It’s been a busy few days, and I was away from Satis House Wednesday night and all day Thursday. I’ll write more about that this weekend. But for now, I’ve just gotten back from a quick bike ride down to my new favorite Thai restaurant–Chiang Mai–which reminded me of how much I love my neighborhood. Yesterday when I got back to town, I walked (walked!) to my local library branch to pick up the book I had reserved several months ago and which had finally become available. I love how many wonderful places are close by enough that I can walk or ride my bike to them. So here is a top ten list of places I enjoy visiting in my neighborhood:
- My city park. It’s just across the street and another couple blocks down, and I take a walk around it just about everything evening after work. It has huge soccer and softball fields, as well as a paved pathway that goes all around the perimeter of the park. I’m looking forward to when my little nieces [eventually] come to visit, so I can take them to play at the park.
- My library branch! (Note the exclamation point–whoever came up with the trend that Library! signs ought to include an exclamation point was a genius. I was seriously giddy walking home with my sackful of new reads.) I love that our library system has so many little branches tucked into otherwise-sad-looking strip malls all over town. It’s so nice to reserve books online and just have to walk about ten minutes to pick them up from my branch.
- Grocery stores. In either direction I could walk or ride my bike for just a few minutes and have two different grocery stores at my fingertips. It’s so nice not to have to go downtown or across town when I just need to pick something up quick that I may have forgotten I need or am getting for a function that I’m heading to.
- My bank branch. I’m pretty old-fashioned in many ways–some of which are charming, others of which I’m sure are very annoying. For example, I actually get a little excited when I receive an actual check for payment–somehow it feels like a greater amount of money than if the same amount had been directly deposited into my account. I also like walking into stores and utilizing a real human employee to help me with whatever business I am attending to. So it’s kind of nice on occasion to drive up to a bank, park, get out of my car, go inside, talk to a real teller, give them my check, and wait for them to wish me a good day while handing me a piece of candy. I’ve had much worse experiences in life. Although I must say, I realllllly hope they enter the year 2000 and put in an ATM sometime in the next century, for those occasional days when I’m heading from one place to the next and don’t want to go through all that old-fashioned business of talking to a real person…
- My dry cleaners. They are a bit pricey, but given that I try to wear a pair of slacks about 18.5 times before having to send them back to the cleaners, I think I can swing $10 for a pair of trousers every couple months. Also, everything is always done within 24-hours, so given that I’m also prone to throwing my dry cleaning in my car, and then proceeding to drive around with it in my back seat for another three weeks, by the time I actually drop it off at the dry cleaners, I really appreciate that I only have to wait 24 more hours before I can wear it again.
- Oodles of yummy restaurants, particularly ethnic ones. Cuban, Thai, Italian, Argentinian, Mexican, Iraqi, ’50s style diners, and more. You should know that eating is about the greatest source of pleasure in my life, so I love having lots of good restaurants within a 5 minute bike ride.
- Downtown. For three years I lived about 2 miles east of downtown Boise, and the thought of moving up to my current neighborhood made me sad only because I felt like I was going to be soooooo far away from downtown. Well, now I live about 3.5 miles from downtown. So, instead of a 7-8 minute bike ride, now I have about a 15-minute bike ride, but it’s all downhill and really is not very far at all.
- My meditation/yoga studio. I’d like to take some more yoga classes, but so far I’ve only gone there for my Wednesday night sangha meeting. I love that it’s also only about a ten minute bike ride away. One of my commitments in my mindfulness group is to try to live in such a way as to go easy on the environment and not damage the earth any more than necessary. So it feels good to ride my bike instead of driving to meditate.
- Thrift stores. So I guess that’s one thing that *might* make this part of town seem a little shady, but I happen to looooooove that within a 2 miles radius I seriously probably have about 8-10 pretty awesome thrift shops and/or furniture consignment shops to choose from. My parents were here a few weeks ago and I swear my mom’s goal for the week was to patronize every single thrift shop in Boise. She came pretty close.
- My church. Currently I attend two different churches in downtown Boise, which again, are only about a 15-minute bike ride away. But, in the fall my Sunday church (I go to the other one most Saturday nights) will be bumping their service a bit later in the morning, so I may start attending a church I used to go to, which is again only about a 5 minute bike ride up the hill from my house. It will be so nice to either walk or ride to church, and be done with worship for the day by 10:30 in the morning.
So those are the first 10 wonderful things that are at my fingertips in my new neighborhood. I hope you live in a place that you love as much and that affords you many opportunities to walk or ride your bike to other places you enjoy just as well.
Talk to you this weekend,