Thoughtful Thursday: Address

November 15, 2012

Thoughtful ThursdayThe address of my new house is a very nice, normal address. The street name is a normal word. The house number feels like a nice number. Do I care? Kind of.

Out of nowhere, our otherwise very pragmatic realtor declared that our house number is good according to numerology. DH’s zen friend got excited that it is a good number according to feng shui. I don’t believe in either of those, but it just feels like a good number to me. I’ve lived in houses whose numbers were 5 digits, 4 digits, 3 digits, and 1 digit. In college, a friend whose parents’ house in a small town had a single digit house number teased me for living in a 5-digit house in a city; I teased him for living in the middle of nowhere. As an adult, I got my comeuppance when I moved to a street that had a single digit because there were literally 4 houses on the street. It was indeed in the middle of nowhere. My new house has a pleasant 3-digit number, in a reasonably populated part of the city. The number won’t get misheard by the pizza delivery guy like 15/50 or 17/70 (a couple of weeks ago, the delivery guy tried to deliver my food across the street to a house number that doesn’t exist because the phone guy wrote it down wrong). Although I often prefer odd numbers, this is a comforting even number. Round, but not too round.

The street name is even more relevant to my line of thought. Although my mother is now deceased, I’ve always been attuned to names that might be hard for her, since English wasn’t her first language. Some of my past street names gave her trouble, and my current (soon-to-be-former) street name would definitely have given her trouble; she would definitely have mispronounced it and probably have spelled it correctly but only with great effort. This new street has an understandable, straightforward name. In the neighborhood, there are 2 street names that I’m not sure how to pronounce, 3 that can easily be misspelled, and 7 that are flat-out ludicrous and fake-sounding. Another street a few blocks away is one letter different from Tamale’s real name. That doesn’t leave many acceptable street names in the neighborhood, so I lucked out. If a house had a bad number or weird name but was otherwise perfect, of course I’d still buy it. But, this address adds to the already overwhelming feeling that we’ve bought the perfect house.

Do you care about your house number or street name?

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11 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Address”

  1. Aryanhwy Says:

    As an undergrad, my husband once lived at 1234 [Streetname]. He said it was awful for getting pizza delivered, no one ever believed that this was a real address.

    My one real preference is for an address that doesn’t have an apartment number (even if the domicile is an apartment!). One of the unconscious ideals that I absorbed as a child was that people who lived in apartments were “lower class” (or, as I found out later…college students :)), and it wasn’t anything I wanted to advertise. I’ve come to learn that in big cities, this is definitely an incorrect inference, but I still prefer having a number which is mine only.

    The Dutch like naming streets after people — full names + title. In Amsterdam, we lived on Ingenieur Jakoba Mulderplein; Jakoba Mulder was the first Dutch woman to obtain an engineer’s degree. I rather liked living on that street.

    I was rather disappointed when we moved to Tilburg that we ended up on a rather boring street — Trompstraat. (Funny thing is, it’s named after General Tromp, but it’s the only street in the neighborhood named after a general that doesn’t have “General” in the street name, I have no idea why).

    One of the things I love about our new place in Heidelberg is the address: Marktplatz 6. It makes me happy every time I think of it.

  2. Mina Says:

    I live in the Fairy tales Neighbourhood, where all streets are named after fairy tales or the characters in them. My street is Sleeping Beauty. Dreamy, huh? πŸ™‚
    I don’t really care about the address though, as long as it is fairly easy to understand and spell.

  3. Photogrl Says:

    Most of my childhood, I lived on streets that were named after trees….Chestnut, Walnut, etc. Must have been a nature lover who got the chance to name them πŸ˜‰ Random fact, my Grandfather developed some subdivisions in his town, and he got to pick the names for the streets…One was named in a combination of his youngest daughter’s name and his first grandchild’s name, which was me! Kinda cool to say I have a street named after me.

    The street we live on now is pretty easy to say and spell, which is an advantage when you’re teaching a child their address.

    I will admit, that I was happy to find that my current address includes my favorite (lucky to me) number. πŸ™‚

  4. Elana Kahn Says:

    House number and street name didn’t even register with me when we were looking at place to live. The location was much more important, since we needed to be walking distance to the synagogue and close to other Jewish families. Being near the park was also a plus. Since I moved to Boston I’ve lived in all homes with two numbers (excluding the address at college when I was in the dorms…that was three digits). None of them have been nice round numbers, and two of the four streets had nice names that I didn’t really have to spell for people. Unfortunately I have to spell my current street name because it’s not a particularly common word even though there really is only one way to spell it.

  5. Shelby Says:

    I do care! The last street I lived on was so confusing to everyone over the phone and my current street is just as maddening. It’s a word in the English language not normally used and has 4 syllables, so it’s a mouthful. I’m pretty sure it’s Italian in origin and if you’re a great speller, you’ll probably get it right, but not likely (unless you live in the same town as it’s one of the bigger streets here). I already have to spell my last name multiple times for people and so with having to spell my street (sometimes also multiple times), I feel like business/customer calls are just a string of me shooting out unending sets of letters and not having an actual conversation. However, I’ve had 3 digit street numbers for awhile now, so I will take what simplicity I can get!

    I relate to what Aryanhwy said about apartment numbers. Although some of the apartments my husband and I lived in were nicer and more expensive than many of the houses we lived in, I prefer not having an apartment number for two reasons: 1. simplicity and 2. people’s perception. I shouldn’t care, but as a kid, my mom and I lived in subsidized apartments (that were nevertheless very nice) and it was then I developed the very distinct impression that my house, because it was an apartment (nevermind the fact subsidized) was lesser. I really don’t care as much as I did then, but enough where I do have a preference.

  6. strongblonde Says:

    oh man. this is something that is definitely an afterthought to me. i really liked my simple 3 digit house number growing up, but my street was long and you always had to be sure to put the “south” with it for anything….lest anyone end up on the north side (where they may be in danger). in college, of course, it didn’t matter. places had to be relatively close to campus and (somewhat) affordable. when b and i bought our first house i never even looked at the number. i thought the neighborhood was cute and i loved living across the street from an elementry school. i had visions of our kids just walking across the street for kindergarden. πŸ™‚ our current house, though, i have to admit feels a little strange. the number feels “off” somehow. it’s odd, but it is four numbers and made up of two odd numbers. does that make sense? like 5579, but not. our street name is funny to us, though, becasue it is the name of a tree. a tree that is not on our street at all. our street is filled with a million OTHER trees, but none of this particular species! πŸ™‚

  7. a Says:

    I am very particular about street names – well, not about influencing whether I’ll live there but about how happy I am to recite my address. Some flow, some do not. And if I think the name is awful, I’ll probably refer to it as something else. When we were building our house and living in a rented duplex on a street called Autumn Pine Dr, I called it Transient Row (It was filled with military people and other shorter term renters). Our current street has a long but easy name…and yet I always have to spell it. It’s a nice street name but whoever numbered stuff in our neighborhood was very silly. Our street has an east and a west portion, and they are approximately 1 city block apart. So, we often get West’s mail, package deliveries, service calls, and pizza. It was nice to get our lawn aerated that one time, though.

    My husband’s sister and her husband are sort of on a corner, and so they got to pick which street address they wanted. So, instead of the fairly pleasant sounding Manderleigh Estates Dr., they opted for the guttural Kraffel Lane. I don’t know about that.


  8. I thought *I* was the only one who did this!

    I knew, the last time we house-hunted, that I wanted an odd-numbered house on a named street. I didn’t want to live on a numbered street (like 28th Ave). I wasn’t aware WHY I had these preferences, so I unpacked it.

    Much of it was light. Named streets go North/South in my town, and on these front and back doors face East/West. Which means sun streaming in front and back windows during the mornings and afternoons. Odd numbers mean afternoon sun in the backyard.

    I got a named street — a pretty good one (maybe not for your mother). But an even number. Turned out to be a good thing. Our driveway gets afternoon sun (less snow shoveling in winter) and our backyard gets morning sun (cooler in the summer).

    In addition, there’s kind of a 4×4 feel to my addy. I ❀ it.

    Can't wait to know more about your address!

  9. Cat Says:

    I do care, but not much. It would have to be something really dreadful to stop me from buying a house I loved, but it would bug me forever if it was something annoying. So far I’ve lived on streets called Burden, Prairie, Oak, Christopher, and Roosevelt. Nice, solid names. But there are some neighborhoods with names that are just weird. Friends of ours live on a street that’s two letters off from a particular cactus. It’s not even a real word, but close. Did the developer just not know how to spell it? Did they not care? Shouldn’t you spell check that kind of thing before making it permanent? I’d tell you what it is, but there are NO other streets with this name in all of Google maps – BECAUSE IT’S NOT EVEN A WORD! <– So, yeah, it would bug me if I lived on a street name that was dumb, but I'd probably still buy the house if I really loved it and then just complain about it forever.

  10. St. Elsewhere Says:

    Not much…but a little bit.

    One of my previous addresses was when I lived in a building named after a famous monument. The building looked nothing like the monument, by any angle, and I was a little rattled because more than once someone pointed out that – And oh you live in X, big people, you!

    The house I spent much of my growing up years in, the house number of my in-laws and of the home we have purchased add up to the same digit. Pure coincidence, that.


  11. I’ve never really thought about it… The French city we live in has pretty conservative street naming, so no weird surprises there. I do however appreciate it that we now live in a street that is understandable for our Dutch and US family/friends as well so if mail is not arriving it’s really because of the crappy French postal service (well, I must admit that it improved a lot over the past few years, but I still wonder how many presents for our first son that were mailed in August went missing…) and not because someone copied our address wrong…


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