Metatalktail Hour: In Your Neighborhood August 1, 2020 7:34 PM   Subscribe

Happy weekend, MetaFilter! This weekend, I want to know, what's a delightful little thing in your neighborhood? Plants, dogs, children, sidewalk art, a charming fence -- anything!

As always, this is a conversation starter, not limiter! Tell us everything that's up with you!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 7:34 PM (103 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

A new fried chicken place opened up right in front of our apartment complex and we have become regular supporters. Aside from that recent uhhh things have driven a lot of places out of business, but I think also rents have been driven down so there have been a lot of new and interesting food and drink places opening up over the past couple months.

My wife's favorite bubble tea place went out of business a few months ago, but (oddly?) someone opened up the same franchise in a building literally across the street from the first one and business has been booming.

Aside from that, rain rain rain rain here. I have been super busy and stressed out for a ton of reasons big and small, but finally got over the hump at the end of last week. So I have been trying to get back into running, but it has been raining constantly.
posted by Literaryhero at 9:12 PM on August 1, 2020 [2 favorites]


She is a chocolate lab and happy and her owner is a sweet old man who has no idea why she does this, but she won’t go on a walk without it.

She is right up there on my list of best dogs with the German Shepard mix my last neighborhood had that would try to collect every stick on its walk. If you saw her as the walk was finishing her mouth would be completely full and her tail wagging. Her owner also had no idea why and said there was a giant stick pile in her front yard.
posted by lepus at 9:41 PM on August 1, 2020 [23 favorites]

There's this nifty duck sanctuary called Pilling's Pond. It's home to something like 30 or 40 different breeds.

I'm a little concerned about its future (I think the current caretaker is struggling a little with the role based on a note I saw there recently), but it's a still lovely little oasis in the neighborhood.
posted by Gorgik at 9:42 PM on August 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

You know how fire hydrants look kinda like little robots like R2D2? For some reason, the hydrants in my neighborhood are all marked with little tags based on the street name, like S-1 and S-2 on sixth street, and PP-3 and 4 etc on Prospect Park West, that also look like droid names. My dog likes to pee on PP-8, the saddest droid.
posted by moonmilk at 9:42 PM on August 1, 2020 [21 favorites]

I'm the kind of asocial who doesn't talk to his neighbors if I can avoid it (I usually can), but someone up the street from me has been playing guitar in his front yard some afternoons.

Lots of neghbors with dogs, including a beautiful 3-legged fawn-colored greyhound.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 9:43 PM on August 1, 2020 [5 favorites]

late last year we moved into our new apt in the city overlooking a park. we we've only experienced winter and spring, but now in summer the sky is full of swallows. Diving, twirling, speeding over the park and down the side streets! they are SO much fun to watch, like small jetplanes *SWOOOOSH*!!! I love it and could watch them for hours.
posted by alchemist at 10:03 PM on August 1, 2020 [7 favorites]

My friend gave me a pass to this beach. Game changer.
posted by vrakatar at 10:15 PM on August 1, 2020 [4 favorites]

Fabulous neighbors: Cats! For years I thought there were 2 gray and white cats that live nearby but I learned recently that there are (at least?) 3. Also raccoons. I encountered 2 raccoons out on a date and I swear one of them waved at me. Also ducks! A neighbor got several and they have become quite a popular local attraction.
posted by ferret branca at 10:17 PM on August 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

My neighborhood has been featured on Metafilter twice, for its two corner shrines and for its (sadly defunct) combination taquería/bánh mì shop. A nearby artists' colony recently bought itself out and will live on even as development rises on either side of them. Two of my neighbors recently painted murals on their homes and one built a bus stop bench into their front fence. But for my daughter, the neighborhood's star attraction so far has to be Borax Smith's mules.
posted by aws17576 at 10:22 PM on August 1, 2020 [3 favorites]

My neighbors put a pillowcase on their tree as a mask and gave it googly eyes and now they are changing its "outfit" every month and I am 100% here for it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 10:32 PM on August 1, 2020 [30 favorites]

There’s this old grumpy guy who walks mornings with his dog, an old cranky Jack Russell Terrier. It’s a beautiful old terrier, shuffles along at the end of the leash behind the grumpy old guy with that determined terrier strut. On the toes, legs stiff like stilts.

A while back I used to regularly walk the neighborhood with my terrier, a sweetheart Wire Fox Terrier, and made friends with a beautiful old Newfoundland and its handler. We’d walk along together for a block or three once or twice a week as our patterns crossed. The big lumpy lug and my nervous prancer, pretending to ignore each other. There was always chatter and one day the grumpy man and the cranky Jack Russell came up. “Yeah what’s up with that guy?” I resolved to get a smile out of him and a nuzzle out of his dog.

We lost our terrier last July and I forgot all about those other dogs.

One evening in January before all this, I happened to cross paths with the grumpy old guy and his cranky dog, and I belted out, “Hey there’s that handsome terrier!” I got a glance and a nod from the man and nothing from the dog.

A couple weeks after that we crossed again. “Oh ho, that terrier is handsome as ever!” That got me a “thanks.” So I rushed in. “Can I say hi to your pup?”

“Better not. He’s cranky. He’s 17, so he can be whatever he wants.”


Several more weeks passed before we met again. I’d stopped walking the neighborhood as frequently without my terrier to get me out. It was the early days of the virus and that was keeping me in, too.

The old guy smiled and waved first and I said the usual about the handsome little terrier stilt-stepping at the end of the leash, hustling to keep up. “Can I say hello to your pup?”

“You can try. Just take it easy. He’s jumpy.”

So they both stopped and I crouched a little and cooed and moved in on the terrier for a scritch and maybe a nuzzle. He was jumpy, though. He gave my outstretched hand a curious sniff, and then a friendly one, but when I turned my hand over for the scratch, he twisted away and growled. “I told ya” the old guy said. “He’s choosy.”

It’s weeks later and that’s where we are. Old guy and I are on wave and smile terms, and sometimes we’ll stop for a sec and mention the weather. That dog is still at the end of the leash, and uninterested in adding me to his circle. At least not yet.

We’re getting a pup soon, it’s been too long in the house without a dog, so maybe that’ll be the ice breaker.
posted by notyou at 11:06 PM on August 1, 2020 [16 favorites]

I recently moved, and I’ve discovered there’s a lovely little old cemetery just about half a mile from my front door. I haven’t been out and about much, but I’m planning on making that the target of my walks.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:11 PM on August 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

We live on a car-less street. The street is just a children's playground, a bike lane and broad sidewalks.

It is this great little public space. Neighbors bring tables and chairs out, kids leave their toys there. The guy across the street is a violin teacher and when he opens his window on a warm day, you get music coming out. Other days another neighbor will sit out there with his wife playing bluegrass. Other neighbors are just sitting there, chatting,sunning, drinking, reading, enjoying the day.
posted by vacapinta at 12:29 AM on August 2, 2020 [12 favorites]

My elderly parents have moved into my neighbourhood. I've spent the last month helping with sprucing the place up, and then all the moving logistics. Their grandchildren are delighted to have their grandparents near (they used to live an hour's drive away).
posted by Harald74 at 12:42 AM on August 2, 2020 [5 favorites]

I recently moved to a brand new suburb on the outskirts of Copenhagen, and there are marshes, woods and strands right outside my door.
I take lots of walks all over the neighborhood, and keep posting 100+ photographs every month of empty vistas on my Danish photo blog.
posted by growabrain at 1:54 AM on August 2, 2020 [13 favorites]

There is a little free library - small house-shaped book box - in a road I go down once a week and I always find it pleasing. Might have to drop a couple of books there today in fact (disinfected of course).
posted by paduasoy at 1:54 AM on August 2, 2020 [5 favorites]

We have a lovely little totally informal summer neighbor coop involving vegetables and fruits and fish that always makes me smile when it’s in full seasonal bloom. We don’t have a yard so are outside with the dog en route to a nearby park a lot and are always getting offered spinach, homemade limoncello or carrots etc. or bringing raspberry gin and excess baked goods and rhubarb and cut peonies and lilies with us and it’s just...nice.

Today I worked with my neighbor’s kid on her dog frisbee skills because she loves it even though my dog would prefer a more competent thrower (she’s better than she was last summer, I keep telling him!), and her dad offered me some fresh salmon later as we walked by since he limited out yesterday. I gave our elderly across-the-street neighbors homemade bagels two days ago and pumped up the tires on her new tricycle (her goal is to make it to pick up a growler at the brewery by September- she has to figure out how to get up a hill before then!) and they texted me today to check my porch for extra cilantro plants.

I’m always sad when October hits and our snowbirds leave, the gardens shrivel and we’re the only people outside again. But for now, it feels cozy and pleasant.
posted by charmedimsure at 2:06 AM on August 2, 2020 [4 favorites]

There are parades in my neighborhood. Early in the day, it’s kids and their parents making it known that black lives matter. Around dinner time, there is a pick up truck with with dance music blaring, 2 women in bikinis dancing in the bed and signs hanging off that say “Thank you first responders!” (That’s my wife and I) — I’d say this truck comes by about every third night. Then, late at night, there are groups of teenagers walking up from Gas Works park playing their pop hippity hop music and having a good time. I sent my racist conservative parents an email about how (with me being in school, the kids both showing signs of serious depression and anxiety, and widespread hospital layoffs and furloughs) this is clearly the most difficult time in my life and they came up from their brain dead Republican golfing community in Arizona which is currently decimated by COVID19 to connect with their grand kids. They were amazed by the community coherence here in Seattle, had a great time with grandkids and are seriously considering taking their retirement money out of the stock market to buy a home here, choosing family and community over golf and manicured front yards. Yeah, they still think “all lives matter” and the civil war was about states’ rights but my kids held their own in discussion and surmised “gramma and Grampa are not anti-racist like us” so my kids are doing ok despite their obvious depression. I do my daily walk and wave through the neighborhood, I don’t wear a mask for this, because I’m outside and staying away from people and when I come upon others, one of us crosses the street to stay >6 ft away. Our local bar and grill 2 blocks
away is doing great business and I’m really thrilled they don’t seem to be at risk of closing. Plus, they do take out cocktails and last night we ordered four perfect martinis which we drank on the roof while looking at Saturn’s rings on our roof through binoculars. So, it seems that our instinct to move to a place with walkability, a strong neighborhood identity, and a willingness to participate in civic good 18 years ago was a good one. (Note: every neighborhood in America could be like this if it chose to do so)/
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 3:46 AM on August 2, 2020 [16 favorites]

There's a brick museum in my neighbourhood. Not just made from bricks, but dedicated to bricks. Bricks, in fact, used to be made there. It's an old ring oven and it's pretty well preserved.

There is someone who keeps deer in their yard. If I feel the need to see a deer I can just walk on by and see some.

And there is someone who has a public bookcase in their front yard. That's me.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:33 AM on August 2, 2020 [9 favorites]

In my neighborhood there are chanterelles and blueberries right now.
posted by Namlit at 4:34 AM on August 2, 2020 [6 favorites]

I live in a dense residential neighborhood, too urban to be suburbia and too suburban to be city. A busy divided 4-lane state route is maybe 100 yards away, so I’m never really free of traffic noise, and when the wind is in the south I smell the steel mill down on the river. It was built up to house blue and white collar employees of Westinghouse and USS, both now shadows of what they were.

On a recent bike ride I turned onto an unfamiliar street, and it dropped down into a hollow that developers somehow overlooked. There were patches of forest, broad green fields, a parking area full of rusting agricultural equipment, the remnants of an old orchard. Trees and topography blocked the city noise. There was a block or two worth of houses, some well-maintained and some windowless, sided in asphalt shingles, all of it seeming tenuously balanced and unbelievable. Getting there requires a convoluted route, but in a straight line it’s only about 2000’ from my house.
posted by jon1270 at 5:19 AM on August 2, 2020 [5 favorites]

Correction for my comment above -
I meant “beaches” when I wrote “strands”!
posted by growabrain at 5:32 AM on August 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

Multiple times a week, I drive past a sculpture ('Eliza') that's located in the Swan River, a fair distance from the shoreline. That inconvenience, however, doesn't stop pranksters swimming out to dress her up - usually in outfits that reflect current affairs. Never fails to bring a smile to my face as I drive by.
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 5:38 AM on August 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

I live across from a kickboxing place that is holding classes in the parking lot lately. I keep hearing someone excitedly yelling stuff like "You're doing GREAT, and masks ON six seven eight" through a megaphone multiple times a day. It's two parts nice and one part surreal to have a cheer squad going while I'm working from home.
posted by k8lin at 5:48 AM on August 2, 2020 [4 favorites]

This is a nice topic!
This street corner is on my dog walk route, and is extremely charming. I'm not sure if it's ok to hang plants from the city-owned street signs, but I do love the aesthetics. One block down from this is an older couple who has beautiful flowers and yard whimsy, and occasionally they'll be sitting outside together, while he plays guitar and sings in Spanish. It's lovely.

Over the past 2ish months, Ive developed alopecia areata, which is really distressing. I've got 2 bald spots on my scalp about 2" in diameter, and another one that's about a half-inch. My hair is naturally fine and thin to start with, so it's kind of a lot to lose. It's taking up a lot of brain power to process, and plan for the future (at what point do I just give up and try a shaved head?). It stinks that my bodily reaction to stress is so stressful in itself, but whatever. It's the worst health problem I have currently, so that's really not so bad.

I feel like in July, I was an over-inflated balloon that was let go, flew erratically all over the place, and ended the month lying on the ground completely spent. I'm so, so tired of managing Covid-related things as the primary function of my job, and am so angry when I see people (incl good friends) on social media are making what I think are terrible decisions on not social distancing. And there's not much I can do, other than make my own good decisions, which end up with me sitting at home , alone, watching everyone else party it up.

#FigsLoveLifeQuarterlyUpdate - boyfriend continues to be wonderful. It's great. I'm slowly learning to trust that two people can talk about issues and problems and work together to solve them out of love for each other.. its nice.

To circle back to the topic, a neighbor recently got a doberman puppy , and his training method seems to be to very angrily scream at it early in the morning. Whenever he yells, my dog Taco runs up to the window and barks. I don't know if he's barking to join in and yell at the dog, or if he's telling the guy to shut up and that positive methods work better and are kinder, but it's kind of funny.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 6:27 AM on August 2, 2020 [23 favorites]

The folks down the street have a colorful giant metal chicken in their yard, 5 or 6 feet high. They take it in for the winter so it's always a great moment in spring when I text boyfriend with THE CHICKEN IS BACK!

I would get my own metal chicken but then I would be Copycat Chicken Lady and I don't want to be that.
posted by JanetLand at 6:28 AM on August 2, 2020 [11 favorites]

We live in the country, a farming area. The neighbors raise beef cattle. The field next to us is where the cows and their calves and Daddy bull live. I get to watch the mommas give birth early in the spring. The relationship between the animals is fascinating. There was a late birth in April. The momma cow was pacing and as the other cows noticed her, they gathered nearby. When she finally went down on the grass they all circled around. Very soon one of the watching cows stepped up and nuzzled the momma. She got up, afterbirth trailing, and began vigorously licking her new babe.

When the calves get to be a few weeks old, they play! Chase each other, jumping and bucking. I was mowing our yard once, going up and down vertically. I turned near the fence and soon there were all the calves, waiting for me. As soon as I started to turn the mower, they would all jump and run away, every single time! Then back to the fence to watch me go up the hill and do it all again!

The mommas get a bit tired of the little prankster calves about mid spring. They will slowly amble away as a group, and one cow will stay with the calves to act as a nanny. She keeps the calves with her so the other the mommas can graze and nap. This summer I got to see the bull step in as nanny! He is gigantic compared to the cows, and you can imagine how much he intimidates the calves! He reclined regally in the pasture and the calves nibbled grass and stepped around him carefully. If any of them strayed too far the bull let out a low rumbling sound and they all moved closer to him!

I have a car parked right by the fence, waiting to be towed to the scrap yard. I went down yesterday to remove the license plates. Was kneeling there, trying to get the screws loose when I hear a cough. Look up and there is the bull, just on the other side of the fence, looking down at me. He is huge. I might have been a bit startled, except that he had a big mouthful of grass, chewing with that back and forth bottom jaw motion, and he was looking at me with the most quizzical head tilt. Couldn't help it, I laughed! I started telling him what I was doing, and at the sound of my voice, all the cows and calves came ambling over. It was a few more minutes of me telling them that I wasn't a problem, I'd be done soon and they could get back to their cud chewing and napping.

As I am typing this, they are all resting in the long grass in the rain.
posted by LaBellaStella at 6:41 AM on August 2, 2020 [35 favorites]

We live in a very unremarkable central Illinois neighborhood, but then there’s this one Spanish style house around the corner from us, and it’s just kinda neat having it there. I think it’s actually one of the oldest houses in the neighborhood. I’d love to know more of its story.
posted by obfuscation at 6:52 AM on August 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

Between the recent world events and my having a job very very close to home, my "neighborhood" - at least as far as the day to day living - has shrunk. And....I think I like that. It encourages me to stop and take a closer look at what is around me. I've noticed some things -

* My usual daily walk to work takes me past a bunch of auto repair places, a Thai rice importer, and an empty lot before I get to the old Navy Yard where my business is. In one of the lots, someone took the time to use ripped-up strips of plastic and weave them through the holes in the chain-link fence to spell out a message - "GR8 SHIT NOBODY NOTICED". I make a point to notice things in that lot now; right now the wildflowers are all coming out in it.

* I took another route once, and passed by an apartment building where the owner has turned the outside wall into an art gallery. They collect old paintings and signs from junk shops, or from what people put out on the street when they move. When my roommate was moving to Los Angeles last year, he threw out two paintings he'd done himself; the other week I was shocked to see one of them now hanging on that gallery, between an old bike race sign and some motivational poster. I snapped a picture for him.

* In the Navy Yard there are all kinds of little nooks and corners of cool places. I've been wanting an excuse to get inside the Navy Yard for YEARS - I moved here 15 years ago, and a year or so later it was turned into a business park and they had a strict guarded entry, so it was this big unknown Something lurking two blocks north from me. And now I get to go inside every day! There are a lot of businesses who are putting up flashy new buildings - the new WeWork facility next to the ferry stop is one such building (although they finally seem to have finished a little park, that's just big enough for a game of pickup basketball and still have some green space left over for people who want to sit and watch the water), but most fix up the older buildings. I'm currently working in a building that used to be where they built the boiler engines for warships; today it houses a whole ton of little tech companies. But just close by is our new home - we're renovating the whole inside of another building where they used to do machine work, fitting it out so we can move the entire company into it. I think we're getting ready to move a couple of the labs into it first, and us corporate offices will move in later. But the outside fortunately is staying much the same, which is good becuase look how pretty.

* I'm still staying clear of coffee shops and such, and the park nearest me tends to be a little too crowded for my taste these days. But once a week, I walk through it to pick up my CSA haul That in itself is a nice walk - I tend to go earlier in the morning, before things are too crowded; the only people who tend to be up and about are the dog owners, because the park has off-leash hours before 9 am. So my walk to the CSA takes me through the park, so I can walk through a big huge happy bunch of dogs that have taken over the big spot locals call "the Dustbowl", which is a big open field where locals tend to play pickup games of soccer. Invariably one or another dog will come to briefly say hi before running off to play tag with another dog. (Yesterday I got three dogs all pause in their wrestling to come running over, and one even jumped up to get close to my face. I love that!).

* I gave Wegman's a side-eye when it first moved here - or, more accurately, at the cultish following it seemed to have. But it's only a three-minute walk past my workplace, so I started stopping in before or after work to do my shopping. Save for a couple of early-stages shopping trips in March, when everyone was panicking and stores weren't prepared, I've found that it's not crowded and it's easy for me to get in and get out.

* Plus, on the walk to Wegman's if I walk there from work, I pass by the Kings County Distillery, which is housed in the old Navy Yard Paymaster's building. And you know that because they left the sign up saying it, the letters carved into the brickwork.

* I finally sucked it up and dragged my very badly neglected bike to the neighborhood shop the week before last. It was already a little beat up - I'd gotten it used off a guy who refurbished used bikes and sold them in the street in front of a Salvation Army - but it had good bones and I was able to keep it going with an annual tuneup. But then for two years I had neither the money nor the energy to take it in, and it sat out in the rain and snow for two years, quietly rusting and warping. Someone actually stole both my lock and my chain recently, but - the bike looked so bad they left it. I was expecting that the shop would tell me it was past hope - but the guy just looked it over and said "okay, how about next week"? And - he did it. It's still cosmetically rusty, but it works, and is currently locked up with a new lock and chain. I plan on riding it to work tomorrow, in fact. So - my local bike shop is a gem of a place.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:25 AM on August 2, 2020 [4 favorites]

Our next-door neighbors recently got an above-ground pool. They seem to be having so much fun that it has made me reexamine my life choices.
posted by emelenjr at 7:30 AM on August 2, 2020 [4 favorites]

Around the corner from our house is a little park, like in a lot of Japanese neighborhoods, houses don't have much lawn to speak of, so kids from the neighborhood gather there after school. It's got a swing set, a little sandbox, and a slide, pretty basic, but pretty popular. Possibly because the slide goes down the trunk of a concrete sculpture that looks like a surprised elephant, hence the unofficial name for the park, 像公園/Zou Koen, or "Elephant Park." It's just a fun little thing we see anytime we drive anywhere, or come back to.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:34 AM on August 2, 2020 [5 favorites]

Hey, y'all, it's LearnedLeague registration season. We have open spots in the private rundle, so if you want in, hit me up. (We have an odd number in the private rundle right now, so let's get the last guy in off the bubble.) I didn't want to spam up MetaTalk with a standalone post, but here you go. You have until August 12.

August 23 is when Thorsten will probably start posting the results of the 2020 LearnedLeague Championship. You can watch me lose (or, rather, see a summary of the event which includes me and many others losing).
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:36 AM on August 2, 2020 [5 favorites]

In Your Neighborhood

HERE is the song that INSTANTLY pops into my head the very second I read or hear that phrase.

I live just a couple blocks from a sculpture garden, so I've been walking past it A LOT lately as I meander about getting a little exercise. I'm 99.9999% sure it's essentially private - while there are paths there is also a very cool gate that is always closed and locked. But the owners do keep the hedges trimmed low enough so you can see the sculptures from the sidewalk.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:55 AM on August 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

'Ça va bien aller' posters.
posted by googly at 9:25 AM on August 2, 2020 [3 favorites]

The suburb where I've laid anchor for my sunset years is delineated by these narrow strips of park the locals call 'greenbelts' (much to my amusement, having actually lived in old Greenbelt where I had my first apartment, a long time ago). One of them quite close to me features a Community Rose Garden, a fenced-in circle with six arbors over park benches, maybe ten meters in diameter, and a multitude of rose bushes in the middle. A sign says it's open dawn to dusk, and somebody locks that gate, trims the bushes, and maintains the irrigation system, but I've never seen them. Thanks to whoever!
posted by Rash at 9:28 AM on August 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

Toddler parade! Someone in my neighborhood has adorable triplet girls and from time to time they plus another three toddlers process down the sidewalk. Usually it's the girls first, single file, then a couple boys, one older, one younger, and finally an adult bringing up the rear with toddler #6 in a red wagon. I assume it's a home daycare situation or neighboring parents taking turns giving each other a break. It sparks joy every time I look up during a long day of staring at screens to see babbos marching past my window.
posted by Flannery Culp at 9:34 AM on August 2, 2020 [8 favorites]

These posts, especially the animal ones, are making me smile, thank you all.

Huffy Puffy, I hope you get someone else for the private rundle! I wish I had the will to do more Learned League defense but one opponent is enough for me. I'm so glad you sent me an invitation a while back. LL remains a favorite pastime in my household!
posted by ferret branca at 9:57 AM on August 2, 2020 [3 favorites]

Neighborhood gardeners probably don’t agree, but I adore the little bunnies who live in the wooded park near my house and sometimes come to nibble on my lawn around dusk.
posted by mbrubeck at 10:02 AM on August 2, 2020 [4 favorites]

1. I finally went to the supermarket for the first time since March (have been making do with Farm Stand purchases, occasional friend mini-shops, and things I buy online) and it was not bad.

2. I am part of a team of volunteers who helps run a community laundromat. In COVID-times it's one of the few places with a public bathroom in our little village. We're really tried to make the place nice with a little free bookshelf, curtains, plants, and cleaning the place top to bottom every day. The group of folks who run it is mostly older and mostly from the local church (I am not), but it's been nice to just have a little project that is helpful to the community, and also it's where I do my laundry! We've been painting the outside of the building this month and it's been great to have outdoor exercise that's not just walking.

3. I went for a hike yesterday in some town-owned land that is open for public recreation and I got to walk in the woods for an hour, mask in my pocket, and didn't see another person!
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 10:16 AM on August 2, 2020 [5 favorites]

The storefront at the bottom of our street was going to be a nice little neighborhood wine and beer store opening by December, and then the people who owned it split up and it wound up never actually going into business.

Now it's been bought out and remodeled, and rumor has it it'll be open in the next two weeks. Soon there'll be no more walking down a 150-foot hill if we want to buy some wine for dinner.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:08 PM on August 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

My next-door neighbors moved into their house about a month before I did, almost 8 years ago now. A retired couple that I've gotten to know over the years - I tell them if I'm traveling for work (you know, before) to keep an eye on the place, they ask me to bring in their mail if they're out of town, etc.

We've taken to porch dropping desserts for each other on and off since the pandemic started - no strong feelings of owing each other, more as in "I have more of this than I can eat" situations. We also text with each other just to check in on how we're doing or if we need anything.

When I first moved here, I had these grand ideas of being welcomed to the neighborhood with a homemade pie but quickly learned most around here really keep to themselves. I'm so thankful to have this little "community" with these neighbors and share little bits of joy when we can.
posted by Twicketface at 12:14 PM on August 2, 2020 [7 favorites]

Every week has had another stress or anxiety (and we don't have it bad, I know....) but there was a wee bit of luck in all this: our upstairs neighbors moved out because they were able to buy a house! So, we're glad for them, and it's quiet now all day and night, and no big doggy gifts in the backyard grass, and the downstairs neighbors are planting flowers in pots and buckets everywhere, and their children hang out in the backyard a lot. I saw a young preying mantis outside on my herb pots and another (or same?) on my porch screen; I've never seen one IRL before. My lettuce leaf basil plants are just bursting out, and the Thai basil seedlings are starting to grow visibly every day. I might be able to open the windows for a few days and get some fresh cool air before the next round of heat, humidity, and thunderstorms. And I finally realized I can put up hooks in the laundry closet to store my bags of drying herbs, whoooo!!!
posted by winesong at 12:33 PM on August 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

We are rural, and haven't been leaving the farm much. We are taking lots of walks though. Recently our dearest neighbor asked our newest neighbor to use his tractor to mow some walking paths on dearest neighbor's property. It's a nice wide path through fallow fields, that winds through the approximately 10 acres. There is a high road, which has great views, and a low road in case one wants a shorter venture. The new neighbor then took it upon himself to create an access from the road to were the creek runs under the dirt road. He added a few rocks to create a very small pool for neighborhood kids to essentially splash about and look for frogs and stuff.
posted by terrapin at 1:08 PM on August 2, 2020 [6 favorites]

We recently moved. Our new neighborhood is a very, very suburban division on the outskirts of Houston, which for some reason has three cottontail rabbits wandering around. They visit our yard quite a bit, and seem to be in a bit of a tense detente with our new puppy. My children have named them Fluffin, Puffin, and Muffin. I have no idea why there are three random rabbits here, but they seem to have a good life.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 1:51 PM on August 2, 2020 [6 favorites]

My neighborhood has our very own vernacular architecture style. Essentially, there was a builder who built a ton of houses in the 20s and 30s that look like Hobbit houses, or like Hansel and Gretel's cottage. They are, by all accounts, kind of a pain in the ass to maintain, but they're weird and whimsical and totally charming. In general, my neighborhood has a lot of cool pre-war houses, so much so that some magazine named us one of the best old-house neighborhoods in the country. (I would dispute the idea that any of these houses are "old": I think they're pretty much all from the 20th or at most late 19th century. But they're cool houses, and there's a fair amount of variety.) It's not a fancy neighborhood, but it's fun to walk around. I strongly suspect that my house was built from a kit, and at some point I'm going to do a little bit of research and try to figure out what kit it was.

My Mom died last week. I've been staying with my parents while she was sick, and I'm going home next week. I'm feeling a little guilty about how much I'm looking forward to it, and I'm also a little worried that I haven't fully considered how I'm going to deal with the double-whammy of grief and isolation, since I live alone and am planning to socially distance as completely as possible. But the last five months have been really fucking hard, and I think I need some time and space to process it all.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:02 PM on August 2, 2020 [14 favorites]

Oh, ArbitraryAndCapricious, I’m so sorry about your mom. My best to you and your family.

Today’s best neighborhood thing is the Luna moth that Mr. and Little eirias found outside this afternoon. I didn’t know they lived around here!
posted by eirias at 2:21 PM on August 2, 2020 [3 favorites]

Everything delightful in my neighbourhood, and there is plenty of delightfulness, is nothing but memory as I last left my little apartment sometime in the week after March 11th for half an hour to walk down to the health centre for my flu jab.
Thats over four months ago and there are probably at least another four months ahead of me.
This too must pass.
posted by adamvasco at 2:37 PM on August 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

Someone created a lovely tree tour in the neighborhood, using chalk to write out the name of each tree included, and its original geography, and arrows to direct you to the next tree on the tour. I think there are 36 or more trees included.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 3:12 PM on August 2, 2020 [18 favorites]

ArbitraryAndCapricious, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom and these difficult months you've had to go through.

I think the isolation might be a good thing. When my dad passed away some time ago after a long illness, all I craved for the next several months was isolation. Really, I would have moved to the moon if I could have.

Wishing you peace.
posted by mochapickle at 3:34 PM on August 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

HERE is the song that INSTANTLY pops into my head the very second I read or hear that phrase.

Here's the one I get. (And as a bonus - here's Peter Gabriel covering it.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:14 PM on August 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

We live in a fairly standard suburban townhouse community, but it is much more racially diverse than the 73% white that is reported for our zip code. I'd guess it's pretty close to an even split among White folks, Black folks, and Asian folks. It's lovely.

We spent the weekend camping. Spent yesterday on an 8-mile hike with my son, during which we only passed 3 other groups of hikers the entire time. Then we spent our evenings sitting around the campfire eating adult S'mores (dip the marshmallows in Bailey's), drinking beer, and listening to the Red Sox radio feed.
posted by COD at 4:24 PM on August 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

I live under the flight path of Sydney Airport, which is in ordinary times exactly what it sounds like (what? Sorry?). Since the absolute collapse of international travel, it's heavy jets only every now and then, and more and more often it's pilots of those tiny little two- or four-seater Pipers taking the opportunity they'd never, ever otherwise get to practice landings and takeoffs on a major international runway. It's a very cute engine noise compared to the screeching of a turbojet. Thhhbbbbbbbbppoppppptttt.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:48 PM on August 2, 2020 [12 favorites]

I don't know if this counts, but I added this essential water feature to the deck this weekend . Best idea I've had in months.
posted by thivaia at 5:50 PM on August 2, 2020 [12 favorites]

So many flowers. When the pandemic hit, to get my kindergartner out of the house (and to practice handwriting on the other end), I started a "flower journal" project. . I downloaded a flower-identifier app, and bought a physical journal to paste the printed pictures in (with 6 year-old writing the names. We started with crocuses on March 20. I am so very overwhelmed with the volume of flowers come July (and way behind categorizing), but they are LOVELY.

Also a climbing turtle in our beloved park.
posted by Pax at 6:04 PM on August 2, 2020 [8 favorites]

Pax, I love your flower project! What a great way to provide structure to this odd time.
posted by eirias at 6:28 PM on August 2, 2020 [3 favorites]

Peavey Plaza
posted by Kwine at 6:55 PM on August 2, 2020 [3 favorites]

I live on a busy street. (Less busy in these times, but still.)

Just across the busy street is a network of quiet narrow little streets which were where I really *wanted* to live, but I fell in love with a house on the busy street, and it was (of course) cheaper than the equivalent houses on the quiet narrow streets.

So the quiet narrow streets have become a sort of mobile cerebrum where I walk and think.

I haven't left the neighbourhood since March. There isn't much green space here, and I miss that, but the narrow little streets have some scraps of green. In particular, there's a Philadelphus-- a mock orange-- which bloomed around Midsummer, and the orange blossom scent was so strong I could smell it through my mask.

Then there's a bank of lavender outside a school which smells absolutely amazing after it rains. On sunny days it's covered in fat happy golden bees.

And then, on a certain corner, there's a majestic old fig tree. Fig leaves smell wonderful. I used to rub my hands on the huge broad leaves to smell them; I don't do that these days, but I still look at it with love.

I miss green places. I miss my friends. But I'm trying to take small joys where I can find them.
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:15 PM on August 2, 2020 [7 favorites]

A doe and her fawn were trotting around on my back lawn the other day. I'm not usually outside early enough in the morning to see the deer. I've seen foxes about, but have not heard them over here (fox screams were plentiful at my previous house, much to the aggravation of one of my cats, who would growl and then get up to patrol the house every time).

Apparently, someone is trying a third go at a Mexican restaurant in this area. This seems like an odd time to open, but more power to them.
posted by thomas j wise at 7:25 PM on August 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

I am directly in the flight path of Yiwu airport. You get used to it, but some days the local fighter jet wing is taking off and landing every 20 minutes.

I did not consider this as pertinent information when I got my drone. It flies, it is excellent, but I will never get the footage of the immediately surrounding countryside as I initially imagined. The drone's software is directly wired into the Chinese airspace maps and we are right in the middle of a big red no-fly zone.

The upside is, I have been taking 10km cab rides to random towns and villages outside the zone, so there's that. Still, sucks.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:41 PM on August 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

its mushroom season - so Ive been out picking with friends- morels, boletes, hedgehogs, puffballs etc- and drying them for winter. raspberries are thick on the bushes now too, & blueberries almost ready- the bounty of the forests.
And in local neighbourhood news, finally got to see Mama moose and her little prancing calf- they came by for a visit and stood within 10 feet of my cabin window yesterday! Id been seeing their tracks for weeks now, and wondered if she had twins because there were so many baby moose feetprints - but now I can confirm its just one calf, dancing around mama as they walk. ‘mama look!’ ‘mama whats this?’ ‘ mama watch this!’......
heart eyes.
posted by cabin fever at 11:47 PM on August 2, 2020 [8 favorites]

I live in one of the few small towns in the Bay Area that still has a sort of country vibe, even though I’m a few miles from a roaring highway. Tons and tons of huge trees everywhere.
I love it.
posted by gt2 at 2:53 AM on August 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

We're on a little dead end street off a busier main road. The folks at the end of the street have three kids. They wanted to put together a lemonade stand over the weekend, but our neighbors kind of went ehhh that might not go over too well In The Time of COVID TM. Their garden's going well, so they decided how about a farm stand.

The dad found a couple of pallets up the street, and put together a freaking adorable booth; the kids painted some signs for it, including an OPEN/CLOSED sign. Saturday morning, they got masked up, got some hand sanitizer, and set up shop on the corner of the busier road. We picked up a cucumber, which my daughter very happily ate for her snack.
posted by damayanti at 6:30 AM on August 3, 2020 [5 favorites]


While we're building the new facility, we're housed in an indie tech-oriented shared-work space that's in a big retrofitted warehouse, and they have three big ceiling fans up by the roof to circulate air in the space. It will forever amuse me that the name of the fan's manufacturer - which is printed neatly on each fan - is Big Ass Fans.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:42 AM on August 3, 2020 [8 favorites]

I moved to my current neighborhood just as my state's stay-at-home order came down at the end of March. I'm right next to a very wealthy part of town, which means a lot of my neighbors have lovely gardens and while I walk around and fantasize about class war and their houses being converted into artists' cooperatives or affordable housing for multiple families or similar, I enjoy their gardens and take pictures of the flowers.
posted by bile and syntax at 7:13 AM on August 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

Oh hey! The company I work for makes the motors that go into Big Ass Fans !
posted by Sparky Buttons at 7:25 AM on August 3, 2020 [14 favorites]

I live by the Fenway Victory Gardens, one of the two victory gardens in the country that have been continuously in use since WWII. This provided plots for people living in Boston to grow vegetables and such. They've stayed a community garden, and now people have really elaborate and expansive and beautiful flower gardens. In an effort to enforce work life balance and get out of my apartment, I try to start and end my workday with a quick walk around the victory gardens. Sometimes I see interesting birds - herons, hawks, mockingbirds, warblers, etc. Sometimes I see squirrels eating dead mourning doves! I've watched the progression from nothing blooming in March and April, to crocuses and tulips, roses, hydrangeas, lilies, and now the gladiolas are out. It's still very much an urban space in a city, but it's really beautiful and it is a nice way to partition off work and home.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:56 AM on August 3, 2020 [7 favorites]

Several months ago, I mentioned in a Metatalktail that I’d hoped love was blooming during the pandemic between two neighbors. It wasn’t meant to be, I suppose, and the father of the little boy actually just sold his house. So, I’m about to have new neighbors, which hopefully will be pretty delightful. Rumor is it’s a young family of five.
posted by cheapskatebay at 9:09 AM on August 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

My neighborhood is a little island of cobblestone streets and old trees surrounded on three sides by some of the highest traffic thoroughfares in the city. A 40 acre oasis in the middle of the urban chaos, it is about 5C cooler than the surrounding city and very quiet in comparison.

On the streets, free for all, are three types of avocado trees, the one just outside my house produces little fruits that are 80% stone and 20% flesh, perfect for guacamole, soft and full of flavor. On the main street median we have lemongrass, rue, rosemary, seepweed, mint, bitter orange, sweet lime, mangos, and many other fruits and herbs I can't remember. A house half a block away has a 50 year old cactus garden, they have a grove of some columnar species that are about 10 meters tall. All around there are more tree species than I can count, most planted at least 65 years ago. I particularly like a couple of GIGANTIC rubber trees. We have been collecting the sap for the kids to make prehispanic style rubber balls and we are waiting to get some sulfur to do home vulcanizing.

There is a tiny working farm that has managed to survive in the middle of the city, with a few horses, a couple of cows, countless chickens, and a friendly and very loud donkey. Last weekend we found huge rhinoceros beetles feeding on a Jacaranda tree. We brought them home for the kids to look at them and make drawings then we put them back on the tree. We found a mantis ootheca in the backyard in early spring, and we've been watching the hundreds of tiny mantis babies grow up. We have 4 or 5 still living in the backyard. At least 12 hummingbirds are nesting in the tree next door, they come down to feed in our backyard, the largest is a gorgeous violet-crowned hummingbird that excels at aerobatic fencing. There are frogs living in a fountain in the middle of the neighborhood, and large collared lizards have colonized the ficus trees in a corner of the neighborhood. There have been nonstop nuptial flights of all kinds of ants. This year we are only keeping leafcutters, we have 2 queens of Atta mexicana from three weeks ago who have managed to grow a fungus as large as they area, and another queen that I believe is Atta cephalotes.

I hope how excited I am to live here comes through in the text. I spent the last 15 years in a place where all we saw were rats, diseased pigeons and the ocasional raccoon, and where the city intentionally gets rid of edible and fruit bearing trees and replaces them with sterile plants.
posted by Dr. Curare at 12:35 PM on August 3, 2020 [10 favorites]

The oh-shit brilliant modern Jamaican restaurant that opened nearby late last year is thriving. Take out only, but they're so busy they've got to be doing well after their slow start. The jerk chicken is unbelievable. We get takeout on a Friday and it also does for Saturday dinner too.

Early morning bike rides are great, but I'm missing seeing the groundhogs for the last few weeks. Lots of people out on the hydro corridor even at 6 am. The hoops at the local park are busy all day. I put up a ghost bike plaque to remember a cyclist who was killed by a car driver at a crossing: the city keeps taking the white bikes away, but this should last.

I cycle through a small industrial plaza every day, and only a couple of days ago I noticed that a rather forgettable corporate planter is filled with extremely healthy cannabis plants.
posted by scruss at 1:56 PM on August 3, 2020 [8 favorites]

My street doesn't go through to the next block, so everyone walks down the alley, which does go through, to get to the nearby commercial street. There are a lot of classic Chicago wooden back porches facing the alley, and a lot of people know their neighbors around here, so it's really nice to walk down the alley in spring, summer, or fall, and wave to someone you know who is out on their porch, and stop and have a little chat. Or overhear people calling from one porch to another, having nice little casual conversations about their kids and their gardens and what they are grilling for dinner. Even in the winter you might pass a friend coming or going.

It's a little ironic that the garbage-filled alley is the center of neighborhood life rather than the street faced with fronts of rather attractive six-flat apartment buildings, but it works.
posted by mai at 2:10 PM on August 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

I have an army research lab in my neighborhood and on Friday at 4:30 they blow that "time to go home" trumpet thing that the army plays. No, not Taps. They make MREs there and one time in the 1970s they disposed of some bags of dead Madagascar cockroaches at our local landfill but they didn't kill the egg sacs and they infested part of the town with roaches. The director of the Board of Health didn't feel that it was a real problem until the people threatened to leave some egg sacs on his front door.
posted by bondcliff at 6:00 PM on August 3, 2020 [12 favorites]

They make MREs there and one time in the 1970s they disposed of some bags of dead Madagascar cockroaches

That’s some transition there, that is
posted by clew at 6:17 PM on August 3, 2020 [12 favorites]

Ah, Gromphadorhina portentosa

Decomposer early alert squad. Effective for keeping certain critters away from potatoe peels.

"...These appear to be the giant cockroaches inflicted upon Natick, Massachusetts by U.S. Army Natick Laboratories in 1974. Those were said to be three inches in length, "As long as a man's thumb." The ones at NESC measure about 2 to 2-1/2 inches actual body length but they do grow to 3 inches..."

So, ' Damnation Alley'
posted by clavdivs at 6:27 PM on August 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

The pond down the road recently gained a duck decoy painted a lovely shade of bright yellow with multicolored polka dots. Suspecting this is going to escalate into competitive whimsy so she'll have friends soon.
posted by superna at 8:42 PM on August 3, 2020 [3 favorites]


I live near a pulp and paper mill. Great rafts of logs are frequently ferried up and down the river near my home, guided by tugboats. On two occasions now I have seen crew hop out of the boat onto the logs and give them a poke with a stick, 19th century style.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:36 PM on August 3, 2020 [4 favorites]

I saw a Monarch butterfly-
First one of the year!
posted by calgirl at 10:41 PM on August 3, 2020 [5 favorites]

a theater, an arts and music node, and a divebar which played great shows, died this week, and so i am v sad about my neighbourhood right now--is that okay to admit.
posted by PinkMoose at 10:53 PM on August 3, 2020 [4 favorites]

The director of the Board of Health didn't feel that it was a real problem until the people threatened to leave some egg sacs on his front door.
Direct saction gets the goods
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 11:04 PM on August 3, 2020 [5 favorites]

I’ve been trying to think what to write here, as I live in a very urban space and can’t walk very far, but mai reminded me that since I’ve been here so long, I know and can wave at so many of the local shop owners which is nice.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:36 AM on August 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

We live right under the flight path for Heathrow. It's not very charming. But our toddler started noticing planes during lockdown.

First it started with her pointing them out and immediately asking me to conjure up another one, "Plane! More?". I've had to teach her that I am not in charge of air traffic control, which she either doesn't quite get or doesn't accept. Fortunately as travel restrictions have eased, they have increased in frequency.

She progressed to knowing what they sound like so even when we are inside the flat she'll pause mid-activity and tell me "Plane!". Then we observed how they are different sizes based on their altitude and she categorises them "Big!" or "Small!"

It's now to the point she can sort of associate the volume of a plane with its altitude and therefore the size and she'll just randomly say "Big" without even looking up and I gotta say she's got quite a knack for it.
posted by like_neon at 3:12 AM on August 4, 2020 [13 favorites]

Okay, this isn't really neighborhood-related, but I'm pretty excited about it all:

After months of delay from the holidays and, well, everything, I finally managed to file the paperwork to get reimbursed by my employer for my ILR* application fee, and to get an interest-free loan for Mrs. Example's.

The reimbursement is taxed as a benefit, which is kind of terrible, but the good news is that even after that chunk is taken out, what's left will still be enough to pay off the bank loan we took out to finance the actual applications nine or ten months ago, and we'll just be left with the interest-free loan for Mrs. Example's bit. We should be free and clear of immigration-related debt by September 2022 at the very latest.

Better yet, it's starting to look like we might actually be able to just pay for our citizenship applications (we're eligible as of February!) outright. Fingers crossed.

*Indefinite Leave to Remain. Basically permanent UK residency. You can't vote, but you don't have a time limit on how long you can stay, and you can work unrestricted.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:13 AM on August 4, 2020 [6 favorites]

I saw a Monarch butterfly-
First one of the year!

We are under siege by the dreaded spotted lanternfly right now, so we have folks out there planting milkweed in public spaces (and people planting their own milkweed - we already have a ton in our yard). I am waiting for this area to become, like, a monarch exhibit!
posted by Pax at 5:31 AM on August 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

A couple of weeks ago, I put up a hummingbird feeder and now there are hummingbirds visiting it and it's very entertaining. I was sitting in the yard and one came right up to me, which was pretty cool and also a reminder that I needed to put in more sugar syrup.

Yesterday I went out for an early morning bike ride and saw a coyote on the corner, casually trotting down the sidewalk. I spotted him a couple more times as we both meandered through the neighborhood, then we parted ways.
posted by mogget at 8:41 AM on August 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

I appreciate all the art and cheerful messages on the sidewalks and driveways. A recent chalk message was "it's a boy!" which was delightful to see even though I've never met those neighbours.
posted by randomnity at 9:33 AM on August 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

There's a new dog named Wyatt in the neighborhood - on his walks, when he gets closer to home, he takes his leash in his mouth and not-quite-runs ahead of his human. His human told me he only does this when he gets near home because he's excited to be home and wants to hurry!
posted by ersatzkat at 9:37 AM on August 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

Hummingbird feeder PSA:

With the quarantine more and more people are noticing hummingbirds and installing feeders.

Commercial syrup is expensive, has unnecessary coloring added, and the preservatives may or may not be harmful to the birds. But they are the easiest to use, they can last up to 10 days in the feeder.

If you decide to go the DIY way, use only refined white cane sugar. Other more 'natural' sugars may contain enough iron to kill the birds. There have been many tragic incidents where a feeder with high iron syrup has killed dozens of birds in a short time. We are talking tiny concentrations, hummingbirds can not deal with iron in their diet.

Also, for DIY syrup, make sure to change the syrup and deep clean the feeder at least every 3 days, preferably daily. The syrup can ferment quickly, which gives you drunk birds with indigestion, but it can also develop mold and other fungi that can kill the birds, either from fungal toxins or a fungal tongue infection. Clean the feeder very well, spores can accumulate and spoil the new nectar in hours.

The only properly tested safe preservatives for hummingbird syrup use copper compounds in micronutrient doses. Do your research.

Finally, syrup is the fuel hummingbirds use to hunt little insects. Think of the syrup dispensing device as a hummingbirds attractor and refueling station, not a feeder. For feeding, promote fruit flies close to the syrup. I just leave fruit waste in a bowl close to the syrup and replace the fruit when it starts getting moldy.

This related to this thread because I am pretty sure that a neglected feeder in the neighborhood is responsible for 10 or so dead birds from a single tree in my neighborhood. It was a sad week.
posted by Dr. Curare at 9:47 AM on August 4, 2020 [16 favorites]

I planted scarlet runner beans and they’re ten feet tall and floriferous and attracting bumblebees and hummingbirds.
posted by clew at 11:01 AM on August 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

I recently moved to a new neighborhood that is somehow even more Mexican than my last neighborhood, and much safer and moderately more affluent. Half the neighborhood appears to be in a Virgen de Guadalupe statuary arms race. We've got fountains. We've got floral arrangements. We've got burn all night flashing lights. We've got a full yard display including a 3/4 scale crucifix. It's All Latin Catholicism All The Time up in here. Other neighbors who aren't as into the graven images deal make up for it with things like a yard full of broken down power wheels used as planters, or the folks who are just REALLY INTO iguana art. I will eventually be contributing in my own way, once I get a gofundme started up to help purchase a 6 foot tall yard velociraptor, which has long been my dream.

I'm so glad I don't live anywhere with an HOA because it would really harsh the groove.
posted by phunniemee at 11:10 AM on August 4, 2020 [18 favorites]

TIL that yard velociraptor statues exist and that there are mulitple purchasing options. Planning for fall holiday decorating!
posted by mogget at 11:34 AM on August 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

TIL that yard velociraptor statues exist and that there are mulitple purchasing options.

I've even sourced one locally! 65 million years and 25 minutes away.
posted by phunniemee at 3:02 PM on August 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

I have not lived in my neighborhood for almost 5 months now, but one of the best things about our neighborhood was a surly-but-approachable outdoor cat named Sven. Sadly my ex partner informed me yesterday that Sven has passed away. But there is an adorable fence memorial for him complete with photos and flowers. Everyone had photos of him on their phones (myself included) from their encounters on walks about the neighborhood.

Such a dapper and dignified old man, and I can't believe I never got to see him again.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 3:53 PM on August 4, 2020 [5 favorites]

Update: I met the neighbors and it’s a nice couple with adorable 4-year-old and 3-year-old children, plus a very cute 9-month-old baby. And two big friendly labs. The block is very much in a state of generational transition (2 nearby houses owned by older neighbors are likely to be placed on the market soon) and it’s kind of sobering, yet also kind of cool, to realize that I’ll be one of the older neighbors now.
posted by cheapskatebay at 4:45 PM on August 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

Unfortunately my neighborhood is now filled with downed trees, thanks to the tropical storm that is hitting the east coast. I’m crossing my fingers that the power will be back on when I wake up tomorrow, but with so many people out of power I’m not counting on it. (Though you never know - I’m often lucky because I live across from a hospital and typically get my power back on fairly quickly.)
posted by firei at 5:53 PM on August 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

I never take my phone with me out on walks but I did tonight. I've been meaning to snap photos of my favorite houses and this was the push I needed to start doing that.
posted by phunniemee at 6:18 PM on August 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

It's nacreous cloud season!
posted by inexorably_forward at 2:23 AM on August 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

We did a bike ride around the village at lunch today, a route we've done many times before, but this time we saw many goats in a field! I don't know if they're new goats or merely goats I have not noticed before. The point is: goats.
posted by terretu at 5:55 AM on August 5, 2020 [6 favorites]

As expected, yellow duck decoy now has a magenta friend. Hoping for a whole flock by end of summer!
posted by superna at 6:47 PM on August 5, 2020 [2 favorites]

I will be leaving my current neighbourhood (where I've been for several months) in a few days (barring lockdown) and relocating for a while. I am very much NOT looking forward to the trip, despite taking every precaution possible; just the destination.

There's not much about this suburb of Birmingham I'll miss, and I won't come back to it for such a long period again. My eyes, for a base in England, are more on somewhere between Exmoor and the Hwicce; unsure where, specifically.

Having said that, this place is convenient for a train to quickly get me to Lichfield (where I've stayed before), which contains my favourite bakery in this part of the world (Instagram, Facebook). Their chocolate-loaded croissants are something else, as is their cinnamon infused strip-layered lardy cake. That convenience is useful; it being a tiny place, they are often sold out of many items within a few hours of opening. It's perhaps not a coincidence that it reminds me of some of the Swedish bakeries I spent rather a lot of last winter in.

I've also just had my first haircut in half a year. It was a bit more ... severe ... than I thought it would be, and I feel strangely naked. The cat is looking at me, curiously (probably trying to work out if my radical hair removal will result in less, or more, feeding).
posted by Wordshore at 2:59 AM on August 6, 2020 [3 favorites]

Ah Wordshore, my grandma lived in Lichfield for my whole life before she passed away in 2011, such fond memories of that place. Sadly don’t think I ever made it to the bakery!
posted by ellieBOA at 4:30 AM on August 6, 2020 [2 favorites]

suburb of Birmingham

My first British boyfriend was from Stourbridge. Believe me, I can understand the feeling of not wanting to return.

(Today I took a cutting from the Philadelphus I mentioned upthread. I know its a bit late in the year, but I dipped it in rooting powder, put it in soil and am hoping.)
posted by Pallas Athena at 3:32 PM on August 6, 2020 [2 favorites]

This morning I saw that someone had left a bouquet and a card addressed to 'Nan' in a tree at a popular spot in the forest where I live. I don't know if it was intended to be a remembrance of someone's grandma (in the UK, grandmothers are often called Nan, Nanny or Nana), or if it had been left as a socially-distant gift for the recipient to collect. Whichever, I thought it was sweet and touching.
posted by essexjan at 3:54 PM on August 6, 2020 [6 favorites]

This is a bit boastful, but what always gives me joy is the free book box outside my place. Researched by my mom, made by my dad, stand by one neighbour, art by me and 8 other neighbours, paint and roofing tiles from 3 other neighbours, a tile pointing towards Santiago de Compostela from another neighbours, translations of 'free books" into a rainbow of languages by many friends and acquaintances. An abundance of books shared for three years and counting.
posted by Singout at 5:51 PM on August 8, 2020 [9 favorites]

Something has been digging up my newly-seeded lawn every few days. My guess was a fox, but I set up a night vision camera and caught the actual culprits red-handed.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:55 AM on August 9, 2020 [5 favorites]

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