Oh hello! I didn’t see you there. Thanks for joining the “Return to Johns Hopkins 2009″ tour. Let’s get going, shall we? I hope you brought sunscreen, it’s about 90 today with 85% humidity. That’s right, it’s a day ending in Y! This tour will be in two parts, mostly because my post containers just aren’t big enough to show you everything I need to show you. It’s that big of a tour. Today, we’ll concentrate on Places I Have Lived.
Since it was the furthest from campus, I first went to the house I lived in Sophomore year. Sure it was a long walk but it was a house! And I still love it so much that I dream of buying a rowhouse someday. You can see the door is ajar a bit, that’s because there is no air-conditioning. The open door and the fan you can’t see are the cooling sytem.
Back in the day, our landlord’s name was Alan Something. He told us, “don’t call me Mr. Something, call me Alan!” Later, we learned to change that statement to, “don’t call me Alan, call me Asshole!” Alan is still the landlord. I know because I asked a woman going inside (her boyfriend lives there but they are not students) and she told me he was still an asshole. This turned out to be amongst the only things that hadn’t changed.
Like this. This was just rowhouses and shops. Now it’s lofts and chain stores like Chipotle and Starbucks. That was, in fact, the biggest change. We had like one little grocery (Eddie’s – still there) and a Chinese take-out. Now there are cafes and national fast food outlets. It’s hard to understate how little we had and how much there is now. Not that I’m bitter or anything. *cough*
Another thing that was reassuringly the same, though, was the bus. That’s the 3 to the Inner Harbor (got good eyes?) and I took that or the 61 (which got me closer to work but came less frequently) to work at Sam Goody’s at Harborplace every other day or so for four years. So much so, that in a Pavlovian reaction, seeing this bus made me want to jump up.
This is where I lived Junior year, it’s called the Blackstone. My roommate was someone who seemed like a good idea at the time but wasn’t. In case you were wondering, Hopkins only had enough room back then in campus housing for freshmen. After that, you were on your own. I think that now even sophomores get housing but I’m not 100% on that. In any case, this place was kind of like living alone, as it was a studio attached to a one bedroom so unless I needed the kitchen, I could kind of forget my roommate existed. Also, it was across the street from campus. Sweet.
By Senior year I had had enough and for the first time in my life, I lived alone fo rills. As you’ve no doubt guessed, I loved it. I think my first day there was one of the greatest of my life; I remember walking around naked and watching Johnny Carson. What? Anyway, I lived in this pub. No, actually, I lived in a building called The Charles and I thought for a moment they had torn it down until I saw the bar entrance and knew I was there. This pub was in the basement and is the scene of the drunkest I have ever been in my life, after getting $25 to appear in a commercial for the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Yes, all it takes is $25 to get me smashed off my ass. The thing I remember most was lying on the floor of the bathroom listening to my cousin leave a message on the machine while I called out feebly, “I’m heeeeeeeere…..” But at least I had a short walk home.
The next day, I swallowed a roll of Tums and took the 3 to the record store.
This looks like a dorm, doesn’t it? It is! This was where I lived Freshman year. My first roommate told her mother that there were too many Jews on campus while she thought I was asleep. I started to talk to my family in Hebrew on the phone just to annoy her. Eventually I switched with someone and moved suites, although I remained friends with my suitemate for the rest of my life. That’s because she forgave me for leaving her with two idiots instead of just the one. She grew up to be North of the City.
That’s my window on the top floor, just behind those branches on the left. I couldn’t get in to see it because the security is much tighter than it was back when I was there. They haven’t changed the fancy name of the dorm, though, because no one’s yet given enough money, so it’s still Building A. Lame.
Next post: the rest of my visit. You should probably take this time to apply more sunscreen.
Title comes from a song of the time for me:
The Ocean Blue – A Separate Reality