Sometimes when I’m too early picking up my children from school I’ll stand around and watch my neighborhood wander by. And I get such a wave of love for this place.
The good thing about living in an area where you walk around so much is that you begin to recognize those around you: The Irish woman in the shop who calls all the women ‘Lady’. The blind brothers who get help with their shopping at Budgen’s and who are partial to a pint at the pub. Even the scary hoodie types with their trousers sliding down their hips and their ‘borrowed’ cell phones.
And that’s not even counting all the parents and children from the local school you bump into during your daily errands.
You see former neighbors and give them a cheery wave across the street. You smile at the exhausted new mothers–been there, no fun. You watch with indulgence a former primary school pupil, now swaggering secondary student, laughing on the corner with his friends.
I think it’s the main reason no one will leave Crouch End. We just exchange houses. Even with the dog crap, the graffiti, the crime. We just can’t seem to tear ourselves away. We know we’d miss those smiles of recognition.
photo by loop_oh (flickr)