I love running errands…

I love running errands around here. People really look at me, in a way that they didn't in Salt Lake. It's odd -- in some ways Salt Lake was really friendly, over-friendly even. When people did say hi, they tended to want to talk more than I was comfortable with. But at the same time, most people didn't seem to really see me; their eyes kind of skimmed over me. Here, walking around my new neighborhood, people are looking at me all the time, making eye contact, smiling. Slowing down their car to shout, "Hey, gorgeous!" Part of that is simply that there are a lot more black men around here; I've always gotten way more compliments from black men than anyone else. Not sure if they like my looks, or if they're just more culturally accustomed (the ones I'm running into, anyway) to pay women compliments. Mostly, it's really nice. Oh, every once in a while, someone will get persistent enough to be annoying, insisting on walking down the street with me and trying to get my name and phone number. But mostly it's just passing smiles and compliments: "Looking good!" Y'know? I like it. As long as it's not carried on too long, or done too late at night (at night, if I'm walking alone on an empty street, I'd rather not make eye contact at all, with anyone), I really enjoy it. And the guys in my neighborhood -- the ones who do the valet parking next door at Costa's, the ones who work in the little Greek grocery, or at the hardware store, or at Artopolis...they just all seem so nice. Genuinely happy to see me, too. I haven't even been here a week, but already they're starting to look familiar. It's starting to feel like this could actually be my neighborhood.

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