We used to live in "the hood". I must first state that we had some really lovely neighbours, and we were very happy with the kids' school(s), too. Our primary reason for moving was that we had outgrown our little house.
Having said that, there is a definite difference between our new neighbourhood and our previous one. One could say it is decidedly more "genteel".
Case in point:
In our old neighbourhood, police cars and sirens were a frequent backdrop to our day-to-day life, to the point that people barely batted an eye unless there was something really exciting going on, such as the evening Himself and I came home from a late movie to see three police cars on our block and a police officer shining a flashlight into our basement window. That, indeed, was a heart-stopping moment, as we immediately felt like the World's Worst Parents, having carelessly gone out for the evening ... we were somewhat relieved to notice the excitement was not, in fact, at our house, but the neighbour's. Only somewhat relieved, as it was the people next door ...
We saw our neighbour from across the street sitting on his front porch with his partner, and as we were always on very friendly terms, we went over to see if they knew what was going on.
As it turned out, they did. Evidently, the neighbours next door were having a rather loud party, and someone "fell" off of the front porch. The victim had been rushed off to hospital in very poor condition, and the police were trying to sort out what had happened.
Contrast this scene to one that recently occurred in our new neighbourhood:
One afternoon (around 2PM), just a few days ago, I looked out my front window to see several of my neighbours engrossed in conversation. Even from inside the house, I could tell there was something of great concern being discussed; several of them seemed quite worried.
Curious as to what was going on, and wanting to offer my support and/or help if needed, I went over and said "Hello" to those in the group whose names I already knew.
As I approached, I heard one neighbour say; "He's been here all day". Another asked "Where do you think he belongs?" "I'm not sure" said a third.
And the source of all this kerfuffle and consternation?
Not a starving, bedraggled, or bothersome cat, either. Rather, he appeared a very healthy-looking (IE: well fed) long haired cat with nary a mat in his fur (IE: groomed). This cat was also very friendly (IE: well socialized), and was so obviously enjoying being the centre of attention ...
I think I'm going to love living here ...