It’s taken me a while to put it into words, but I am realizing that being on the corner is a strategic place to live. Now, that’s not why we bought the house (it had more to do with our vision for the basement becoming an apartment), but I can see God’s providence in placing us here. The corner is always jumping in my neighborhood – there is foot traffic most of the time with people on their way to the store or the park. This foot traffic is on the sidewalk in front of our house, the street beside, and even through our backyard, which helped make our picnic table a popular resting spot last summer. This can lead to plenty of conversations with old friends and the chance to get to know new folks as we hang out in the yard or on the porch, and we can talk with people even as we are in the backyard.
Of course there’s regular traffic as well (most of the time people stop at our stop sign), which keeps us up to date on the latest in hip hop and Spanish language radio, and it also provides the occasional free massage as our furniture and floors vibrate to the beat.
Being on the corner gives us more ownership and vision for our street(s) (and that vision is both literal and figurative). We can keep an eye on things in several directions, and have a great feel for what is happening on several blocks at once.
And for our own peace (and peace of mind), being on the corner ensures that we would only have up close neighbors on one side (and having a vacant lot next door gives even more space). We have friends who live in the middle of a block and have recently had some dealers move in next door, leaving very little room to feel comfortable and leading them to consider moving.
We had thought about moving up the street to a house in the middle of our block, but I can’t even see its front door from here, and if we played in the backyard, we wouldn’t be able to see folks as walked by. No, corner living suits us just fine.