Re the activities in the surrounding neighbourhood, I live on a main road, with lots of traffic. It's irritating at times when I'm waiting to get out of my drive, and there's constant police / ambulance sirens passing, but that's life.
I like to hear people getting on with their everyday activities. Yes, even the neighbours kids playing in the garden.
Its nice early in the morning, or late at night, just to hear the world going about its business.
The day I can't hear anything, is most likely because I'm in my box !