Friday, June 19, 2009
Last fall, we made the move to our new town. While it is still close enough to our Los Angeles friends and family to be only a moderately annoying 30-ish minute commute, it is in many ways, a different planet.
Our old place was in a typical Los Angeles overlap neighborhood. Two blocks to the east were gorgeous multi-million dollar homes. Two blocks to the west were low income housing units. To the north a series of Sikh ashrams and to the south a really good Kosher bagel bakery. We floated in a no-man’s land of expensive, speeding cars and 24 hour police helicopters. There was a lot going on.
Our notable neighbors were:
Nextel Guy – He screamed obscenities into his speaker phone as he paced our block every weekday afternoon at 4pm. We think he lived in the alley. This was never confirmed.
Meth Lady – She walked her dogs every day and goaded them into fighting the corner house dogs through the tall wooden fence, while yelling, “That’s right! Get ‘em! Tear ‘em up!”
Weird Michael - A Persian gentleman in his mid 50s. He drove a baby blue early model Datsun 280-Z and by our best estimates was running a brothel from the empty side of his duplex.
We don’t miss any of them so much.
There are many reasons why we picked our new town to be our home; nice neighborhoods, great schools, slower pace, and less expensive rent. For those reasons, we were excited to make the move. What we were not prepared for were our new neighbors.
Miss Caroline - Our neighbor across the street. She came to our door, shortly after we moved in, introduced herself and her middle-school aged children and gave us a plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies.
Miss Belva and Miss Mary – These sisters in their 70s live next door with their two small dogs. Upon hearing from me that while they weren’t home, our dog Daisy had dug under the fence and let herself into their house through the dog door, Miss Mary said, “Let her in any time she wants to play!”
Mr. John – A gent who lives across the way with his wife and 90-something year-old mother-in-law. He dresses exclusively in blue and knows all of the facts related to our street’s drainage easement situation. On Easter, he left a candy filled Easter basket on our doorstep for our son Bob.
When we woke up Christmas morning, our porch looked like, well, Christmas morning. There were cards and bags of cookies and sweets from various neighbors on our block. If we were to move, I know we would miss them. (And we’d miss the neighbors too.)