Google Teleporter isn’t a real product…yet! But I was able to use Google Streetview to take me back to a childhood home, and it felt pretty amazing. Sure, the Streetview feature isn’t anything new, but once in a while I’m surprised by it’s reach and ability to intersect with my own life.
Here’s an example
I’ve been slowly working my way through a huge box of old photos from my grandma’s house, scanning a few each weekend and posting them on a family photo archive. I’m using MailChimp (free up to 2,000 subscribers) to notify subscribed family members and friends when fresh scans go online, and they help fill in the details; places, people, dates and even the backstory. It’s been a wonderful way to honor my grandparents and keep their memory alive.
When I was in elementary school, I lived on a tree-lined street called Middlebrook Ave. in Cincinnati, Ohio. One of the scans last weekend was of that very house.
That’s my first bike there on the right. Metallic green with a banana seat, a sissy bar and flared chrome fenders. Sweet.
I have a lot of fond memories of this home. My best friend — Howard Lee — lived in the house next door. Every summer, all the neighbors held a huge block party with grilled hot dogs, burgers, sodas and games. And the neighbors even put up a volleyball net across the street for impromptu games during the summer.
I also remember going to the YMCA on Saturday mornings, taking swimming lessons (hated them) and a whole range of other classes. They had a BB gun shooting range, archery, trampolines, a chemistry class (Kids with bunsen burners? Really?) and my personal favorite, the magic class. Yes, the class was led by a magician and every week he’d teach us a new trick. I parlayed that newfound skill into an obsession, and was performing at birthday parties, school and even the fair. But that’s a story for another day…
Back to the house on Middlebrook, and Google Teleporter –er– Street View. I was wondering if the house was even still there. Just for kicks, I pulled up the house in Google Street View. Here’s what it looks like today:
The bike is gone, but the house looks pretty much the same. Ah, the magic of technology!