in bloom
November 7, 2009, 8:02 pm
Filed under: nomadisms

Last weekend I picked up a weak aloe at the market. It was a near translucent transplant in a repurposed container for $3. It sits in the breakfast nook, full of indirect light and books, and has completely turned around in seven or so days, the leaves now green and firm, reaching over and upwards to the light.

An apartment doesn’t feel right without an aloe. Pleasant, easy, multipurpose. Living in a place where there’s not enough natural light for an aloe to survive is very canary in the coalmine.

Looking to expand into other useful plants, mostly edible (chilis, herbs), but unsure about sourcing them. Now would be the time, before transit in the cold(er) weather becomes an issue.

The neighborhood I’ve moved into is the “new” version of the place I first lived on my own five years ago. Quirky, not fully gentrified, a good mix. Since coming back, almost two months, there’s only been reason to leave once. Specifically, I’ve only used one form of transit one time, the rest has been purely walking. This area of town has now become fully sustainable:

Multiple food stores and groceries (including: asian foods warehouse, permanent farmer’s market stocked by producers, French speciality foods store, smaller generic dry goods stores, new additional store to open soon)
Two movie theatres (one indie, one multi)
Conventional Mall
Delis and Bakeries
Diners and Restaurants (including the full ethnic spectrum)
Several major and independent coffee shops
Used bookstore and major library
Health care (dental, massage therapy, etc.)
Wine/liquor vendors (major + minor)
Transit access: long haul and short haul terminals
Parks and recreation facilities (inc. skate park, bike trails)
Several major gyms and fitness (inc. yoga) studios
International fair trade market
Multiple live music venues

My office and all related meetings are also in the hub area where I live.

The single downside is that weekend parking is starting to be a pain given how many things you can do within a ten minute walk. Obviously, this is actually a nonissue.

It’s right beside (a fifteen minute walk to) one of the most sustainable neighbourhoods in the country and may actually be out-sustaining it. It’s still largely under the radar, like the other neighborhood was when I lived there half a decade (ouch) ago. It keeps costs reasonable for ‘luxury’ items and services.

I don’t require a lot of amenities – this summer L.G. and I spent weekends at his house in a tiny surf town with a world class point break and no surf industry (though the ASP regulars show up for sessions once a year during the tour).

We never got the gas water heater going so after-surf showers were through a creative electric kettle system. There was an actual grocery store fifteen minutes away and a tiny everything store in town which included the only internet cafe – ten minutes free to anyone, customer or not, to check their email. The local pub (three tables plus a pool table) serves free snacks during major sports events and hosts popular jam sessions staffed by middle aged fishermen in thick wool socks and heavy boots, usually on Monday.

Activities included: dragging a mattress out for sunny naps on the lawn, cook outs with the neighbours, reading, and long walks on the beach sometimes pretending to fish. And surfing. A lot.

There was the time we needed to see a doctor on a weekend for some quick stitches. We pulled up to his house, spotted him in the driveway, explained the situation and he drove down and opened the clinic for us, threw the pain meds in on the house, and got back to his family.

The conclusion of this is in progress but be assured it’s good.

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