A consolation prize for forgoing the house in the ‘burbs with the backyard, the swingset and the dog (there he goes again with the bloody nostalgia!) has to be my neighbors. At least most of them. I live in the center of the most densely populated city in Europe in the neighborhood with the least green space. It is a bit claustrophobic. And loud. And traffic-prone. Enough to make you want to run for the hills or forest or anywhere but here many says. However, I have a long, well-planted private alleyway from the street to my building and sometimes, like tonight, we have an apéro and that makes it, well almost, worthwhile. The French tradition of apéritif is rather well-known and well-documented. In our building, there are four couples with kids roughly the same ago and now that the nice weather is back, we had a nice micro-picnic tonight. You see, we have some picnic tables in our alleyway (where I do my “famous” barbecues of course!) and the gatherings are basically hors d’oeuvres, wine and conversation until the kids start fading into irritated “please put me to bed” mode. It is actually a nice thing to look forward to. Anyway, there’s your slice of my life for tonight. Won’t you be my neighbor?
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