John and I moved to Rochester from a small town (Bath, NY) about ten years ago. We loved small town life, but wanted easier access to the arts – theaters, museums and classes – for ourselves and our children. We wanted to live among a more diverse population. Rochester has everything we were looking for. One thing we were afraid we would miss is the “small town” charm. Our friends, who live in the Maplewood neighborhood, assured us that we would find this neighborhood to be as friendly as a small town.
Our friends were right. Maplewood is a lovely, friendly section of the city. Our neighbors are wonderful. We look out for each other, the way people do in small towns. One of my family’s favorite pastimes is sitting on our front porch, where we can see and greet neighbors as they walk by. There are lots of children in our neighborhood and they love to stop and ask questions about our dogs.
In our neighborhood, there is a place that really reminds us of small town life. That place is the Peppermill, a restaurant where the service is friendly and the food is outstanding. We discovered the Peppermill on a visit before we even moved to Rochester. We knew it felt homey, like the diner in Bath, but we had no idea how many breakfasts, lunches and dinners we would be eating there over the next ten years. Every time we walk in, we are greeted warmly. We almost always see someone we know from church or the neighborhood. I am a little embarrassed to admit that we know the menu by heart.
When we were planning our move to Rochester, we had no idea that I would need quick access to a retina specialist. We were familiar with the city, but did not realize how much we would love it here. Even with all of our high hopes for urban living, we underestimated the benefits of moving to the city. I feel so blessed to live here, where we have everything we want and need. All of my eye doctors are nearby. We have arts, sports, churches, parks, and entertainment. We have wonderful neighbors. And we have the Peppermill. Life is good.