Living in the City (NaBloPoMo #15)

In an effort to be more intentional about my writing and to really work on strengthening my skills, I'm participating in Blogher's NaBloPoMo for July.
The theme is CONNECT. 
Everyday, I'm going to write based on the prompts and share it here and on Blogher. 

I would love to hear any and all feedback from you.

I love living in downtown Des Moines. 
I'm able to walk to my favorite coffeeshop.
I am just a few short blocks in either direction from my church, my friends homes, my favorite hangouts and the library. 
Biking and running trail entrances are a quarter of a mile away. 
The amenities are amazing.
But most of all, I love the people.
Everywhere I go, there is someone I know. We go to church together. They work at one of my favorite hangouts. We grew up together. 
We are neighbors.

I love living in an urban environment. There is something to be said for living in close proximity to people you may never have known otherwise. I find, living downtown, that I feel more of a part of my community than I did living in a residential neighborhood. Here, I can be a patron, neighbor and contributor in a more tangible way. I can eat dinner across the street from home and learn the staff's name and become a regular. I can see my neighbors out walking their dogs or running and share some hellos and quick conversation. I can attend community events and enjoy the parks and art all within walking distance of my house. It feels good to feel close to the heart of the city. 

There are other ways I feel connected to my community as well. Last night, I spent a few hours at my pastor's house enjoying learning how to make a full-on Jamaican meal- jerk chicken, red beans and rice, asparagus, coleslaw and cornbread- as part of our church community's summertime cooking club. Close to 20 people showed up to cook, eat, chat and just enjoy time together. It was so great. 

To me, nothing says community more than enjoying a meal and conversation together. I love being part of a community that finds time to enjoy the simple things in life. Creating and sustaining relationships is what creates long-term connection. 

How do you feel connected to your community? Do you live in an urban or suburban environment?