A few years ago a new development popped up near my own subdivision. It was called Bradburn Village and was part of the latest urban development trend of "New Urbanist" communities. All I knew was that the houses seemed really nice (more than just "little boxes on the hillside") and that residents would have a pub within staggering distance. Some of the more extravagant houses even had carriage house apartments, which is something that catches my eye since we live with my mother-in-law. Alas, the real estate game in Bradburn is too rich for my blood (assuming we would ever be able to sell our current house -- not likely in these economic climes). That doesn't keep me from walking through the neighborhood (there's open space between us and them) or stopping into the aforementioned pub for black & tans with bangers & colcannon. I still like to grab the "for sale" fliers to see what's going for what and pine wistfully when the answers are "perfect" and "too much".
Then I run across this: The lucky bastards have near-weekly keggers! And of course, everyone who lives there loves it. I'd really like to get a peak in their Yahoo! Group for some real scuttlebutt, but I'm guessing I'd be mostly disappointed.
That social interaction would be a double-edged sword for me, though. Part of me wants to live in a "village" where everyone knows everyone else in at least a cursory manner. The other part of me wishes everyone else would leave me the hell alone. Forever. Give me a glass of beer, though and that second part tends to get out of the way. ;)
As it is, I live in a nice neighborhood in my cookie cutter (though mostly well-built) house. Several of my good friends live within a ~5 mile radius. I have nearby open space in which I can make my jogging attempts. I can still take advantage of some of the amenities in Bradburn, too -- I just don't get to stagger home from the pub, so I take it easy and save the staggering for when I get home later.
Mostly I just like to look at the houses anyway.
BTW: Bradburn isn't the only example of "New Urbanism" in my area. We also have Stapleton (at the location of Denver's former airport), Belmar (in near-by Lakewood), Arista (coming soon in even-closer Broomfield) and probably several others. Prospect New Town, in Longmont, was the first one to catch my notice. Too bad it's in Longmont. ;)