Saturday, June 14, 2008

Top Ten: An Ode to the Neighborhood

1. The Seward Park Library - Where Betty gets all her books. And this list was born on the occasion of Bimbo getting his library card today!
2. Fine Fare - Our supermarket. Always reliable and stocked with cookies, and cheese.
3. "Cobblestone Park" - where Cocoa runs free behind our house, and where we can read in the shade on benches during hazy days.
4. The basketball and handball courts next to cobblestone park, where we run and play. And where there's a playground and BBQs and outdoor birthday parties for kids. Popular themes include Dora the Exploradora and Spongebob.
5. Full City Coffee (s.k.a. "Roots and Vines"). Weird place that somehow fits into the fabric.
6. The church a few doors down, where there's always something happening.
7. East Broadway's slope through old Jewish New York and Chinatown, down to City Hall. Full of trees.
8. Moishe's Bakery next to our building. Great cookies, nice people.
9. Yemeni convenience store, bafflingly called "Hill Grocery" (hill? what hill?) open 24 hours, across the street, a skip from the old mailbox.
10. So many different people.

3 comments:

Nodine said...

Oh, neighborhoods! I love your list. I am going to do a list for my Austin neighborhood, because I don't have nearly as much of a good neighborhood in Arkansas, and reminiscing is fun: 1) Posse East, the happy hour bar just a hop and skip away from my house, where I could happily get there at 4 and drink with friends until 11, with a dinner of chips and queso in there somewhere; 2)JP's java - awesome coffee and awesome atmosphere - I did homework there for hours; 3)The hole-in-the-wall bike shop that saved mine (and my bike's) ass dozens of times for nothing but some conversation and a voluntary tip; 4)Mulberry trees along the way to school....YUM...if the birds don't get them first; 5)The laundromat/coffee shop that had terrible a/c and terrible coffee (but you have to appreciate that they TRIED to have a nice place to hang out while your clothes dried); 6)The co-op grocery store full of hippies with the BEST prepared foods ever; 7)The lovely morning view of the university tower from the alley raised behind the storefronts (I believe I wrote a poem about this alley some time back) - and the chimes of the bells in the tower that you could only hear when it was quiet in the morning; 8)The corner store that always had milk (check the date) and ice cream when I needed it but smelled sort of moldy, and then once I bought milk duds from there and brought them to the movies and they TASTED moldy....ew; 9) The lovely park I would run around that always had sleepy homeless people in the morning and Indian guys playing cricket in the afternoon; 10)The University of Texas and all my friends.
Sigh...I can't wait to move to Boulder and, I hope, have an endearing neighborhood again.

Betty & Bimbo said...

Super list. I want to hear more about your neighborhood now, too! I feel like you live in another country...

Nodine said...

Oooh, it practically IS a different country! It's good, I just can't walk to such a multitude of happy destinations from my house. A quick Fayetteville/Arkansas Top 5: 1) The best farmers market this side of the Mississippi and that side of California; 2) Lake Fayetteville, which is surrounded by dirt and paved trails and always full of happy people, bikes and dogs; 3)Mount Sequoyah, right by my house, with a lovely view all around and a Methodist Retreat Center on top and a big light-up cross at the makeout overlook; 4) My truly lovely yoga studio and my funny teacher of whose political leanings I'm never quite sure...he could be the only religious conservative, possibly gay yoga instructor in the US; 5)The Buffalo River, where you can kayak and drink beer at the same time (and everyone does)! My favorite local NPR quote from yesterday morning: They were talking about recycling and how the percent of people who recycle in Arkansas is (gasp!) actually higher than a good handful of other states. The lady being interviewed said, "You know, we don't have to be last on the list in EVERYTHING just because we live in Arkansas!"