Growing up I moved a lot. I have always wanted to have pictures of every house I grew up in or at least what my room looked like. While I do not have the latter, I do have Google and with it I can look at images of my old houses. Above is my Grandmama's house. I had to put that because from birth to 9 years old I spent my morning till afternoons there. I've found each of the seven houses I lived in with my family before escaping to West Hollywood and will write about the good and the bad about each. Also how long we lived there as far as I can recall.
89th St. (11 years)
This is the first house I grew up in and when I think of my childhood sticks out the most. I loved this house so much. I was here from birth until 11 and it sucked to leave it. Out of all the houses on the street this one, meaning my old one, looks different. Every other house looks exactly the same.
Good: Huge backyard. Like...really huge. My cousin lived next door and that was fun. Lots of kids on the street. Thrifty's ice cream that became the Western Swap Meet later. Mr. Bros. shaved ice shop/arcade that was owned by my next door neighbor. Singer Karen White lived right across the street. “I'm not your Superwoman...” Nice fireplace. Big front porch.
Bad: Most of the kids on the street sucked. Crackheads lived two doors down at the Pink House. Most people I played with lived on my Grandmama's street which was far away.
68th St. (1 year)
This was the second house we moved to and the first time I ever had my own room. Previously I shared with three older brothers and looking back I am shocked we didn't kill each other.
Good: My own damned room! Other than that there was nothing particularly remarkable about this place other than I now got to ride the bus home and look at this hot chick Anna that got off at my stop.
Bad: Everything else. No friends. Nothing close by like a store for video games to go to. This street was total weak sauce and there was nothing fun about living here.
84th St. (1 year)
Now closer to where we used to live the first time. This house was weird that while it was close to everything I used to love, as a kid it was still too far in kid distance. I had my own room (when my brothers weren't rotating in and out of the house).
Good: My own room. Enough space to make my bunk bed into two beds. Up the street from Chicken George and Big Red for fish.
Bad: Everything was burned down during the L.A Riots. Everything. There is nothing like going to the bus stop where you bought candy and played video games every morning and seeing rubble.
78th St. (less than 1 year)
I hated this house. We moved here after the riots but it was just minutes from where they started. It was close to one of my favorite aunts but I'll be damned if we ever went over there. No stores to go to and no kids to play with. I spent most of my time in my room playing video games or growing my hair.
Good: This kid we went to school with named Marcus aka Hotdog lived close by. My room was the perfect size. I had a new bed but whenever my brother came home from work he would wake me up to go to sleep. This house had our first dish-washing machine. My first real girlfriend.
Bad: Fat girl I dated that lived across the street. Hardwood floors that made my always bare feet cold. Angry chubby girl with Trinidadian father lived next door.
Bowesfield (1 year)
This was the furthest away we had lived. With the other houses you could travel to all of them in less than 20 minutes. This was across town. I loved my room here. It had ugly deep, green carpet and was right around the corner from every shop I could want.
Good: 7/11 where I could buy comic books every week with money I made from ironing my brothers clothes. Close to my cousin Mala so I got to see her more often. Never shared a room. Back house where my other brother could cut hair and live.
Bad: Northridge Earthquake! We lived here during that time. I also had to give the fat girl her Nintendo back that I'd taken with me. No friends nearby at all. By this point me and my brother closest to my age stopped talking to each other.
Wenlock Part 1 (1 year)
This house was awesome...in terms of my room. I didn't have to see anyone else if I didn't want to. I had my own private bathroom. Could go from there and into the kitchen or do laundry without seeing another human being. A door that led to the backyard. A futon/bunk bed. A huge TV (that weighed 300 pounds).
Good: Everything I listed above. This was a five minute walk from the Bowesfield house so all the god about that still applied. My brother would still sleep here but not often and I still made money ironing his clothes. Room for my drawing board. Grew three inches during the summer.
Bad: Since I had so much time alone and this was the summer I turned very weird. I barely talked to anyone since all my friends went to new schools. My cousin got shot. I grew and got gawky.
Wenlock Part 2 (2 years)
This was literally two houses down from the other house. I carried my furniture over to this house. I moved into the back house for one night and decided I didn't like it.
Good: Free cable.
Bad: My room was a box that gathered heat no matter what time of year it was. I hated this room. The house was great except for my room. My brother got the huge room because he lied and said he would share it with my sister. This house is what made me swear to move out and never move back and I've kept that or almost 20 years now.