The Letter had this great idea to use Google Maps street view and catalog all the Letter residences.  I’m stealing this idea!  And to make this even better for me, I can refer you to the first two locations cited in his post because I also lived there at exactly the same time.  We’ll pick things up for the Mellowcat after the San Jose place.  The year is 1976…

Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA

My folks dropped me off right there on Sunset Ct. with all my belongings (a skateboard, Woody Allen’s “Without Feathers”, some records, headphones, no record player) and some sage advice for this new phase in my life: “see ya!”.  Best thing that ever happened to me, up to that point.  Redwood Hall is the backwards-L-shaped three story cinder-block building.  There was a Resident Expert in residence here as well.  One year in the dorms proved to be more than enough, so we scouted out an off-campus residence for the fall next year…

Arcata, CA – 1977

The Resident Expert and I moved into the Humboldt Green apartment after a year in the dorms.  They don’t call it Humboldt Green anymore – they probably received complaints about false advertising.  We didn’t stay here long, because of the extremely high rent (over $100) and our available funds (less than $100).  Next stop was the swank Hotel Arcata (1977-78), and then the house on 13th St (1978-79) that we shared with the The Letters.  I’ll refer you back to Letter’s post for images of those locations.  After college days came to an end, we headed down to Southern California, originally aiming to secure lodging in the Santa Monica area.  But instead…

Orange, CA – 1979-1980

Slight culture shock, coming down from Arcata. The melancholy pigeon sounds were nearly continuous, but the roar of traffic helped to mask that. At this time, I gathered a good deal of useful material regarding the local folkways.  Hit the road again after about a year, and began our short-lived urban phase…

San Francisco, CA – 1980-1981

We found this apartment on a sunny day, much like the day when Google Street View went by.  This is a whole different place at night, both inside and outside the building.  There should be a Google Street View After Dark.  To this day, I always rinse out my coffee cup after taking one off the shelf, to make sure the bugs are gone.  This was just not working out, so we scooted back down to SoCal and set up shop in California’s beautiful San Fernando Valley…

Van Nuys, CA – 1981-1983

The guy in the apartment next to us had a piano, but knew only one song: “The Bear Went Over the Mountain”.  I hate that song.  The lyrics are idiotic.  But, this was a fun epoch within our LA era. We were able to become very familiar with the neighborhood by spending all of our free time looking for another apartment…

Van Nuys – 1983 – 1989 or thereabouts

I couldn’t find our second Van Nuys apartment on Google Maps – there are some new condo buildings on the street, and presumably one of them landed on top of our duplex.  This place could have been good, but it was kind of noisy with the neighbors downstairs, and the landlords weren’t great – they were too cheap to fix the air conditioner, and it gets insanely hot in the Valley.  We also had an attempted burglary (the police came, and remarked that our couch was ‘a real softie’), and in the week before Christmas someone shot a bullet through the back window of my truck.  One great feature; we couldn’t hear that guy playing bear went over the mountain from here.  We eventually started apartment hunting again, and Resident Expert found this good new place nearby…

Van Nuys, CA – 1989 or so – 1993

This was the nicest apartment we’ve rented, in a new building, and no one had inhabited our space prior to our arrival.  The rooms were all large, we had a dishwasher (a first for us), and other than the laundry room below us, the Nissan dealership behind us, and the LAPD helicopters circling overhead, it was nice and quiet. This epoch included some good times and some that were decidedly not so good.  The not so good things prompted our move back to the Bay Area…

San Carlos, CA – 1993 – 2002

The landlord of this building was kind of a nut.  She maintained a residence in the left half of the duplex, but mostly lived at her ancient Mom’s house a few blocks away.  So we mostly had the place to ourselves, although there was some suspicion that the landlord was accessing our space outside of normal tenant/landlord constraints.  This was the first place we’d rented where we had our own washer and dryer – a major advance.  The place looked a little better from the outside than it does in the Google view of today.  The deferred maintenance tradition of our landlord has been carried forward by the current owners.  And check out that oil stain on our old driveway!  I wonder if the red station wagon used to live on the other side of the duplex.  Kind of burned out on the renting life after 9 years here, and smartly made the move to home ownership at historic highs for the housing market…

Redwood City, CA – 2002 – Present Day

Finally, we’ve got things right where we want them.

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