A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Wow, I just realized that I have to stop saying that I live in Tha’ Hood ™ now. Damn.

But, a little bit about my new surroundings. In short, I am loving it! I actually feel like I am part of a neighborhood, for starters. I know more of my neighbors’ names and more about them after one week than I did in 5 years in the suburbs. All of that urban planning/sociology stuff they say about how the orientation of suburban homes towards the private backyard and away from the street and, hence, the neighbors, leads to isolation is totally true. We have no backyards here in my new home. We have old-timey front porches, and people who sit on them, and sweep them, and talk amongst themselves as they do it.

My new neighbors are great so far. They don’t even deserve insulting nicknames yet. The house on one side of me is empty, and being completely refurbished by a crew of Russian contractors. (Ok, I call them The Russian Mafia, I guess that’s a nickname.) That house is my main worry, because I am afraid breeders will buy it once it is done and up for sale. On the other side, there is an old Italian lady (with a strong accent) who lives alone except for her little psycho dog. But she keeps the dog inside most of the time, so no big deal. She is so sweet! She is always gardening and baking…on Wednesday, she even gave us homemade pepperoni rolls that she’d made! She gave some to the folks on the other side of her house too.

Those people (the folks two doors down from me) are also new to the street, so I guess Old Italian Lady is trying to make all us younguns feel welcome. They are a family of four who lived in NYC, then the Midwest, and think that PGH is a great compromise between the two. Their kids are very quiet, mostly. They have a boy Crack Monkey’s age who does make some noise when he’s out playing, but it is appropriate, normal kinda kid-playing noise, not future-psychopath/arm-caught-in-a-wood-chipper noise. It also STOPS after a reasonable amount of time. Disproves what Crack Monkey’s dad used to say, namely, “Oh all the kids we know scream a lot.” Hmph. Maybe I’ll dub new neighbor boy The Anti-Crack Monkey. The mom works at a local college. I dunno what the guy does, but he’s very nice. All I know about him is he’s very geekily into bird-watching, wears Dockers every day, and plays ball in the yard with his kids. Who does THAT anymore?! The whole family is always doing things together, going to the local pool, etc. In this day and age, they are like a freakish anomoly, but in a good way.

Across the street from me there is a 60-ish year old lady who works at a bank, and her 30-something son. I haven’t met the son yet (he’s been on vacation), but the lady is nice. And a fellow OCD clean-freak. Except she even cleans outside. You should see this lady’s driveway…you could eat off of it. My cousin Rachel and I watched her spend the better part of a day sweeping it. Then the next day, she hosed it down! And cleaned her porch windows. You go, lady. Anyway, she was very friendly, has lived here for 15 years, and gave me the whole history of the street, who has lived in which houses, etc.

At the end of our street, at the intersection, there is an old guy with a motorcycle. He parks it on his front porch, which I think is really cool. BW has had some bike-related chats with him. There’s a Korean family and a Russian couple a little farther off. Right now I honestly don’t have a single person to complain about. Mind-numbing, isn’t it?

2 Responses to “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

  1. kta Says:

    Sounds like a great neighborhood!!! :-) Almost makes me want to come visit you….but I don’t know you! lol Enjoy your new surroundings! :-D

  2. LOUP Says:

    I know each neighbor one either side of me and that is it. The one with kids … I know one of their names –but I remember their dog is named “Kalie” and ask about her frequently. The other neighbor is divorce with 2 dogs … I know their names too.

    The rest of the street is quiet but I just don’t want to know them. They all appear to be snobs or religious freaks trying to convince me to pray with them. Or they are just dee dee dee with NO common sense.

    I miss living in a neighborhood with friends all around. But ultimately I want to move into Graceunderland ASAP.

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