There is a big green park in the center of our new neighborhood, about a block and a half away from us. S got a new big-girl bicycle for her 8th birthday a couple weeks ago, so we've been doing a lot of riding there. We're making the transition from sidewalks to streets, so the resultant freedom and danger is a little scary.
For us. Not for her.
There are usually kids to play with there. Our old neighborhood was mostly old people who never went outside, and the few houses that had kids living there rarely let them out the door (I guess on the debatable premise that television is safer than the outside world). Here, we have all sorts. The band of little boys from the house at the bottom of the hill who pants are always threatening to fall off, and who are incapable of not hitting each other every fifteen seconds. They play rough, but they're fun to watch. There is an 11 year old girl across the street the girls treat with the kind of awe previously accorded only to unicorns and Santa. This weekend we met a teenage couple who wander out far away from the playground to lie in the grass and neck.
It's a lower income neighborhood, mostly Hispanic (our kids are Hispanic, we are not). Lotsa old houses, some large and grand, some small and rickety, in varying degrees of upkeep. I'm guessing there's alotta sweat equity built up in these homes. Most have porches, and people actually hang out on their porches here, to catch that early evening summer breeze. The house right before the park has two very loud and very mean dogs, who the girls try to tiptoe past as if they were guardian trolls.
According to the previous owner, the railroad baron who built our house laid out the streets of the entire neighborhood, to mirror the one he grew up in back in England.
Nothing British about it anymore. It's about as American as you can get.