9:30pm Sunday around the Drive here in Wilton Manors has a certain rhythm.
The bars are busy but not crazy. You can actually go in and get a drink, even find free parking. The cars usually are not cycling through the neighborhood too badly. You know when the specials are at the businesses and the bars because the parking lots ebb and flow into and out of the neighborhood.
It's a suburban or even urban area, although I'm not sure what the distinction is in South Florida. Since I have grass on all sides of my house, I'll stick with Suburban.
You know your neighbors, perhaps better than a passing wave. You know when the pool guy down the block is going to pass by on the way out and when he's coming home.
Living on next to a business district assumes you're welcoming the entertainment, expecting a distraction occasionally, and are willing to get to know the owners or at least the security guards.
When we went out for the dog walk, the last one of the day, it was silent.
"Well yeah, it's quiet, but it's Sunday night. Come on, lets walk Lettie..."
"No, I mean Quiet."
I took a good listen and he was right. Even a good block away from the bars, you could tell that this was going to be a down night. I haven't set foot in them yet this year, probably since last Fall, but I knew this was going to be a quiet Sunday Evening.
"It must be the Oscars"
"Do you really think so? Are they that big of a deal?"
"Apparently. We're not into it but the Oscar Parties must be in full swing."
Looking at the neighbor's houses I noticed that the only places that felt alive were the ones with more than the usual cars in the driveways, lights were on and somebody was home.
"Funny, all that glitteratti nonsense never really appealed to us, but I guess for some folks, it is High Drama."
"Yeah, there's just too much fluff in the Oscars for me to want to bother."
"Not enough entertainment, ironically."
By the time we convinced Lettie it was time to turn into the parking lot for the Shoppes and head back to the house, we realized that they weren't having a busy night. Sure the dance bar was busy enough, but you could actually find a space for your car right in front when we walked by.
Puts things in perspective. The neighborhood was actually noisier this morning when I got up to walk the dog at 5:30 than it was at 9:30 the night before.
Down the block the pool guy was filling his truck. The cats were out warming themselves on the pavement. The birds were singing to the not yet risen sun trying to wake those still in bed.
The rhythm of the city was reestablishing itself, and all was back to normal.