I moved here in September when it was a little bit chilly and everybody was retreating indoors. Over the winter I've barely seen anything of my neighbours.
Now, with the obscenely beautiful weather, I'm learning a bit more about them than I'd like to. We all have little patios so we're sort of in each other's faces. Plus I'm living next door to the Brady Bunch, a family whose uncountable children simply cannot be held within in the confines of a two-bedroom house, so they spill out in all directions and are pretty much below every window and inescapable.
I'm a much more relaxed person now than I used to be, so I am better able to view their activities as "healthy play" as opposed to "intrusively noisy." And I can (so far) drown them out when I really need to concentrate by turning on the furnace fan, which provides the added benefit of air circulation and which the previous owners had on pretty much constantly.
Fortunately this community does not seem to host partiers, at least not the type for whom partying is a lifestyle instead of just a diversion. I much prefer the sound of children playing than the sound of thumping music. And even more fortunately, my other neighbours -- the ones I share a wall with -- are so quiet that I occasionally worry about them. This is a far cry from the days of yore: the barking daschund, the wrestling pre-teens on the stairway, the pot-fueled 2:00am guitar parties on a chilly Tuesday morning.
I think this will be good. I don't know how much any of these people will like me...some of them say hello when I'm watering my terminally thirsty shrubbery, while others just walk past.
Other good things: this place is so nice and tidy that it's a pleasure to clean...well, as pleasurable as cleaning can be. Zsa Zsa adores her extended patio time and her tense exchanges with the Stray Badass Cat, who I surreptitiously spray with water when it looks like things are going poorly.
A VERY good thing: just across the expressway from where I live is the beautiful, unspoiled wilderness of Bechtel Park, but to get there I have to take a huge detour around all the fences and across the overpass. I've noticed a little stream that travels UNDER the expressway and into the park, and I've been wondering if I couldn't splash my way over there that way.
So on Friday I started exploring, and holy cow! The stream does indeed travel through a tunnel, and right beside it there is a SECOND tunnel...FOR PEDESTRIANS! It's long and spooky and black -- the kind of thing that city planners don't build anymore for safety reasons -- but thanks to some skillfully-demolished fences it provides convenient access to the park. Not a place to go at night, but a pleasant and adventuresome trip for the noon hour wanderer in search of some peace.
I think I'll need to use it a few times during the warm patio weather.