT I'M EXHAUSTED!)
DALE AND I, VAN SICLEN AVENUE, 1956.

38 comments:

  1. What a terrific post (and you've lived in some beautiful homes/buildings!)

    Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HK:
      Thanks. And we have lived in some really wonderful houses and apartments.

      Delete
  2. It´s a great way to post when you have nothing to write about. Hope you have a good day when it´s Dale's Day. She watching over you, even after all these years.

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    Replies
    1. Peter:
      Thanks, Peter. Today is better. Tomorrow is her birthday. It will be a celebration.

      Delete
  3. Must be tiring and exhilarating at the same time Mitch. A lot of places that reflect a lot of life well-lived. I am sure your sister Dale would have approved. It may be 32 years since her passing but it is obvious it seems like yesterday to you......cherish those wonderful memories/times you had with her.
    And look at that cute photo of you two!! Rolled up cuffs and all!

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    Replies
    1. Jim:
      Dale would have loved all the moving and travel.

      There's more cuff than leg on those things!

      Delete
  4. This happens, from out of the blue someone you've loved deeply who has passed becomes ever present. Perhaps this is a good thing Mitch, perhaps you need to remember her this time, perhaps this is so very good for your soul.
    I know looking at your homes might tire you, but I am so intrigued. Thanks!
    Ron

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    Replies
    1. Ron:
      I think you're right about remembering. As for being tired, it was looking at the homes, it was the idea that we moved so many frickin' times!

      Delete
  5. Oooh, other people are so good at putting my thoughts into words! Thanks Peter, Jim, and Sophie... all my thoughts, too.

    I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of these places you've lived, Mitchell. And I never tire of seeing those photos of you with your sister :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. p.s. High Street. You crack me up ;)

      Delete
    2. Judeet:
      Sharing my life with you all makes these days so much easier. Thanks!

      High Street was very aptly named... (But the house was a lot nicer when I lived there. Landscaped, well-kept...)

      Delete
  6. Those photographs equal a lot of moving boxes!
    I like those bow-fronted apartments in Boston. One of them seem to share balconies with the next apartment building!
    Kirk

    PS
    It is only eight moves for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kirk:
      Those two-building fire escapes (balconies) weren't there when I lived there. Very peculiar. I used to count moves; I don't know when I stopped -- I think it was somewhere around 14.

      Delete
  7. I recognize one of those. I used to walk by it on my way to and from work every day. I actually think you lived there then, too. We were neighbors!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually think I remember seeing that house be built. Was it new when you lived there?

      Delete
    2. Walt the Fourth:
      I wondered if that would be familiar to you. You would have passed the private drive (which was an extension of Burnside) when you walked on Bosworth. Yes, we were the first owners in December 1998. It was a fun house and a great location... and an easy walk to Tyger's Café for breakfast (and BART for work).

      Delete
    3. We were right up the hill on Congo, from Aug 1995 to March 2003, just before we moved to France.

      Delete
    4. Walt the Fourth:
      It's kind of magical to think we would have passed each other on the street. (I was the guy who was scowling every morning as he headed to work at Berkeley. Remember me now?)

      Delete
    5. Hey, I worked at MUNI. Who's scowling now? Uh...

      Delete
    6. Walt the Fourth:
      Well, my own situation was particularly awful, but then I've heard horror stories about Muni. So, either way, you have my sympathy. So glad you (also) escaped!

      Delete
  8. Fabulous! Really must try this myself sometime. Can't help but notice that the sun is shining in very neasrly all of them - or maybe that's a proviso before Google takes the shot.

    And 'Graceland' - one of the soundtrack albums to my life! But one I rarely play for fear of choking up and wishing I was 30 years younger.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raybeard:
      Wow. I feel like I'm getting to know you so well. As I saved the images from Google, I thought, "Well, Raybeard will have something to say about all the sunshine." (But I also figured the Google camera wouldn't be out on dark and dreary days. So, even England looks sunny on Google Maps.)

      Amazingly, the Graceland album doesn't make me choke up but the lyrics do suck me in. I think the energy of Ladysmith Black Mambazo helps.

      Delete
  9. Phew, I'm knackered! All that packing and un-packing. I thought I had moved about a bit. I'm going to have to try this, you may have started a new trend :-)

    It's wonderful how you hang onto your memories of Dale. You looked so sweet together, inseparable. Keep smiling Mitch. She would want you to and is still right by your side.

    Much Love
    Di
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Di:
      Thanks so much. You're right about Dale (and about us together). I used to hide behind her when I was little. She was my protector!

      Finding the places on Google Maps really is fun... and especially discovering that the first place is still standing!

      Delete
  10. My, but you've lived in some interesting places. I think this would be a great thing to do, posting pictures of all the places you've lived, but I never bothered taking any, not even the first home we ever purchased.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephen:
      Since you don't have any photos of your own, Google Maps is a great place to go.

      Delete
  11. 'Mitch, re 'Graceland': It's the period being evoked that pulls the strings rather than the tracks themselves - though, of course, they are high quality as well. Everyone has their own special 'triggers', bringing up memories of times lived through - but I imagine you've long ago discovered that for yourself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raybeard:
      Oh, I know exactly what you mean. Lyrics get to me but my "trigger" is the 1960s -- my childhood with my sister.

      Delete
  12. My, you have moved around a bit, and lived in some fairly exotic looking places!
    It's an interesting exercise - but moving house is so exhausting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jean:
      I love to move, although the packing and unpacking (and starting and stopping utilities, especially) has gotten old! My mother has lived in the same place since 1964!

      Delete
  13. I lovelovelove the Boston buildings.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Bob:
      So do I. My last place (before San Geraldo) was the totally renovated top floor of that huge brownstone. Then I moved into his elegant railroad flat on Beacon Hill (to the right was where Henry James lived in later years). It's an incredible city.

      Delete
  14. I agree with young Bob up there The Boston buildings seem to have oodles of character!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Tynan:
      It's one of the most (if not THE most) European of American cities. Where Jerry and I lived together, Beacon Hill, the streets were still lit with gas lamps. I loved it there!

      Delete
  15. What a thought-provoking post! I loved looking at the photos of your homes over the years, the architecture is so completely unlike anything on this side of the world. Like others I am particularly intrigued by the Boston buildings. You sent me off to Google to do the same exercise and I was interested to see that the house I was born in is still there, now completely unrecognisable with a second story built on.

    I do love the photo of you and Dale, so charming. Ah, the sweetness and innocence of childhood...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Judith:
      Old Boston looks very different from most other cities in the USA. I loved it there. (And it's where San Geraldo and I met.) And San Diego coastline looks very much like the Mediterranean. So many different "typical" looks around the United States. I could spend hours on Google Maps (and I do).

      Delete
  16. Actually the same with me, Mitch - the 1960s were THE evocative decade, more than any other. I remember in particular one golden Summer afternoon in 1967 when I'd be out with friends to walk along the Roman-constructed Hadrian's Wall (about 50 miles north of where I lived at the time), and returning home to hear the news that Beatles' manager Brian Epstein had died. (Thought then to have been suicide, now seen more likely to have been a tragic accident.) That whole era, Sgt Pepper, flower-power and the like, remains etched more indelibly than anything else in my life. It's funny because while it's happening one doesn't realise that decades later one will hold particular memories like these as the most preciously bitter-sweet ones ever experienced.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raybeard:
      That last sentence is so beautifully written and says it all.

      Delete

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