5 years, 15 homes.

Only the places I’ve lived for more than a month…

Richmond Ave, Buffalo NY 14222

Forthcoming… the “poets’ house” of Buffalo… the House in House Press. Only planning to be here through the summer (~3 mos) while looking for more stable/suitable housing in Buffalo.

Meeker Ave, New York NY 11222

Like a set from a movie about poor artists in NYC. ~5 mos.

Grady Ave, Charlottesville, VA 22903

Easily the nicest and most expensive apartment I’ve ever lived in. ~6 mos.

12th Ct S, Birmingham, AL 35222

My parents’ condo in Alabama. It’s a really nice place. ~6 mos.

Madison Ave, Charlottesville, VA 22903

Huge but dark. I think the cats still think of this as Home. ~16 mos.

Banérgatan, 11522 Stockholm Sweden

You know you really love someone when you can live with them in an 8×14 room in their parents’ house for months at a time.

(I spent the summer in Käxed, Sweden but I forgot the address.)

(I also sublet a place in Stockholm for 3 mos but I forgot the address.)

Schelleingasse, 1040 Wien, Austria

With the pink old lady from DN. A weird apartment but a great location in Vienna. ~6 wks.

Summer St, Buffalo NY 14222

A horrible, drafty, dark little place like a cave, with water damage warping every wall and floor like an Arakawa and Gins structure, left filthy by the tenant; pretty outside and on a pretty little street. ~4 mos.

Franklin St, Buffalo NY 14202

Other than the house I grew up in, the house that’s felt most like Home. Almost 2 years. I’m kind of hoping it becomes available for rent again.

Kruckenbergstrasse, Berlin

This was a really great, well-planned studio apartment and I got a lot of work done there. I also met my friend Christian, who lived on the floor above me. I disliked Berlin (too big, and German culture gets to me quickly) and was depressed but the apartment was great. ~6 wks.

Linwood Ave, Buffalo NY 14209

The house Aaron and I shared from June to October 2002, and which he later lived in. It turned from pink to blue seemingly overnight after I left, like Leland’s hair turning white.

West Ferry, Buffalo NY 14222

The house I moved to when I left Aaron for the first time. 6 mos.

Meyer Rd, Buffalo, NY 14261

The suburban 70s-concrete-chic apartment I shared with Aaron from 1999-2002.

We could probably talk about how I am afraid of commitment. I think it is my grandmother’s gypsy blood flowing through me telling me to move on move on move on. I am a nomad in a culture of stability. Maybe this is why I like Deleuze and Guattari so much? I have considered just commandeering my parents’ RV… maybe when the price of gas ever drops. Or maybe my fear of turning 30 and still moving around like a kid with ADHD will create enough internalized social pressure to make me sit down in a place for awhile.

Granted, this list includes various study-abroad type situations and includes two graduate programs. But within those graduate programs, I lived 3 places in Buffalo and 2 in Charlottesville, when if I’d had more foresight, more stable relationships, and less depression I could have lived in one place in each of those cities.

We are discussing real estate trends, and Kthread points me to Money magazine… where I find this and this (Buffalo and Birmingham! And three cities in WNY!). FYI, Buffalo is not in the top 10 snowiest or coldest cities!


About Jessica Smith

This entry was posted in Birmingham, Buffalo, Charlottesville, Greenpoint, moving, New York, Sweden, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to 5 years, 15 homes.

  1. jdlarge08 says:

    Still seeking private access where, presumably, the poetry can be found.

  2. there isn’t poetry on the private access part of the blog. it’s just private posts meant for a limited audience. if you want poetry, best to buy it in book form at etsy or explore looktouch.com.

  3. jdlarge08 says:

    A lot of exploring has yielded not enough poetry to make a determination to spend the money on the books when there are so many books of known quality remaining to compete for the limited funds.

    Can you suggest some specific posts, to help me avoid wasting more time looking without finding?

  4. There is tons of poetry up at looktouch.com; specific chapbooks can also be accessed via the links under “About the Author” (right column of this blog). I recommend the one called bird-book. The poetry in bird-book is similar to that in OFC. You can also read a lot about OFC at its webpage.

  5. Note: Long Comment
    Don’t feel too bad – I’m 35 and still on the search for “home,” with a guestimate of 10 moves in the last ten years. Turning 30 doesn’t automatically make you put down roots or anything, at least that I’ve discovered. Husband G and I even owned two houses early on (in Ohio and Virginia, where property was cheap cheap, and of course, back then I was earning a salary instead of freelancing.) But neither place was right for us. We’ve stayed in the NW for eight years, but only two years in the same place (and that place was owned by a nice couple waiting to retire, then they retired and wanted their place back, reasonably enough.)
    I feel that somehow it’s very liberating to move. You get rid of lots of stuff, and there are always new possiblities – friends, libraries, horizons. Sure we’re not building “house equity wealth,” but I always figured that wasn’t really a poet’s way anyway, right? And you sound like you’ve had lots of fun adventures. That can better than equity.

  6. hi jeannine… i just put your book in a box 😉 … i’ve been thinking of investing in real estate in buffalo, since i have roth IRA money that could be used to such an end (but cannot be used for paying down credit card debt) and real estate is *so* cheap that it seems it could hardly get any cheaper. at home, we joke about how my parents’ first home in the 1970s was around $30k and how ridiculously cheap that was… but you can still get a house in Buffalo for $30k. And I like the idea of paying a mortgage rather than paying rent (a.k.a. someone else’s mortgage). but on the other hand, i recently made the resolution not to sign a year-long lease again because they’re too difficult to get out of when my job changes and/or i want to move. I think if I have kids, then i’ll probably stop moving around so much because it would be hard on them. but before that, there’s not much of an incentive to stay put.

  7. I’m with you. I dream about the whole “three bedroom and picket fence” thing but the truth is, I don’t want to settle down yet and I’d be bored if I did! I really hope Buffalo is good to you, for you, etc., and you get back to the writing! And I was so scared when you posted about Foursquare with the protection on – you’re not going to close it, are you? I think it’s a wonderful project.

  8. oh, no– i’m still planning to do 4SQ for 4 yrs (initial Secret Plan), I am just thinking about doing more single-author issues b/c it’s hard to get 4 authors to all show up at the same time! Maybe you can help me put the word out?

  9. t. says:

    gypsy blood = projective verse?


    p.s. i did the address and phone number compilation thing when i left DC last summer, tho did not realize the full implications of what i was doing and shredded a bunch of blank checks with old phone #s on them — irrecoverable otherwise…

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