After nearly 50 years, I moved back to the city of my birth. Because this isn't SmallCity, even though (thanks to family and friends) I've been back many times there are areas I don't know well - and I managed to move into one such area. Imagine my surprise two years ago when I realized that a very good friend of our family lived maybe 10-15 minutes from where I live now - in previous visits to that house, I'd come from the area my grandfather lived or near to there, so my sense of how close this friend was was based on that, rather than reality.
After 21 years in NYC, I needed grass and quieter living. Seeing the sky and hearing birds was important. The house I bought was in a secluded development and wild turkeys lurked in the woods nearby. "Mr. Bunny" (probably several bunnies) would watch me as I left or returned from work. The next house overlooked the Farmington River, with no real near neighbors besides the landlady, deer, raccoons and other wildlife - a surprise in the middle of the suburb in which I lived.
Where I live now is withing city limits. There is a busy road half a block away. But my road? It's a "private road", with two single family homes and the apartment building on it... then it curves and (apparently) is renamed, and there are two apartment buildings that are senior living spaces. They overlook a cemetery. Yes, someone has a sense of humor. A sick sense of humor.
It's a little noisier than my previous homes since NYC. People walking on the street talk into their phones far too loudly. Kids living nearby use their skateboards because there's little real traffic. My bedroom is next to the elevator shaft and the people above never got the "don't wear heels indoors if you don't have a rug" memo.
But late at night it's quiet, almost like when I'm home in my SmallTown bedroom. The noise is that of peepers and the occasional owl. For some reason I woke up around 2am and as I lay in bed trying to get back to sleep I heard a train whistle. The nearest train tracks are 2 miles in one direction, 2.4 miles in the other. When I lie in my childhood bedroom, the nearest tracks are one mile away. And late at night, I can hear a train whistle.
Not only have I returned to the city of my birth, I've managed to bring the sounds of home with me.