To me, the University District in Seattle seems a little bit like a second childhood home. After living in the same house since I was three years old, I was suddenly thrown in the middle of Seattle and essentially started my life over again. I lived in the dorms for two years, and after quickly tiring of HFS, I got a two-bedroom with my roommate from Freshman year. It was a third floor apartment looking south towards the UW Tower in a building that was built around 1920. Featuring hardwood floors, single pane windows, and a beautiful bathroom, it was a great mix between the new and the old. It had charm, and it was certainly a great location for students. Only two blocks North from the Tower, directly across the street from the (Un)Safeway, and four blocks from the Northeastern corner of campus, it was a great way to be a little more independent without facing a huge commute.
Eddy and I moved in three years ago. In a sense, I was trying to reboot my life while in the process of moving. I was finishing working at a job that I loved yet knew it wasn’t going to be around next summer, and coming off of a relationship I had maintained since High School. Suddenly single, jobless, and living without the security of the dorms, things were a little scary and new to me.
I did a lot of growing up while living at 4737 Brooklyn. I got to know a lot of awesome new people, had some great parties, faced my first major medical emergency, studied endless hours at Italian, and was living there while getting my first full-time job after graduating from college. We had a lot of cool temporary roommates during those years: Brian Hardtke used it as his homebase for a few months. His computer hooked up to his TV with MSNBC in the background, he existed solely upon diet Pepsi and whatever food he could find at the nearest open restaurant. Tom moved in the next year and brought his couch, which was awesome and sorely needed. We spent a lot of time playing Mass Effect 2 and DragonAge on his XBOX 360 while connected to the projector we were borrowing from the UW. It was a really sad day when Tom graduated and moved out. He was an awesome guy to hang out with and always a friendly face when my day wasn’t going well. James was almost an honorary third roommate: him and Eddy played Smash Brothers Brawl constantly, and it was always the Zelda Pirates level. I don’t know how many times I came home from school or fell asleep while hearing “Dragon Roost Island” play in the background while I heard Snake say “NOW!” or Lucas conjuring up another one of his psychic attacks.
The area wasn’t the best, but my room had an amazing street view that enabled my people-watching tenancies to get more than its share. The Safeway was dark and dingy when we first moved in, and attracted a lot of unsavory characters. Even after being renovated and being somewhat of a bright spot in the U-District, all sorts of folks hung around the place. Fist fights, drug overdoses, drunks, and “yellers” were all common sights. We had our fun with the Safeway passerbys as well. James often hid and yelled “HEY BEN!” in a creepy voice from our open window, and if they looked up, he followed up with, “WHAT ‘CHU GOT THERE BEN?” This was, of course, repeated with “HEY PAM!” if the target was a woman. Alas, the neighborhood got worse and we weren’t really amused or even entertained by the people who hung around Safeway and our building.
It was time to move, and move we did. Eddy’s off to a house to live with some friends, and I’m in a 1-bedroom unit all on my own. It should be quite the adventure.