But here's the price I pay: a neighborhood which does not suit me at all. (I admit to elongating this photo to exaggerate the significance of the street, to serve the almighty car.) Although located just 6 or 7 miles from downtown, it is undeniably a suburb. (Note the annoying lack of sidewalks!) For some reason, whirlingbetty seems to have been born with a strong aversion to suburbs. This particular suburb is especially unsuitable in that it is populated with mostly elderly people. The housing here was built in the 50's and 60's, and the current residents bought their houses then. Whirlingbetty landed unwittingly in a retirement community. There are no playmates for The Child, or for Betty.
Additionally, my current house is isolated. During the serious snowstorm a few weeks ago, the city shut down and I was left to shovel myself out, alone. It was a lonely couple of days, with not a person in sight. The only neighboring house is vacant 7 months of the year due to snowbird migration. Also, a few days ago there was a police helicopter circling above for a long time during the night, shining its spotlight onto my property. Eventually a police car pulled up outside of my house, and I was told that they were searching for criminals who had taken off on foot into the park outside of my house. I did not sleep that night.
This is the venerable Victorian I'm considering buying in the downtown neighborhood which I've always been so fond of. This location is "extremely urban", as my friend Garnet observed. The price I'm offering on this house, if I proceed, is much lower than the asking price. The sellers, who apparently inherited the house, just might be eager to unload it, to settle the estate. Things might go my way; they might not.
That's The Child peeking in the back door of the Venerable Victorian. He doesn't know what to think. I've never lived in a large house like this one; he certainly hasn't. He loves this neighborhood, thanks to having whirlingbetty for a mother, and his school is a few blocks away. When asked whether he wants to move here, he replied, "I don't care where I live as long as I have Play Station 3."
This is a scene from the urban neighborhood. Even at night it's lit up and populated. Not everyone likes that; I do. I am not really torn. You've heard the story of the Country Mouse and the City Mouse, right? Well, I'm both City Mouse and Country Mouse, for sure. But my most satisfying living experiences have been in the more urban settings, amidst the bright lights, the hustle and bustle, and the constant flow of energy.
If I need a nature fix, well, here's the park, right behind the Venerable Victorian. This is my favorite park anywhere, with its alive energy contained in a charming setting of trees, flowers and a lake.