Thursday, June 30, 2005

There goes the neighborhoods

On the positive side of the ledger are the reputedly scummy surroundings of my new workplace. I've been there two days now, and it's great to be in the real world: people pedestrianing, orange vests leaning on shovels, the aromas of Thai and Vietnamese and Indian cooking mingling (and all three places small enough that the lines spill out onto the sidewalk). Inside the office is beautiful, but my work is still such a tossed salad of "behind" and "behinder" that I can't really enjoy it yet. Outside, though, it's a week of shirtsleeve weather (rare in San Francisco).

On the negative side, the wonderful neighbors in our townhome quad are slowly evaporating. When we moved in four years ago, it was in part because of the many children nearby. But of the seven families we've known the best, by the end of this summer five will have moved away. A couple of new families have moved in, but there are definitely fewer kids and a higher proportion of Spanish speakers. In short, it's getting harder to shoo my children outside because it's less and less likely they'll find anyone to play with.

Sally Ann and PJ are attending their first-ever day camp this week, and it's wearing them out. But for the rest of the summer I think we're going to have to arrange visits to and from friends. For a couple of years we had the kind of neighborhood I grew up in, where the kids made their own fun and organized themselves pretty much unsupervised; it's a little sad to think that we have to enter the more modern world of scheduling their play.


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