20 September 2012
our 'hood, our city
Sometimes my heart swells up so much when I think about our neighborhood.
For our anniversary this summer, we walked four blocks to our favorite restaurant for dinner. The best server offered us celebratory flan & Baileys after we finished our meal. Then we grabbed lawn chairs and walked over to Park Playhouse for free outdoor theater with a bottle of champagne.
Then a month or two ago, Chris was outside on the sidewalk cleaning up a salvaged door we bought at the Habitat ReStore (what up?!). Every single person that walked by said hello and complimented the door or asked about it. He was practically getting catcalls over it. At the same time, I was doing a bit of patio gardening out on our back deck. Our next door neighbors came outside to their deck and asked me if we wanted their old patio chairs, since they had just bought new ones. We did, so they simply handed them over the railing to me.
After all of those nice happenings, I had decided it was about time to make mojitos and watch the Olympics. So I walked to our neighborhood wine & liquor shop, which is the nicest spirits shop I've ever been in, to find a bottle.
Another week, I think it was on a Wednesday, there was a free Open Air Cinema viewing of Star Trek (2009) in the Empire State Plaza. They put up a big projector and screened it under the stars, with the New York State Capitol standing tall in the background. We brought a picnic of sliced tomatoes, veggie wraps and mason jar cocktails and enjoyed a few extra hours outside in our neighborhood.
The windows were open, people were out on stoops and back decks and I love it. I wish everyone could experience those nights like I experienced them. Maybe they would put aside their prejudice and fear and learn to love this little city and my neighborhood. They'd understand why we forgo convenient parking and impenetrable privacy. They'd feel a part of this community, and they'd love it.
There are other neighborhoods in my city that could use even more love, because ours is actually kind of ritzy if you are down with city life. Neighborhoods with rich history, important stories, colorful cultural gems. All of these neighborhoods with so much charm. Regardless of where I end up living throughout my life, I'll always fight like hell for these neighborhoods and small cities and big ones too.