Sunday, December 7, 2008

Beautiful Noise of My Neighborhood

Sunday mornings are just like every other morning for me. I have very little structure in my life. Sometimes it seems like I do the bare minimum just to keep going. I rarely do ‘busy work’ (whatever that is). There’s just no need for me to race anymore to get many things done. I don’t fret too much over the little stuff.

For the most part, everything I attend to is within three miles of my home, but most things are just a block or two away.I have for the most part lived in big cities but I have never lived in the center of a big city before. Emphasis on center.

I gas up my car an average of every five weeks, it isn’t a hybrid, and by today’s standards it’s not exactly fuel efficient. I own it and it gets me where I need to go. There are plenty of gas stations nearby, some with car washes and convenience stores attached.

I have an office in my home that I can work out of and a friend has an office less than a block away that I can use if need be. I don’t require much to work efficiently and comfortably.

I reside nearly smack dab in the heart of my city, I live in what is called 'The Colony'. My house was built in 1911. There is a lot of activity in my neighborhood everyday. Saturdays are the quietest unless there is a carnival or Civil war enactment happening that weekend. Those cannons go off all day long that special weekend. Johnny and Oh Well eventually get used to the loudness of it but it does disturb their all day napping.

I hear sirens everyday. There are a lot of wrecks up on the main street and quite a few car chases. I am only reminded of the country when I hear gunshots. We don't have any deer or pheasants here so it is never good news. Police helicopters invade my much sought after silence at the most inopportune times. The hospital is less than a mile up the street. Dozens of doctor’s offices in close proximity too.

I can ride my bike to Walmart(not a superstore) if I need to buy something small. The pet store is in the same parking lot. I will not be riding my bike and backpacking 8 pounds of cat food again, at least not until I have worked up to it or get a bigger basket on my bike.

The huge Catholic Church(big heartbeat of the community) across the street has at least 15 different services a week. I am pretty sure half of the services are in Spanish and half in English, oh and one in Vietnamese. I hear the church bells ringing all day long, only I don’t notice them often any more as they have blended into the sounds of my city. I wish they were on the hour so they made sense to my non-Catholic self but they ring at weird times. Parking space on my block on Sundays is a hot ticket. My car stays put on Sundays.

I ride my bike on the church parking lot because if they aren't having a service then it is a safe convenient place that I have deemed my personal track. I can ride for at least 30 minutes without worrying about any cars. Ace helped me put new tires on my bike yesterday so I can start riding my bike again. Remember I want to loose 50 pounds in six months. Ace lives on the other side of the alley and over one house. Sweet having grown son so close.

The church also has a food bank open daily throughout the week. Now that place is interesting. On Thursdays, they give out vegetables and fruits and anyone can go. You don't have to be needy to go on Thursday. I have been over there several times and am impressed with how much they give to everyone. I will blog about this another time. I know most of the people that work there and I keep a watchful eye on it at night.

My gym, Curves shares the same parking lot as my preferred "big" grocery store, just up the street, along with the local Chinese and Japanese fast food franchises. Pizza parlors, cleaners, hair salon and drugstore. UPS too.

There are three Starbucks within a mile of my front door. I choose not to spend my money latte’ing it up and besides what I brew, is a little better. Juice It Up, Juiced Up, etc. are galore. I drink Mona Vie so no Juice places for me.

Just within a mile of my front door, there are all of the following burger places: Mac Donald’s, Jack n the Box, Wendy’s, Carl’s Jr. and the neighborhood Varsity Burger. The high school is less than a block from my back door. If I am in the mood for Mexican food I have at least 8 different taco joints to choose from.

In the same parking lot as the local steak house (been there about 30-40 years) is a huge Asian Market. They have the best veggies, as well as a huge variety of mushrooms and tropical fruits. There are two full live lobster tanks. Five Asian restaurants are scattered throughout the same parking lot. My favorites are the Thai and Vietnamese restaurants. I go to eat at off times or get it to go mostly because they are so crowded besides it’s more convenient for me.

Don’t get me going on the donut shops. I have only been to one of them and then only one time. Donuts aren’t my thing anymore. However, I would eat them if they were lying around. Tess calls them her depression food. I don’t buy them anymore.

Two major freeways within 2 miles. Thankfully, I cannot hear the traffic from them. One time I lived backed up to a freeway. OMG was that ever filthy, smoggy, and even nosier than now. I am glad I have to drive at least three blocks if I want to get on the freeway.

Nearer to home, if I could not see it from my kitchen window I would not believe it, stands a Military Academy. It backs right up the next to the church and is complete with all the little uniformed boys marching daily on the field. It used to be the orphanage back in the day. Fabulous architecture.

Some of the cadets live there during the school year and still make use of the old dormitories from the orphanage. Sometimes when I go walking in the evening one of the young boys will wave to me through an open window. He has a sad lonely look, I always smile and wave excitedly at him, he smiles sweetly. I used to threaten Ace with this place…what was wrong with me? It's hard for me to think I would have ever threatened such a thing. He was a handful though.

City Hall, fire department, police station complete with helicopter pad, public library, community, senior and youth centers and at least 5 public parks are all within walking distance. We have farmer’s market once a week in the downtown section. I think it may just be a summer to fall thing. Gas Co., Electric Co., and phone co. all next to each other too. All the cell and mobile phone companies are there too. I pay my utilities online so it really doesn’t make any difference to me how close they are. There are two post offices nearby. Did I mention the local museum? Right there too. Train station? Yep. I hear the whistle at night.

There is an abundance of financial institutions within a stone’s throw. Believe it or not, I have to drive to my bank. One of my banks was taken over last month so I can soon go to the bank in the Curves parking lot. This made me happy, it was good news.

Nearly every weekend, one of my neighbors has some sort of a party. Tess sits out on the back porch and has enjoyed the sounds of many a live band. Mariachi type bands mostly playing festive upbeat music. Lot’s of laughter fills the air. It is really kind of neat. I like it when people are enjoying themselves.

One morning I looked out my back window and saw this. I knew we were in for a celebration that would last well into the night. Sure nuff, they partied all day and a little longer. At first I thought CaptnDyke had landed and was coming for a visit.

Just like a cherry on top of the sundae, my day just wouldn't be complete if every night at 9:30 I didn't hear the fireworks from the local amusement park...the good part is if I want to I watch them from my back yard I can.

Oh yeah, there are 7 lesbians that I know of on my block. Not much drama either.

Every time I hear Neil Diamond sing Beautiful Noise I am reminded to appreciate all the city sounds of my city and living here fits me right now. I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

What's it like where you live?


Donna said...

What an interesting post! Your life is totally opposite mine. Reading this made me wish you'd take pictures, lots of pictures, so I could see some of the places you're talking about.

Margo Moon said...

Okay, smartypants. Where's the nearest lesbian bar?

Maria said...

I would love to know the history of that orphanage. I have this interest in to hear the stories.

cris said...

Rose, you inspire me. Your view of the world, life, and ability to share it with us, are awesome!