Tuesday, February 10, 2009

life at the half


a few months ago when i was pitching something into a trash can - the large wooden kind with the swinging flap that says 'thank you' - i completely knocked the door off the front. and before i could slink away to a barista and admit what i had done (not necessary anyway since all eyes were already on me), boom! flashback. instantly i saw the front door of the apartment where i lived during my senior year in college, which nearly always fell off if it wasn't opened just the right way.

and of course that set my mind on a racetrack thinking about all the strange stuff that went on there - in terms of weirdness that place topped even the house we're living in now. i signed the lease primarily because it had 1/2 in the address, which satisfied a housing desire that had been with me from childhood, but as you can see here, i got so much more out of the deal.

402 1/2 was an ancient structure chopped up into six apartments at one point and quite clearly never renovated; we're lucky the thing never went up in smoke. i had a fabulous roommate with a keen eye for detail - she discovered the sickle propped in the front yard and the line of students filing out of our neighbor's basement with their stashes of illegal goods, and of course neither of us could miss the pile of chicago tribunes growing on the porch but obviously they didn't stress us too much.

but my favorite thing on this list (and the most distressing at the time) was the bathtub incident. it was, of course, the one morning i woke up late, did a bedroll into class, and ran back home to shower before an event that afternoon only to find our bathtub sitting on the front porch. our landlord had decided to replace it with a cheesy shower stall, but he hadn't bought the replacement yet. put us in quite a fix.

and today? i googled the address. it's a moroccan restaurant.

where is the weirdest place you've lived?

25 comments:

~Barb~ said...

Wow! Isn't it hilarious the things that your remember when your memory is triggered by some random event? You talking about "the half" reminds me of the strangest place I ever lived...a house in the country where, I found out after we moved in, goats were allowed to roam free by the neighbor down the road. I'd wake up and find 3 or 4 goats on my car or front porch...even had a baby goat born on my porch once. OMG, talk about weird (and serving to piss me off)!
smile. be free. have fun.
Peace & Love,
♥ Barb ♥

Bella Sinclair said...

Oh...my...gosh! How hysterical! And your bathtub on the front porch -- very bizarre. Sounds like something straight from a David Sedaris novel. HA!

In college, I lived in an old, old house that had been divided into 4 or 5 apartments. It was on a steep hill, and I swear the whole house was just a tad tilted. Wood paneling that had been painted green and yellow, linoleum floors, and one bathroom for every two apartments. My landlord was supposedly the producer or manager or something for that heavy metal band Anthrax. Luckily, our bathtub never strayed.

Krissy said...

haha! that's so awesome. I once lived in a strange house over 100 years old, it had some weird nook and crannies but nothing as great as your stories :)

Christy said...

That is a tie -- between the upstairs of the house on Ohio Street with the columns that hung (yes, hung) from the porch ceiling (my dad made the mistake of leaning on one while visiting me in college, and it swung wildly out into the yard while he attempted to regain his balance) and the house made of spackle in East Lawrence, just two doors down from the meth lab (or was it a crack house? I can't remember now). Oh, the stories I could tell...

aimee said...

i should have never posted this at night. i'm laughing so hard already i'll never get to sleep. i'm trying to imagine how i'd react to finding a goat on my car or a recently birthed one on my front porch, or finding a relative swaying from a house column and holding on for dear life. or bella, living in an ancient house on a steep hill - not sure i'd do it. but in college one doesn't think about those things. i didn't.

joanne said...

after reading these stories i know i have not yet lived in my wildest, weirdest place yet...and with the laughing i'm doing i'm now putting it on the list of things to aim for :)

messyfish said...

o h your art is so amazing. I just love it, so simple, but complex. I am trying to copy (highest form of flattery!?) but to no avail :-(

Megan Coyle said...

wow, that's ridiculous about the bathtub!

the weirdest place I lived was when I went abroad to Austria and my host family lived on a farm. Apparently all the men in that family loved hunting and their walls were covered with mounted antlers and stuffed game. And since I'm an animal person, it was a little creepy.

Gracia said...

That it is now a Moroccan restaurant is brilliant. Hmm, I wonder what has become of places I once lived in... fingers crossed it is as superb as this gem of information.

Sharon Wagner said...

My first job out of college I worked with a guy who lived by MCAD. The bathtub in his apartment was permanently installed in the hallway between the bathroom and kitchen. Does that make the hall the bathen?

soulbrush said...

this is so funny from beginning to end. never heard of a 1/2 a building address before. the wierdest polace i ever lived was after i got divorced...the guy upstairs had 3 girlfriends and they all knew about each other!!!

cindy : quaint said...

you are so funny ... i hope you finally fell a sleep! i am hopeless again and have only lived in three places my entire life and they were pretty normal. we did have some strange neighbors though who we referred to as the marx brothers due to their kind of strange look.

Esti said...

the image of the bathtub in the front porch made me smile. Funny.

Anairam said...

What a wonderful story! I am wondering about the owner of all those Chicago Tribunes though - maybe he/she is still inside one of the cupboards? under the floorboards? ... spooky ...

Nina Crittenden said...

Most of my homes have been pretty "normal", but the drugstore I used to work at is now a spa, and the 2 restaurants I waited tables in are now a bank and a gym.

L'Atelier said...

lol! i am so amused by this- and my mind is racing...
my whole childhood i lived in heidiland in a lovely normal home- then i decided to start moving around the globe..so plenty of places we lived(we moved alot!)
i think the wildest had to be Dan Hassani House in Shkodra, Albania- we had it all there, watercuts, electricity cut, ahm a floor missing- so you could see from the entrance hall right into the second floor-a gun battle around the house- you name it we had it...
the wierdest though had to be my (thankfully short) stay in Kishisland, we stayed in a nice hotel- but it was like we time travelled to the 70's. it was really really spooky! the enitre decor and the staff was stuck in the 70's

Julia said...

You have some of the neatest posts :) I lived on the third floor of town house of a host family while in Birmingham, England. There was one radiator in the room and my room mate and I were perpetually freezing!

Kelly C. said...

hilarious!!! i kind of think that the place i live now is the weirdest, only because i see and experience things every day i would never have imagined (mostly crack smoking, selling, and everything that comes with it in a neighborhood where the people who actually live here aren't partaking in any of it)... funny, sad, maddening, joyfully random.

painted fish studio said...

love love love the 40-1/2 stories! sadly, i wasn't quite adventurous in my 20's and lived in pretty solid apartments. i did live in loring park for 4 years, and everyone thought i was nuts, based on its reputation in the early 80's as a not-very-good place to be in the evenings...

●• Tiny Red said...

cool spread!
the bathtub incident was surreal hehehe

please sir said...

Love hearing about your old apartment - sounds like good memories!

Ali said...

Thank you for your comment. I really like tha handwriting in your drawings.

Brenda said...

I was Aimee's roommate in the 1/2 house and her eloquent description of it is accurate. However, when we lived in the house and referred to it, there were always a lot of expletives used!

I would like to add that when the landlord took away our clawfoot tub, we were left with a hole in the floor for a few days. We lived on the second floor, so as you entered into the foyer, you could look straigt up and into our bathroom!

Didn't our shower used to leak into the foyer, too?

Not a single thing/floor/window/counter in that house was level, either.

We had a good time, though. I miss you, Aimee! Thanks for bringing back so many memories!

Ces said...

A moroccan restaurant! I enjoyed reading your post. I too love to reminisce. Amazing about the Tribune and I would have had a violent convulsive fit if I found that bathtub in the front porch. Imagine going to that restaurant and telling the owner, "A wonderful artist used to live here!"

daisy janie : scoutie girl said...

We totally had a house like this our junior year of college. A shower that would shock you when turned the knobs, water that gushed from seemingly nowhere in the unfinished basement, peeping Toms, a mouse that pushed pieces of tinfoil around our kitchen all night. (I only know this b/c I waited up for it with a flashlight to track down the strange noise.) My fave was the fact that our landlord would never come to mow the lawn one summer - so we had 1 ton of sand dumped in the backyard, put up some tiki torches and held a never-ending beach party for 2 mos. Priceless look on his face the next time he showed up with his trusty mower.