Monday, September 29, 2008

In My Neighborhood

Rosemary has an entertaining blog entry today about how important it is, in her little corner of the world, to have a sturdy mailbox. (Apparently every winter, the snow plow driver is on a mission to knock over every mailbox in her neighborhood.) Too funny!

So this got me thinking: what is uniquely important to the people in my little corner of the world, here in downtown Chi-town?

Here are some thoughts—

--Living in downtown Chicago, location becomes VERY important. When I hear about a restaurant in the city that sounds really good, my first thought is, “But is it within 5 train stops, or a 20-minute walk of my apartment?” If not, you can forget about it. Hey, I live in downtown for a reason—I shouldn’t have to go too far out of my way for some Kung Pao chicken or a quesadilla.

--Living in downtown Chicago, you become very familiar with your “neighborhood homeless guy,” and it’s important to remember the last time you gave him money. It’s okay to not give to him every time, but he gets a little “insistent” when you walk by him several times without giving. Since I spend my life trying to avoid confrontation at all costs, it’s important to me to remember when was the last time I gave.

--Living in downtown Chicago, it’s important to be able to spot a crazy person from several blocks away. If he’s weaving, or yelling at complete strangers, you just casually cross to the other side of the street to avoid any confrontation. (Again, with avoiding the confrontation. OK, maybe I need a therapist to talk about my avoidance issues.) And actually, Iwanski is different from me on this one. He gravitates toward the crazies. Hmm, maybe he’s the one who needs a therapist.

I wonder what it’s like in other “neighborhoods” around the world?

I wonder if somewhere, the most important thing is to try to have the biggest rooster or cow in town?

I wouldn’t doubt it.

16 comments:

Lorraine said...

It's important to be within crawling distance of the pub.

Mathman6293 said...

Downtown Chicago, now you are talking again. During my retail years working downtown I got to know the homeless, the beat cops and the shop lifters. There are some great stories there.

When we lived in Des Plaines, the neighborhood was much like Albany Park where I grew-up. We knew most of the neighbors and most importantly we had a bar in our yard.

Now our neighbors consist of horses, goats, cattle and some good ole boys. Generally, nice people but not the people I would hang out with at my old Des Plaines yard bar.

sageweb said...

Our big thing is to have a grocery store close. Also an In -n- out Burger is nice.

Diane said...

In my part of the world booyah is the preferred soup for fund-raising. It is made in a 55 gallon metal barrel and the contents include chicken with bones and vegetables. yummy!

Sling said...

In my neighborhood,it's important to assume that every one driving a car is an incredible moron when you're riding your bike.
All the crazy people live in the apartments two blocks west on Montgomery.

Barb said...

I'm completely jealous. I live in a milk toast suburb ~ no flavor whatsoever. I do, however, love the fact that I am so close to the ocean and kennedy space center ~ love to watch the shuttles go up.

rosemary said...

Well, thank you one billion times over for the link and recognition. Right now the most important thing is to not irritate the neighbors with the chain saw logger at 6AM. We have gotten numerous calls(OK 3) from neighbors complaining and asking if he could just wait until 7. We have cows and chickens next door...and pigs too.....one is actually named Chop Suey.

Kimberly Ann said...

Interesting post. I'm trying to think of what is important in my suburban nearly rural neighborhood....hmmmm...well, err...gee, I guess we are too bland to have a list. That's depressing.

MaryRuth said...

In my neighborhood it is important to have patience and an open mind because we have more than our fair share of a-holes.
Crawling distance to a pub...I used to have that, alas, no longer *sniff*

greeny said...

hehe, this was funny maybe because I started drinking when I got home from school or because you had a good post (I vote for that one).
The neighborhood crazies-We have one here maybe 60 years old, rides his bike around and is relatively decent but off.
A few years back, I was shopping in the local grocery store. Standing in the produce aisle was the old guy and as I pushed my cart by him, oblivious, he smacked me on my ass and then proceeded to to apologize in his sincere way. Talk about being floored!
As I read this I was transported to my trip to Chicago a couple summers back. I loved it! We trekked around downtown and I felt so invigorated by the urban feel. St. Louis gives me the same feeling.tk

Miss Healthypants said...

Rainey--tee hee! (And true!)

Mathman--you had a bar in your yard????

Sageweb--a grocery store, absolutely. And I LOVE In N Out Burger!! Haven't had a chance to eat there in years, though. Boo hoo!

Diane--you'll have to make "booyah" for me sometime. I'll yell "BOOYAH!" the whole time you're cooking. :)

Sling--sounds like a scary neighborhood! (tee hee)

Barb--I'm jealous of your nice warm weather!--so there! :)

Rosemary--no problem! I liked your post, and as you can see, it got me thinking. :) Also, Chop Suey???? *tee hee*

Kimberly--come on, there has to be something! :)

Mary Ruth--I think that kind of patience is always important, no matter where you live! :)

Greeny--you make me laugh! I love the urban feel of Chicago, too...I would love to visit St. Louis sometime and see if I feel the same way. :)

Miss Healthypants said...

Also, Greeny--you mean you don't like being smacked in the ass by complete strangers????

*tee hee*

Leah said...

In my hood, it's pretty important to have a good sturdy snow shovel...sigh.

jp said...

Yep, I have rules too.

Don't park on the street unless you know you'll be leaving before 830am the next day.

Never make eye contact when walking. It's what they're waiting for...

Mathman6293 said...

Yes, I did have a bar in the yard. It was a vintage '70s vinyl covered bar. Summer began when we opened on Memorial Day.

Miss Healthypants said...

JP--I pretty much follow that 2nd rule, too. :)

Mathman--that cracks me up! :) I would totally have been a regular at your bar, if I had known you at the time. :)