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By Liz, missing the sun over the last few days!

I’ve been spending a lot of time this summer getting to know my neighborhood.

I know that sounds funny since I’ve lived here a year and a half. And admittedly, I’ve gotten very well acquainted with the sushi place across the street and the yoga studio around the corner. Shaggy and I walk down to the fountain area every day and she does her

It’s cute, even with the typo!

sniffing routine. When the weather isn’t too hot for her, we walk down to the water. But I haven’t been letting my surroundings live up to their full potential.

When I was a kid, my neighborhood was my street with three houses on it. I picked wild blackberries behind my house and played Battle of the Planets in the woods with my neighbors. It was the first neighborhood I had, so of course I felt connected to it. When I lived in various apartments as an adult, I never felt a sense of community, never mind actually cared about the neighborhood. And the last couple of places I lived were more of the same. (There was also that one disastrous condo community I chose that was a living nightmare, but that’s another story.)

My point is, I’ve never actually connected to a place I’ve lived in my adult life. I always felt more affinity for places in which I spent a lot of time, so there was always a gap there. Until I moved to my current neighborhood. I spent my first summer here wrapped in a lot of things and didn’t get out much. But now, I’m discovering it little by little.

And it’s totally up my alley. It’s a tiny little city that’s hopping most nights, with restaurants and galleries lining both sides of the street, trickling around the corners. The water is right down the street, and even though it’s the Sound (yes, I’m kind of an ocean snob) I can smell the salt air and hear the seagulls every morning. I’ve even come to love the trains that run right behind my building.

The people at the sushi place know my name – it’s kind of like Cheers – and now that I’m branching out, I’ve found so many awesome things. Like the little market up the street with good coffee, gluten free options and “treats” for Shaggy (i.e., ground beef and an occasional steak). The fish place near the marina. The farmers’ market. The little area with souvenir shops and beachy-type places near the water. The park near the beach where dogs can play.

Shaggy loves to “walk the street” when it’s busy at night, because she gets lots of attention. She’s pretty much famous. She also loves to visit the zen garden downstairs and watch the fountain. 

We made a good choice with our new neighborhood. And we’re fully committed to getting to know it even better, now that we’ve made it our own.

Readers, tell us about the neighborhood closest to your heart in the comments below.

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