My apartment is on the outside of my building, looking far off to the south. Occasionally I walk through the courtyard, but I've never spent time there - with all the balconies around, it sort of feels like you're in an arena. Well, yesterday I got to experience a whole new side of my building. She Gre moved into an interior aparment about a week ago, so yesterday evening I dropped by.
And, man, it is a whole different experience on the courtyard side. We sat on her balcony and it was like being part of...a community! Kids were playing in the courtyard. A guy gave his dog a very thorough bath. A couple of women were chatting on one of the ground-floor patios. We could see people on the other side sitting down to dinner.
I only see people in the halls and on the elevator. Living on the courtyard must be a totally different experience. So, I'm not about to give up my awesome apartment with the cool angles, the trains, and the long view to the south, but I'm pretty exciting about borrowing She Gre's balcony sometimes.
Note on She Gre: I met her about four years ago at a party thrown by someone at my former employer. Somehow we realized I had just answered her craigslist ad about selling her TV. (I went to look at it a few days later but it wouldn't work with my DVD player.) Then a few months ago I was having lunch with another friend from my former employer - one who doesn't even know the first guy - and she was like, hey, do you know She Gre? turns out they're friends. AND THEN she moved into my building and saw my name on a message on the yahoo group. So, we're pretty much required to be friends now.