Thursday, November 18, 2010

Getting Noticed in our New Neighborhood

Yesterday I went to campus for a jog by myself. On the way home I crossed the street to our apartment and a friendly gentleman struck a running pose and commented: "What, no partner today?". I had no idea who this guy was and his question caught me off guard. I quickly replied "not today" and headed home.

What? People recognize me?

Then I realized, I've lived here for nearly three months! We do stand out a bit because of our race, but we're particularly hard to miss in the morning because a) we're running and b) I'm wearing a neon yellow reflector jacket.

Neighborhood, you recognize me? Well, I've started to recognize a few things about you:
  • I like to watch you, Speedy Scooter Man, fly down the middle of the road in your motorized chair at 20 miles per hour. Where are you going in such a hurry? Why don't you use the sidewalks or at least wear a helmet?
  • I'm grateful for you, Talented Opera Singer. Maybe you don't live in our building, we are so close you might live in a different building all together, but when the windows are open I feel like I'm at my own private concert.
  • I tolerate you, Cat Lady Across The Street. Why you've decided to invest in cat food for the 20 stray black cats in our neighborhood is beyond me, but I'm sure they appreciate your effort.
  • You terrify me, Pigeon Flock On The Corner. Why must you get all riled up every time I walk by? Don't you migrate? Isn't there a park you could hang out in?
Thank you, Man Downstairs, for your understanding when I bribe you with a bar of Lindt dark chocolate to turn your music down. Of course I'll always oblige your requests to stop 'dragging across the floor' when I'm vacuuming at 11 a.m. on a Saturday.
  • I feel for you, Bodega Owner, as you sit at the check stand for hours, days, weeks on end. You remind me of Usnavi and I wish we were friends. Thank you for the free matchbook.
  • I wonder about you, Next Door Neighbor Front-Porch-Sitter, and appreciate your willingness to bring back the use of the front of the house. I bet you get a kick out of me running up and down the street on my lunch breaks. What can I say? An hour's not enough time to get to Family Dollar and back.
  • You're wonderful, Jeff, and I must say you're the most hard-working super we've ever had. Thank you for keeping our sidewalks leaf-blown, our apartment building warm and our trash cans empty. Now about that pet policy...
More recognition to come. We'll be here for awhile.


Anonymous said...

Gotta love the neighbors. It's like a big city "block watch" I guess. Good reason to carefully pick your neighborhood. They are watching you just as you are them. I can only imagine what our neighbors say about the crazy lady on her roof cleaning leaves out of the gutters.
Pigeons....yuck. If the lady would stop feeding the cats maybe the pigeons would disappear....they don't migrate.

Katie said...

Great post. I was humming Sesame Street's "Who are the people in your neighborhood" while I read it. :-)