I grew up on Eastwood Dr. with one house separating my best friend and me. She’s still my best friend today – Erin Marie Rademan-Alonso. Her phone number is one of the only ones I know by heart. When we were kids I don’t think I realized how much her friendship meant to me until I heard she might be moving. I was devastated. Fortunately, they never moved and we graduated high school from those houses. We swam in her backyard, terrorized her cat, rollerbladed down to the culdesac, and rode bikes up and down the street. Only she was the brave one who was willing to ride it down one of the very steep twin hills that lead to Brookdale.
During college, I lived on Commercial St. in Springfield, MO in a loft above the office of a pet magazine. I worked as a barista right down the street and was within walking distance of the oldest pub in town. I took a job doing alterations for a vintage store right next to the coffee shop and it was there that I was introduced to the world of blogging and digital marketing. Commercial St. had a farmers market most weekends and the best vintage stores. I had a bike there too, only this one had a basket. I discovered photography during this time and remember those years as being extremely creative and my ideas flowed freely.
In New York, I lived in the East Village where many nights I’d swing into a Chinese restaurant and pick up a small togo box of rice to fit my internship budget. It was only $2. It was during this time I discovered yoga at a donation-based studio in St. Mark’s Place. It was hot in there, not because they had heaters turned on but that NYC summer with the windows open hot. I’ve never been in a more crowded yoga practice since then, but back then that’s all I knew. I’d frequent the farmers market at Union Square there too. I had three roommates and I remember using them as my models for photoshoots for a backpack company I was interning for. We had so much fun on rooftops and eating curry at any time of the night.
My host in S. Korea placed me in a studio apartment about a 30-minute walk from the school I taught English at. The bed on the floor was always warm because the floor was heated. It had a kitchen the width of my wingspan and the bathroom and shower were one in the same. The sunroom was where I hung-dried all of my clothes except for my socks which just got tossed on the floor because the warm floor would dry them just fine. I quickly ran out of closet space there and I honed in on my origami-making skills. I made plenty of meals sitting on the floor on a small TV tray. That said, I wasn’t in my apartment a whole lot other than to sleep. My social calendar in Korea was very full.
Today I live on Tanner Bridge in a ranch-style home that’s decorated with everything I love and where the sunlight floods in. My husband and I have started a few businesses at the kitchen table and we host Airbnb guests from all over. Our dog, Preston, has his backyard and we’re only a few minutes away from our favorite stretch of the Greenway Trail – my favorite place to make morning phone calls while “P” chases squirrels and deer.
The places in which we live shape us. We pick up pieces along the way, keep what works, and leave what doesn’t. Whether it be the neighbors or roommates, the things within walking distance, or the house itself, they have a part in who we are. In this chapter of your life, what makes where you live special?
Welcome to the neighborhood issue,
Missy Creed McFerron, Publisher(she/her/hers)