Exploring Your Neighbourhood

When I wrote about services to simplify your life earlier this week I started thinking about the neighbourhood I live in and the local shops, restaurants and services nearby.

I first moved into this community nearly 20 years ago but it wasn’t until the last 3 years that I really started taking walks to see what was around. When we drive down a street or through a neighbourhood we tend to miss a lot.

Over the past few years I’ve discovered that my community, a small neighbourhood that’s part of a much larger city, not only has a lot to offer but there’s a sense of community. The Post Office is run by Patricia. She’s efficient, friendly and may not always remember your name but always remembers that last conversation she had with you. There’s Sam, who runs a tiny pharmacy. He takes the time to explain your medications thoroughly and is always there with advice and concern.

Angela runs the gift shop and will not only create an amazing gift basket but will always offer a suggestion of where to find an item she doesn’t carry. Michelle has the ice cream shop which is stocked with an old-tyme selection of candy, fudge and toys. Theresa at the dry cleaner. Herman at the tailor shop. Kaz at the tea shop. Carrie at the pub who knows my favourite beer. Mel at the diner who remembers I like my eggs over medium – not too runny, not too hard.

These are the people in my neighbourhood. For years I lived here and never knew these people or even entered their stores, restaurants or used their services. I’d drive by and never give those small local businesses a second thought. Now I’m starting to get to know the people in my neighbourhood, just like in that old Sesame Street song. I’m supporting the local small businesses owned and operated by my neighbours. The people that I meet when I’m walking down the street…

Have you explored your neighbourhood? Found any hidden gems?

Merlene Paynter

Merlene Paynter is a freelance writer and content consultant. When she's not working as the Managing Editor at Her City Lifestyle she's mixing up cocktails over at Madtini.com , designing websites, writing, and selling yarn at her new online yarn shop KnitCreek.com and drinking too much coffee.

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