Just as the kids went back to school, this September has been all about going back for AJC Design. We started the year with our theme of “Love Your Locality” and now nine months later, we are back to where we started. Not only did we have a summer hiatus, we had a hiatus from New York City for the past month. So what is “Love Your Locality” mean now? For me, it’s about community, customer service, and conversation.
Being away from New York has made me realize what I appreciate about it. One of my favorite aspects of my locality is the community I have with my daughter’s school. I’m not sure if it’s because of my daughter’s age or the fact that she goes to a private school but I am grateful for the families I’ve met in the last nine months. Together, we can share in the wonder of our children growing up and learning the basics of reading, writing, and sharing their toys. Luckily, us mothers have also started to form friendships (God knows there is no time to be a mom and maintain a social life).
Three blocks in another direction, I find myself feeling grateful to start my day at my local coffee shop and bakery, which I can proudly say is not a Starbucks. By now, I have a friendly college-aged barista who knows my almond milk latte order as soon as I walk through the door. Just when you think that was great customer service, she goes the extra mile and saves you a flaky, fresh croissant from the morning rush. If that’s not local love, I don’t know what is!
An avenue right, and two blocks south, I arrive at my other favorite local stop – the post office. While post offices normally conjure up images of long lines and sold-out specialty stamps, my local post office puts the office back into my work from home lifestyle. Although I don’t spend more than a ½ an hour at a time there, stopping by my post office is like stepping into a NYC-style Cheers bar, complete with our own version of Cliff (and of course, minus the libations).
I could go on and on about the bottegas I go for tacos or the street vendors that have the freshest lettuce, but the point is that distance makes the heart grow fonder. While I survived without having access to my local hang-outs and community for four weeks, I definitely missed the sounds, sights, smells, and especially the warm smiles of the people I’ve gotten to know in my neighborhood. As Dorothy from the Wizard of OZ movie once said, “There’s no place like home.”