One of the notable things about D.C. is the historic row houses. I noticed them while skimming through guide books before leaving, and have had the great privilege of living in one. They’re a lot like the houses in Montreal except the stairs are on the inside. All of them have porches out front and fairly small yards with waist high fencing if any at all.
The density is high enough that there are actually other people around but not so high that they are just a bunch of faces in a tower block. People say hi to you on the street or nod, and not in a creepy way just in a howdy neighbour way. A dad dropping his kid off at school complimented me on my sunglasses one morning for no reason other than that he was hanging out on the sidewalk and I live in the same area as him.
Density is high enough that there are corner stores and neighbourhood bars, cafes, and restaurants. It feels like a place filled with life. Where people play soccer or basketball or tennis at local fields. Where people are out on their porches. I can’t say that Calgary ever felt alive like this. You had your house and kept to yourself. You drove to the store. You did not speak to or nod to your neighbours (who you rarely see), let alone those who you have never seen before.
I think that’s why I really like this place. It would be a great place to live, to go to the local bar with friends (if you ever make any), play soccer, ride your bike, and acquire some patio furniture. I am a within biking, walking or metro distance of anywhere I could possibly want to go. Some people want a house in the suburbs but I think that this is the dream. You don’t have to mow the lawn, and you live somewhere that is vibrant and totally alive.