Monday, June 17, 2013

Chic Magnets and Other Things

My friend Lisa and her boyfriend live in my neighborhood.  Their enthusiasm for this area is part of why I moved here.  And Lisa, being the friend she is, is curious and helpful with my transition back to being single.  I am done with my initial obsession with trying to ‘date’ again.  Of course I am still interested in meeting women but I don’t care about the dating part; I’m more interested in sharing a drink at a sidewalk bar or sharing a concert.  And Lisa wants to help.

She suggested I get a dog.  She says dogs are chic magnets and meanwhile she said I can borrow her dog any time.  As she was telling me this at the neighborhood farmer’s market Saturday, I recalled that she brought Daisy with her when we met for drinks at an outdoor wine bar a couple of times last summer.  There were several good looking young women there on one of those days.  Lisa went inside to use the restroom at one point and asked me to watch Daisy.  Four different women started conversations with me during that few minutes and each chat began with reference to Daisy.  Hmmm.  Maybe Lisa is right and maybe I should borrow Daisy some time.  Just sayin’.  I’m not an ugly man but I don’t ‘turn heads’ either.  And Daisy likes me; actually Daisy likes everybody.  I bet she would be a great conversation starter.
Weather has been especially good here the past couple of weekends and I have taken advantage of that fact to explore my neighborhood more.  I am slowly becoming a regular at the wine bar I mentioned and I’ve sampled the fare at several other restaurants.  Sitting outside is a great way to soak in the surroundings and do some people watching.  I started my day yesterday with a walk to Starbucks.  Their outdoor seating was crowded but there are benches all over the neighborhood so I sat on one at the edge of one of the numerous plaza and observed the late Sunday morning vibe.

A few things I saw:
- This is a very multi-cultural and multi-generational area.  I saw several families with babies, twenty-something parents and fifty-something grandparents, all hanging out in the plaza.  Two women of Indian descent sat on a bench across from me discussing Home Depot while waiting for two other neighbor families to join them for brunch; the other families included the stereotypical blond, Docker’s dressed Gen-Xers with kids.  Everyone greeted each other like family.  There is nothing unusual about this now, but mid-boomers like me can remember a point in our lives when this scene would have been odd or even frowned upon. I am happy those days are in the past.

- I think this neighborhood could be described as being on the upscale side of middle class, so I laughed when I saw a Rolls Royce drive by.  At the other extreme, last night I saw (and heard) a 1970s-era Trans Am with racing headers sticking out of the hood.  The typical neighborhood vehicles are Hondas and Toyotas, especially compact SUVs and mini-vans.  This morning I also saw many bicycles (I should be riding mine but I haven’t yet) as well as a few skate boards.  Saturday night I saw (and heard) two Harleys.
- The typical weekend attire here seems to be khakis and polo shirts.  Wait, I think I just described what I was wearing.  I also saw Middle Eastern-influenced clothing and at least two couples in suits.  Typical footwear … flip flops (except for the couples in suits).

- Dogs, dogs, dogs.  Labs, Westies, Goldens, poodles, a greyhound and a poofy little Bichon Frise.  Daisy is a Sheltie. 
- Music, music, music.  Friday night I saw an acoustic duo at one wine place and a classic rock band at a tiki bar.  Saturday I saw a duo at the farmer’s market, playing on a small stage in front of a neighborhood ‘music academy’ … I think they were students.  And the tiki bar had a band on Saturday night too.

- As cool as this neighborhood is, many residents are also self-important yuppies in a big hurry.  Sometimes those huge ‘pedestrian crossing’ signs mean nothing and I do not trust for even a second any car on any street around here.  But that won’t stop me from walking nearly everywhere.  A car seems pointless unless I have stuff to carry or unless the weather is bad.  I bought fresh-picked broccoli, strawberry jelly (“made yesterday”) and two cupcakes at the farmer’s market and crossed the street to my favorite wine store where I purchased two bottles, and walked home with that stuff.  Didn’t need the car.
OK, that’s probably enough for this post.  Thanks for visiting. 

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