The Perfect Neighborhood

Recently, some friends were telling me about a new apartment they found. “It’s brand new. It’s right next to the freeway out in the suburbs in a gated community. It’s right next to Wal-mart.”

“Hmmm… that sounds awful,” I thought. But still, they were excited because it was just what they were looking for. It seems strange that everyone has different ideas about what qualities make good neighborhoods. I love my neighborhood. But it’s interesting that what I think are some of the neighborhood’s best qualities, others think are its biggest drawbacks.

I like that my yard is extremely small – I don’t really want to do yard work anyway. I like that the streets are narrow and have sidewalks that invite “strangers” to walk past my home. I like that I have no idea who owns the cars parked on the street in front of my home. I like that there is barely 5 feet between my home and the home next to mine. I like that my neighborhood is culturally, ethnically, and economically diverse. I also like that there are apartments a stone’s throw from my home. I like that my garage is detached from my home. I like that my home is nearly 100 years old. Yet these are all things some people would consider drawbacks.

Sometimes it’s funny to see how people react when I tell them where I live.

“Oh, I used to live in that neighborhood, but it just got too awful, I had to leave.” I heard that from someone at church.

Sure there are drawbacks. I wish some of my neighbors wouldn’t litter as much. I wish there was less crime. I wish some of the single-family homes nearby were owner occupied so they would be more financially invested in the community. But overall, I love my neighborhood.

5 comments to The Perfect Neighborhood

  • oooh, I love our neighborhood too! I bet the gated community doesn't have any murals of Lucy punching Charlie Brown and him saying "Life without education is like a punch in the mouth". I bet it also doesn't have anyone selling mangos on a stick from their front yard. Sometimes I wish we knew more of our neighbors better- for some reason I picture this being more common in the suburbs, but I'd probably too lazy to go meet them there too.

  • I love your neighborhood! And I TOTALLY love your house! It's nice and old, completely right up my alley! It's quite reminiscent of my gramma's old place that was built in the 1920's… gosh I miss that house!

  • Tara

    I like your descriptions and finding out some of the things that you guys like about your neighborhood. I like your neighborhood too because I haven't gotten mugged there yet…

  • My boyfriend is looking for a house right now that he will purchase and move into before we get married. We both agree with you on the "small yard" thing, because we also hate doing yard work!

  • Amen to that! Here's another tip: never water the lawn and it will never require cutting!