When I was young and broke, I had a shithole apartment in an old building in Oakland. $200 a month. The main disadvantage was that the building had a lot of cockroaches. They and I developed an uneasy cohabitation where they stayed hidden when the lights were on, and I didn't get out of bed when he lights were out. Occasionally we surprised each other.
There were some positives to the apartment. It was just above Lake Merritt, so it had a spectacular view. I was in a corner apartment on the top floor, andhad views to the north and the west. I opened the windows in the afternoon and got a nice breeze coming in from the west. I also had a fairly unrestricted view of the sunset, at almost all times of the year.
In the couple of years that I lived there, I watched the sun travel north, and then turn back and travel to its southernmost point, and then back again. This was when I first learned about the vernal and autumnal equinox, and the summer and winter solstices. I had a board on one of the window ledges, and would make a mark at the place where the sun set each day. It was pretty cool.
The other thing the apartment had going for it was a flat roof that was accessible by some stairs. I would lie up there at night sometimes and look at the stars. One night I was up there lying on the roof, watching a lunar eclipse, listening to Pink Floyd on my Walkman, which was the 80s version of an iPod.
A black and white photo that I took in that apartment. It is a sort of still-life with an empty wine bottle and a pack of Camel cigarettes, with a fruit poster and a ticket to a Pink Floyd concert on the wall. The great thing about this photograph is that I remember taking it, 33 years ago. I still have the Pink Floyd ticket. It was to a concert I attended in Cologne, Germany just after the Animals album was released in 1977. Last night I fell asleep in my chair listening to a live recording from the same tour when they played in Boston. Malida woke me up and reminded me to come to bed.
Anyway, we went out for a walk today, and it was a lovely first day of spring. Everything is so green.