This is (a very sunburned, post-cross country road trip with Dad) me in my very first apartment in West Hollywood (note the aforementioned Ikea furniture). I lived in this apartment, on Martel just south of the Sunset Strip (and within walking distance of one of my favorite haunts, El Compadre), for only two years before hopping over the hill to a house in the Valley.
The place was fairly small (a junior one-bedroom) and unremarkable, and I can’t say that all the experiences that played out between those walls were especially great ones, but I loved it. I loved having my very own space, put together exactly the way I wanted. I loved pulling into my garage in my very own car, and unlocking the door to my very own apartment with my very own key. I loved my low bed with the hot pink throw, and loved the view of the Hollywood sign from my living room window. I loved making dinners-for-one in my tiny kitchen, and loved curling up on my white couch (I always wanted a white couch) in the evening with a glass of wine and some Elimidate reruns (because there was no one there to change the channel on me).
Sort of like your first love, there’s just something about your first apartment that stays with you. It might not have been perfect…but it was yours.