Tag Archives: neighbors

Enjoy the silence?

The hubs and I have spent the past three weeks packing, cleaning and unpacking.

*sigh*

Aside from two or three boxes, tiny piles of things I haven’t found a home for, and bare windows, we’re semi-settled into our new apartment in Logan Square. So, that explains the radio silence. In case you were worried.

Oh, the silence! I can’t believe how quiet it is in Logan Square—at least where we are, a few blocks away from the square.

Tree-lined streets can be such a drag.

The thing is, having lived at Damen and Augusta for two years, the lack of street noise, sirens, bus announcers, gas-station fights, crazy people and hip drunk kids is disorienting. It sounds weird, but the noise is partially what made our old place feel like home. It became part of the ambiance in the same way that the exposed brick or skylight did.  I didn’t notice the noise until guests pointed it out. It was just part of our own corner of the city.

So now, we live in a residential area. I know…I say that like it’s a bad thing. Most city folk would kill for more quiet and a couple trees. But aside from the faint hum of the Blue Line three blocks away and a very public custody dispute across the street, you can hear a pin drop. Which has made our presence quite known to our neighbors in the building. Yep, we received two noise complaints via the landlord within our first two days here. We’re party animals when we move. I have a theory it’s an owner vs. renter issue though. More on that later.

I’m sure I’ll really like Logan Square once we get settled and feel better acquainted with the hood. There’s a sense of community that I haven’t noticed in any other neighborhood I’ve lived in.Walking home from the train station this evening, some guys were playing guitars on their front stoop and two adorable girls riding Razor scooters stopped to say hello. Right then, I knew I was almost home.

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Filed under Chicago, city life, neighborhoods

Tiny snapshots of people’s lives

Admit it. You’ve done it…briefly look into other people’s apartments. You do that too, right? Right?

Before you think I’m a huge perv, I want to clarify that I’m not a Peeping Tom. And I don’t study neighbors like I’m Jimmy Stewart in a scene from Rear Window.

I’m talking about those tiny moments, when walking down the street,  you catch a glimpse into someone’s apartment. You might notice a bold wall color, painting or other item that gives you a snapshot of someone’s personality or style. Or you may catch a flash of action that you wouldn’t be privy to otherwise. In these moments, you’re not meaning to be nosy, but it’s hard not to notice since it’s in plain view.

I attended a dinner party last night. The host lives across the street from one of the high-rise apartment buildings that trickle down Lake Shore Drive.

The view from the balcony

The view from the balcony

Standing on the balcony, which faces this building, a few other guests and I couldn’t help but notice a woman doing aerobics across the way. Directly to the right, a couple was eating dinner. As someone pointed these neighbors out, the host explained that he often reads on the balcony and has observed some strange behavior patterns as a result.  Some of which should never be seen by others.

We probably don’t have as much privacy in our apartments as we think. This is especially true for  my friend who recently bought a fantastic loft space that’s parallel with an El platform. She can see the commuters, so that probably means they can see her. My situation is not exactly the same, but I can see my neighbors across the street when their blinds are open, which means they can probably see us.

Um bye. I have to go and shut my blinds.

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Filed under Chicago, neighborhoods, strangers, Uncategorized, urban behavior