I don't know if I can really say I live in a "neighborhood". I live in downtown Chicago so being surrounded by skyscapers and high rise residential buildings doesn't seem to fit the traditional idea of what a neighborhood should be. There isn't much grass. There aren't any single family homes. There are no front yards or porches either. There is alot of concrete though! Anyhoo, I have been living here for about a year and a half and I am still discovering little things about the area. I suppose that happens wherever you live. Even after lving in Boystown for two years I gave someone a blank look one day when they mentioned a place called "XO". I must have walked past the place a million times and never noticed it. As for my current neighborhood, I am starting to realize that if I have to walk more than 3 blocks to get somewhere I must be doing something wrong. For the longest time I had no idea there was a post office, GNC, Jamba Juice, and a Radio Shack all within a few blocks. I know those may seem like trivial things but when I remember I have to mail a package while I have a craving for a smoothie while I am looking for a place to get iPod accessories and creatine tablets, knowing where all of these places are make my life so much easier, especially when it is so fucking cold outside like today. Actually on winter days like this I am so grateful I live where I live. I can go to the gym and go grocery shopping without having to step outside in the cold. I love it!
On a slightly related note, I must say I do miss living in a "real neighborhood". In fact, I will even go as far to say I miss Chicago's first "Gayborhood", Boystown. I will admit that I did get sick of being cruised by scary old men at Jewel, Walgreens, GNC, Borders, Universal Gear and even Unabridged Books (oh wait, I had a really GOOD experience in the travel section at that place, scratch that one off the list lol). However, there were so many things I did like about the area. I loved the fact I could walk into the same stores every week and be greeted by my first name. It's a friendly area. Some of the store owners were my neighbors. I recall one occasion when I left my keys at one shop and the manager knew I lived next door and let me pick them up at his apartment that night. I guess I just don't get that "neighborly" feel from people downtown. Although just the other day this really hot (straight?) guy started chatting with me in the elevator. He asked if I was a boxer (I was wearing a shirt that said "TKO") LOL!!!! If he only knew what a big queen I really am. Grrr...but I would have let him show me a few moves if he wanted!
Well, neighborly or not, I will be enjoying the conveniences of downtown for a few more years. Perhaps my last year of school I shall make a return to Chicago's northside.