Monday, June 3, 2013

Mappy Monday: Bits And Pieces Of My Childhood

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email that said I was invited to try the latest update to Google Maps. I didn't really explore the program, until just this morning and lo and behold I was pleasantly surprised by something. Some street views that were previously unavailable were now miraculously able to be seen. Specifically, I could now see a street view of my childhood home in Queens, NY as well as the houses of my grandparents. These are homes I haven't seen in years, so my curiosity was peaked to see what sort of condition they were in.

I am happy to say that three of the four properties I looked at today are still kept up well for the most part.

My maternal grandmother Mary Bryant Horton lived in Springfield Gardens, about a fifteen minute drive away from my childhood home. It is a place I visited often through the years. I loved spending the night at grandma's because it meant I could stay up late and watch Fantasy Island. My grandmother helped raise my cousin Audrey who lived with her. In her bedroom there was an extra single bed that my brother would sleep on while I would snuggle in with my grandma in her bedroom. She would make eggs sometimes for breakfast or cornflakes with banana sliced on top. I still love cornflakes that way. 

One thing my grandmother prided herself on was her yard. Her house sat alongside a service road to the Belt Parkway, so you would always hear in the background the sound of cars passing by. I didn't mind that sound so much when I was little because it would lull me to sleep at night. Being so near to the parkway, garbage would often blow up into her yard. It wouldn't rest there for long though. She would be right out there to pick it up. The covered patio was swept, lawn mowed and colorful flowers were planted to decorate the beds outside. She loved flowers, especially rhododendrons. Here is a picture of me when I was twenty standing next to her garage where she had a beautiful fuchsia example.

Me circa 1993 in my grandma's side yard.

My mom and my cousin Audrey standing in front of the covered patio

Grandma sitting on her porch. You can see the service road behind her 
and the entrance ramp on to Belt Parkway.

Mom sitting on the same porch. Grandma's car parked in the driveway behind her.

I tried to find a picture of the front of the house for this post but alas, I have none. My mother has some I think at her house. For now, you won't really be able to see the house I knew growing up.

My grandmother Mary Horton lived at 181-15 North Conduit Ave. Springfield Gardens, NY.

Here it is on Google Maps:

Image courtesy of Google Maps.


And here's a picture from street level taken August 2012:


Image courtesy of Google Maps.


This was I have to say a bit heartbreaking to see but it is what it is. I still have the memories.

The good news is that the other three houses I viewed on Google Maps were in much better condition. Those I will feature in future posts.

6 comments:

  1. What sweet memories and brightly colored pictures. Your grandmother created a cheerful and neat home. And I'm sorry about the August 2012 photo from Google Maps. It looks as if it could be restored, though -- mainly the yard is untended. The covered patio still looks intact.

    It brings up so many emotions in me to return to a house I once lived in. Whatever condition it's in, improved or let go, I feel as if there is part of me in that place.

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    1. I like how you put that Mariann. There is a part of me in that place. Always will be. Thanks for your comments :)

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  2. Your lovely face hasn't changed a bit! You've inspired me to look up my old childhood homes!

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    1. You are so sweet Angella! I am glad I inspired you because you inspire me all the time with your writing.

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  3. Andrea, I enjoyed your loving tribute to your grandmother and her home. You're right about having the memories, because those are what make a home so special. Your grandmother and your mom look like the kind of ladies who would make you feel right at home from the moment you crossed the threshold. You've obviously inherited their warmth!

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    1. Oh you are too sweet! Thank you for your kind words :)

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