City Sittin’

My mother took Jake and my nephew to see Stomp so I’m killing time ’til it’s over, sitting in a Starbucks that looks out on 6th Street, across from Heinz Hall.  Love this seat.  Love the cultural district. 

 And I do love Oakmont.  But, I think we def. need to move back to the city after the kids either go to or graduate from college. 

When we lived in the city we were in Shady Side which is not near the cultural district, but has its own advantages.  There’s just so much activity and life in the city that’s different than the burbs.

One big difference is people in the burbs seem to close their curtains more. 

And I know this because I like to look in windows.  Not because I’m hoping to see Susie homemaker or Patrick her husband cooking in the nude.

I’m interested in people’s decorating styles, more than anything.  A friend of mine and I used to walk at night, yakking about life and analyzing everyone’s decor and what it said about them, especially in comparison to the upkeep of their house exteriors. 

We even spent three days trying to find a pumpkin paint color we’d seen in someone’s living room.  We didn’t feel as though we should knock on the door and inquire the brand.  However, if we happened by when the owner was outside, we would have asked.

This is considered nosy to many.  But to a lot of our neighbors, they appreciated people noticing their status quo in case someday something was wrong.  Well, yes, I could have provided such information easily.

Like when the woman on the corner of Kentucky and Blank Street painted her dining room a blazing red after years of bland white, I knew something had gone awry.  Apparently her husband left her for another woman with the children she never could have herself.  Yes, that deserves nice red paint.  And it deserves neighbors who notice.

7 thoughts on “City Sittin’

  1. I love looking in windows too, when I’m out for a walk or a jog. And one of the reasons I love living in a city — even a small town like Butler — is that there are sidewalks for walking and jogging. So civilized.

    I love that “sitting in a cafe” thing too. I hung out for a few hours in our coffeeshop today, working on the computer, and I had the fun of overhearing conversations, scoping out who stops in after church, listening to the kids behind the counter chatting with each other. Very fun.

    But like you say, listening to others’ conversation and monitoring their activity could be seen as rude. I think everyone draws the line somewhere. For me, it’s reading what someone else is writing or drawing over their shoulder, and looking at things on someone’s desk. I know other people think that’s all fair game, but to me it’s just a little too personal.

  2. Cindy,
    I def. don’t read over people’s shoulders or look at things on people’s desks. It does feel wrong…so why looking through windows (not that I climb trees or put my nose to the window–not for extended periods anyway) doesn’t seem bad to me, I don’t know! I didn’t realize people thought that other stuff was fair game–reading stuff on desks, looking over shoulders. NOw cell phone convos, they’re fair game, to me.

  3. When my home stops looking like the ball pit at the McDonald’s play land, you can assume one of two things.

    I’ve duct taped the children to the wall or ceiling in a decorative shabby chic manner…


    They’ve grown up, married, gotten their own mortgages and I’ve forked the evil eye at them, cursing them to ball pit homes of their own.

  4. We have vaulted ceilings and enormous windows in the front of our house and I’ve never ever closed the blinds in the three years we’ve been here. And yes, it’s a housing development. It makes me feel so alone to sit in my front room and watch the cars go by, people staring straight ahead, and all the houses dark and abandonded-looking. I love driving up to our home at night and seeing Jim playing with the kids and our little blue table lamp glowing on the end table by the rocking chair.

    I miss our nightly walks around our old neighborhood in Portland. Like you said, checking out the decor and what’s on TV in our neighbor’s homes. It felt so much more like a community there.

  5. I’m this way, too. Hubby says I’m nosey. I tell him I’m just filing away information for my future-bestsellers, which will fund his retirement.

    BTW A wall in my dining room and another in my foyer are painted that pumpkin color.

  6. Well, thanks Jaye, Alison, Mignon, and Becky…so glad to know, I’m not the only one interested in other people’s homes! Hope you’re all staying warm…well, maybe not you Texans. It can’t be that cold there, right?

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