I had a chance to visit the Bay area last weekend.

I used to live there. I spent about 7 years there.

Now that I’ve lived in L.A. and am a homeowner, I look at my old neighborhoods with new eyes.

Fact is, when I lived there I had no chance to become a homeowner. The houses there had nothing to do with my life. I lived in apartments, and the houses I passed on the streets made no impression on me.

I saw them. I appreciated some aspects of them. But it was like the art hanging on the wall of a restaurant I might frequent. I might notice them and admire aspects about them, but they were just background noise.

Now I that i spend a lot of time on and in my home, I have a baseline to compare.

L.A. and the Bay area grew up around the same time. The ranch houses there are very similar. Now I see with new eyes.

I also see better what I always suspected:

I lived in seedy neighborhoods. I tried to find the cheapest possible apartments, and that meant they were a little scary.

I guess it worked out. I made it out of scary rentworld into my own mortgage.

But I have attained a sense of neighborhood. I guess I can trust my own judgement a little more now.

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