Here, There and Back: Navigating Your New Neighborhood
When you move into your new apartment, it may take a few days or even a few weeks to get your bearings and really learn your way around.
Where is the best place for grocery shopping? How can you find a dependable dry cleaner or the pharmacy that will give you the best service? Which direction should you head for the tastiest Chinese take-out?
These and other questions will set you on a search to get to know your new neighborhood. Check out these tips to help you find your way and feel at home fast.
Search out available resources
Hit the web and look for local resources that can help you get to know your new neighborhood better. The city of Chicago, for instance, sponsors a Greeter program that lets residents arrange a walking tour of a neighborhood with a guide for free. You might ask whether your apartment community offers a new member pack with discounted “get-to-know-you” coupons supplied by nearby businesses.
Use your favorite online map program or app, such as Google Maps, to search for local services and amenities, restaurants and services near your address. Use the “search nearby” function to find options close to home. You can even get directions to these spots tailored for driving, walking or taking mass transit.
Also, check out sites like Yelp for helpful user reviews of local services and places of interest.
Read more: Explore Your Local Food Scene Online
Ask for advice
Consult with your apartment community manager, who may live on the property or nearby, to get some neighborhood know-how. He or she should be able to provide local suggestions and directions. When you meet your neighbors, ask for recommendations of local essentials and services you might use. They likely have opinions and may be more than willing to share them with you.
Do a drive-by
One way to get to know your new neighborhood is to drive around it. Plan your drive-by tour during the day. It’s safer, and you will be able to better see local businesses. Plan to park, walk around and check out the services your might want to return to later.
Take good notes
When you take your tour, bring your smartphone. You can use the camera to snap shots of interest along the way. Get in the habit of making notes about your new neighborhood to help you keep track of locations, routes and other important tidbits of information.
Read more: 6 Ingredients of a Great Neighborhood
Getting to know your neighborhood is a lot like getting to know a friend. It might take time and a little effort on your part, but once you do, you will feel much more comfortable and at home in your surroundings.
Photo credit: Shutterstock / Bokic Bojan