One of the great characteristics of my neighborhood — and a lot of St. Petersburg neighborhoods, really — is its diversity. Walk a three-block circuit around our house and you’ll find affluent people. Poor people. Middle-class homeowners. Folks who probably couldn’t rent any apartment where a credit or background check was part of the process. Gay couples. Retired couples. Single-parent families. White people. Black people. Latin people. Laotians. (At least I think they’re Laotians.) All of us living our respective lives within less than a quarter of a mile from each other.
Of course, most of us fear/dislike/make baseless assumptions about one another, and engage in little more than head-nods at the dumpster in the way of interaction. But still, there’s something about living amid such a varied cross-section of humanity that lends a certain smug sense of open-mindedness; I must be without prejudice, because I can throw a rock and hit somebody who doesn’t look just like me.