I'm old. How else can you explain the boredom I feel when I go out to bars in my neighborhood?
My friends and I ventured to a new hood in Chicago tonight (Pilsen) for some fantastic Mexican food, but then after a brief stop in Little Italy, a drive through Greektown (we felt so sophisticated), we ended up at a bar near where we live. YAWN. I am an outgoing person if people start a conversation with me, but I'm not normally one to strike up conversations at a bar. A supermarket, library, line to vote, elevator in the library, yes, but at a bar, I feel like the stakes are different. People don't go to the bar because they HAVE to, they go because they want to get laid (most men) or find someone to date (most girls). Therefore, the stakes behind starting a random conversation are a lot higher, because you know you are getting judged. If you are randomly on an elevator with a cute boy, you can strike up a conversation, because they aren't thinking you're thinking much of it. At a bar, if you strike up a conversation, they immediately think you want to take your clothes off with them a little later. Not always the case.
Additionally, I can't begin to verbalize how much I dislike when people try to tell me I am in a bad neighborhood. I understand the dangers of "rough neighborhoods", I grew up near Detroit. My parents were never afraid to take us to the city, even when it was at it's (almost) worst (like in the 80's). I do not get freaked out by a few abandoned buildings, and a lack of pedestrian traffic does not make me uneasy, it makes me feel like I am home. So don't tell me I don't "appreciate the danger of the neighborhood we are in" and don't act like homeless people are somehow "scary". Homeless people don't scare me anymore than the soulless yuppies that routinely roam the streets of Chicago. Homeless people make me feel sad that the "American Dream" is such a load of bull, but they don't scare me. Honestly.