I dropped the van off at a mechanic this morning for its necessary inspection, then walked the .9 miles home on a balmy, blustery 57 degree morning. As I walked I considered the day up to then.
Buds and I were up early for a quick 10 minute workout, then out to walk Mocha. On our walk we met Renee and puppy George. George is almost as personable as my own brother, Renee also a delight to visit with.
That was unexpected boon #1: With everyone in the surrounding blocks having small yards, we are all walking our dogs multiple times/day. We’ve met Otis and Grizzle and George and muzzle dog. They are attached to owners Steve, Stephanie, Renee, and white girl who helped us decide to move here.
Buds is all about the density and amenities in our new hometown. I’m all about the connection to people. Walking the dog has been an easy way for us to witness both.
Surprise #2: In college and then when Ragsbottom and I moved to St. Louis for our first year teaching, if someone grew up in St. Louis whenever they met someone else from St. Louis for the first time, after sharing their names, the second discussion was going to be about where they went to high school. I can tell you that Plummy and Kromie both went to Cor Jesu and had their beautiful school rings to show for it. And John D. Ryan was a CBC grad. It seemed weird at first, but quickly became part of the landscape, like calling “pop,” “soda.”
Rochester seems to have its own version of that, but it’s related to your street.
I first noticed it with our new neighbor Jane.
We met her on the street and introduced ourselves with our full name and that we had moved into the Fackler’s house. She was confused until we said their first names. She laughed and said, “I only know people by their first name and their street. That’s how we identify each other on the Upper Monroe neighborhood association.” Since then, I’ve noticed it with lots of folks, and we’ve started to do it, too.
Renee lives on Monroe, the puppy mom I met this morning on my walk home lives on Hindsale, Steve is on Rosedale…
It’s a little form of tribalism? Showing we belong? Maybe it’s a way for people to have a mental image of each other?
Whatever it is, it sent a little thrill down my spine when I was picking up a Christmas present for Buds from a house in Brighton and Katherine, the seller, was telling me about a book she read that had a subject in it from Belmont Street which is one block over from us. I had mentioned that we lived in the Upper Monroe neighborhood, and for her that brought up a mental list of streets, which includes Belmont.
Connections. It’s always about the connections.