By Donna Huffaker Evans
Me: “This is not the suburbs!’’
Him: “Babe, we live in Burbank.’’
Me: “But there’s a liquor store at the end of our block!’’
This alone, I reasoned, catapulted my residential status into the likes of our friends who lived in lofts Downtown. I liked the way they walked everywhere, rode the Metro to hit Hollywood and always mentioned a new restaurant, or pointed out how some ghastly bar just turned gastro pub fabulous.
In reality, it took me a good 40 minutes to hoof to a strip of bars or selection of non-chain eateries. I drove more than I walked, and as much as I tried to utilize public transit, the closest red line stop required wheels or gobs of extra time.
But what I envied most about our Downtown friends was their sense of community – the very thing the suburbs were supposed to provide. I met Mike and Kathryn’s friend from the Rowan once – once – and weeks later as I walked down Spring Street, this woman flailed her arms like she was signaling a plane. She was saying hi to me. I’d lived on the same street in Burbank for 10 years and the most my neighbors ever talked to me was when their kid kicked a soccer ball through my window.
So we packed our stuff, sold our house and moved to the Arts District. We’ve been at Molino Street Lofts for one month and in that time the residents have hosted a cookout and asked me to join the social committee. We’ve gone out to dinner a few times with folks we just met. Several dinners at several restaurants – all within walking distance.
People smile and say hello here. They hold the door for you. They apologize if their chair bumps you. It’s like the south without racism.
Last week, on a Facebook group for the Arts District, residents chatted wildly about an adorable scraggly dog that looked to have been dumped out of a car. He appeared hungry and certainly skittish. Several residents caught him long enough to hand-feed him, but then he dashed away. Naturally they named him Dasher.
Back and forth the comments flew: who’d last seen him, where. Had he been given any water? Did anyone have a friend looking for a dog (it’s Downtown – someone is always looking to adopt a dog). One after another they strategized about how to capture the little guy and nurse him back to a healthy size. All for a dog no one knew.
That’s a community – and a community I’m thrilled to call my home.
"Downtown Dishing" is presented by http://www.LoftLivingLA.com