I came of age in the 90’s and was fifteen when the hit show Melrose Place aired for the first time. The apartment building in the show sported a courtyard pool and was populated with next-door friends: my idea of California cool.
Leaving behind rural central NY at age twenty-three, I arrived in the land of sunshine and opportunity; a coffee table strapped to the roof of my car.
I found my Melrose Place. The courtyard pool was instead a cement car park and the kinship community of friends and impromptu barbecues never materialized like in the Hollywood version. It was, however, one of those first big life adventures that are themselves magical experiences.
Years later, having made Los Angeles my home, some of the magic has worn off, replaced by life’s realities. Those apartment buildings with their names alluding to paradise still elicit those feelings I had at fifteen: dreams of California and endless possibilities.