On neighborhoods

Yesterday evening Brian and I scrapped any plans to make dinner or workout and instead opted to explore our ‘hood. We’d made the decision to squeeze into a tiny condo versus our roomier option of an actual house all for the love of a neighborhood, and I figured it was about time we started to enjoy it. We should really get out more, after all. 

As we strolled along the not-so-picturesque (or level for that matter) sidewalk of South Boulevard, I started thinking about what makes a good neighborhood. Why would someone choose to pay an exorbitant price tag simply to live in a certain geography? Or, as in our case, remain in a small space over a larger one. It isn’t always that price equals ‘niceness.’ We clearly weren’t picky on the levelness of our sidewalk, for example. I suppose it may be why people gravitate to large cities such as NYC, LA, San Fran – or – cultural shifts such as a move to Scotland or Costa Rica. I sum it up as a desire to be near what stimulates.

At the surface, it may seem like the residents of South End are quite varied. I like to think of us as multi-faceted. As I gazed around the Common Market courtyard while listening to the soothing notes of a bluesy jazz from an acoustic guitar accompanied by a rough but moving male voice singing of love and belongings lost — or heaved into the front yard and broken into a million pieces — I noticed a diverse crowd. Sure, there were the expected hipsters identified by the dark sunglasses at 7 pm, flowing beards, tight jeans and the usual graphic tee with some deep public message; however, there was also the nurse who’d just come off shift and was still in her blue scrubs, the 9 to fivers loosening their ties or still in their black pumps, the yogis equipped with rolled mat and obligatory high bun, and then there was us. I’m not sure what label we’d be given by an outsider, but to me I seem normal. Perhaps to those hipsters I’m a yuppie. Does anyone even use that word any more? 

But here we were, in all out multi-faceted glory, drawn to the same place at the same time in the same ‘hood. Running with my theory on shared stimulation (which sounds rather dirty actually) I’d say despite our varied appearances that at heart we in the Southend are just a bunch of food lovin’, beer appreciatin’, music enjoyin’, dog ownin’ souls who want to be around other souls just like us. We like our culinary gems like the brick & mortar Nan & Byron’s or our proprietary Food Truck Friday, or maybe even whipping up our own with fresh finds from Atherton Market. We like our craft beer and the convenience of strolling over to Triple C for a pint, a run, or both. We love taking care of soul and body with our quality yoga studios (plug for my fav Arrichion!), running groups, and CrossFit studios. We aren’t all the same, but we love that too. We love being around new, different, changing, beautiful, inspiring, challenging, delicious, fresh, invigorating, nourishing, trendy, historic, melodious and free. We are the Southend, and boy do I love it. 

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One thought on “On neighborhoods

  1. If you ever need more justification for living in a small space in South End, just come visit us in depressing property value falling so I can’t sell this place without losing money Ayrsley. It’s a good wake-up call.

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