The population of my Michigan home is a mere 2,500+. That's less people than I served as director of the library in Sunderland, MA, a decidedly small town. But Pleasant Ridge is a city, a proud city, with a really good community pool. Pleasant Ridge is also right next to Royal Oak, which reminds me of Northampton, MA, but smaller. There are art galleries and cafes, bookstores (ok, a B&N) and restaurants. Theaters, lofts, salons, and groovy clothing stores. And a really great chocolate store, Gayles, (which I can't go to anymore, as they don't seem to be have gluten-free offerings....yet...) During good weather the sidewalks are packed in the evenings, with outdoor diners, people watchers, dog walkers. It's fun and festive.
If I wanted to go see lions tomorrow, I could. The Detroit Zoo is really close to my house, as in walking distance. As in it would make more sense to walk rather than drive and park. So that's good too.
It is a small, lovely, urban-suburban city in Metro Detroit (think Somerville and Boston) with tree-lined sidewalked street, sweet little houses, some with surprisingly large backyards. Some abodes on the other side of Woodward Ave (which bisects Pleasant Ridge) are quite grand. Our house is on what might be called cheap side, which means smaller lots but big on charm. A half hour walk up and down parallel street take me past an agreeable array of homes, brick, stone, shingled, wood. People have experimented with creative landscaping. Some front yards are blanketed with perennials or lined with sculpted beds of flowers and greenery. There's an old bicycle with baskets overflowing with impatience. There are hostas filling that strip of land between a sidewalk and the street.
I was initially surprised how much I like my Michigan neighborhood. I think of myself as a country gal, in the Western Massachusetts near Northampton kind of way. I did not know I would be aok living so close to others, the houses next door a stones throw. It certainly helps that our neighbors on both sides are friendly and stable (no all night college parties or any of that nonsense).