Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community  

Go Back   Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community > Chatter > General Discussion

LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-23-2008, 06:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
sapiens's Avatar
Location: Some place windy
Won't you be my neighbor?

Won’t you be my neighbor?   click to show 

The article above made me think about the neighborhoods that I have lived in over the course of my life. When I was a kid we knew our neighbors very well. I played in their backyards, slept over at their houses, when it snowed, I shoveled their walks. Today, I know my neighbors, but I don’t feel that same connection to my neighborhood that I felt when I was a kid. Our communication mostly consists of hellos at the mailbox and head nods from across the street.

Do you feel a sense of community in your neighborhood? Do you know your neighbors? Do you want to know your neighbors?

Last edited by sapiens; 06-23-2008 at 06:24 AM..
sapiens is offline  
Old 06-23-2008, 06:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
The_Jazz's Avatar
Location: Chicago
Interesting timing, Sapiens. I had this conversation over dinner with my parents.

The nieghborhood I grew up in has grown apart a bit as folks moved away and new people moved in. There are folks that don't speak to certain other folks anymore because of issues real and imagined. Some of the dynamic personalities have moved away or died. My parents were saddened by it until they saw signs of younger neighbors starting to bond with each other. They think if that happens, the older folks will eventually be included. I hope so.

But my point in posting wasn't about a neighborhood I haven't lived in for 20 years. It's my current one. Two years ago, our plan was to live in our house for 10 years then upgrade a bit. We abandoned that plan about 3 months ago because we don't want to leave the neighborhood and our neighbors. There are 6 families with kids around 2 1/2 within 3 blocks, and we've gotten to know all of them at one level or another. There's one family, though, that we have gotten to know very well to the point that the adults now hang out sans kids. Yesterday Max was had a 2 hour-long meltdown (my parents were in town and basically ran him ragged) that only ended when we walked by Lucas's house on the way to the park and Lucas and his parents happened to be outside. Lucas gave Max a hug, and the tears slowed down and eventually stopped. Neither his parents nor his grandparents could end the crying, but Lucas could. And since Lucas is going to be a big brother within 2 weeks, either The_Wife or I will be called over to their house in the middle of the night sometime soon.
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - B. Franklin
"There ought to be limits to freedom." - George W. Bush
"We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo
The_Jazz is offline  
Old 06-23-2008, 08:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
Aurally Fixated
allaboutmusic's Avatar
Here in London it's horrible... I have lived in houses with other people I barely knew even after a year. In my current place of residence, I know one of my roommates moderately well and barely know the other.
allaboutmusic is offline  
Old 06-23-2008, 08:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
Fotzlid's Avatar
Location: Greater Boston area
I've been living in my current neighborhood for about 3 years now. I know the names of only 2 of my neighbors. I know the name of one of my neighbors pet chicken, but not their kids. I wave/nod but thats about it.
I believe part of the reason is that I, as well as my wife, work odd hours with a rotating schedule. Its not the typical M-F 9-5 job. We also don't have any kids, which reduces the chance of running into them outside the neighborhood. When we moved in, only one person came over and welcomed us to the area. The others I "ran into" over the course of the next 6 months or so.
Another possible reason could be because the family we bought the house from had lived here for 30 odd years and raised 3 kids. They were apparently well known and well liked in the neighborhood. When they look at our house, they think of it as the previous owners house and we are just strangers. (Does that make any sense? I'm having a tough time wording it right..)
Fotzlid is offline  
Old 06-23-2008, 08:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
Kick Ass Kunoichi
snowy's Avatar
Location: Oregon
I know the names of the neighbors on the street where I babysit most often, but I do not know the names of my own neighbors. We introduced ourselves when they moved in, but we've never really been social with them. This is a college town; people move in and out a lot. It's a total 180 compared to our old neighbors--we live on a private driveway with four identical white townhouses, and at one time, every house was occupied by people we considered friends. We had some really awesome parties, and it was just great to know that when you were feeling social, you could pop next door and have a beer and hang out. If you showed up with a 12-pack while MXC was on, there were always plenty of people to help you drink it.

I'm not sure what our next house will be like. We'll be living with our roommate and my SO's brother in our next house. I barely knew our roommate when we moved into this place--he had been a friend of my SO for a long time, but even my SO didn't know him well. Now we're all really good friends. My SO's brother will be an interesting addition to the mix--despite being siblings, my SO and his brother are good friends as well as coworkers. Outside of the house, we're on the edge of a historic neighborhood with little turnover, but our street has a few rentals interspersed here and there. We'll see how it goes. In this town, people usually do get to know their neighbors, especially if they stick around a while. I just never bothered to get to know the new ones here because 1) they didn't interest me at all, and 2) we're moving in a bit anyways.

Growing up, I knew ALL of my neighbors until we moved to the suburbs of Portland, but even then I knew some of them. Even where my folks live now I know the neighbors. One of them puts on a tremendous fireworks show every Fourth of July, and my parents go every year. It took them a couple years to get to know the people. I think that's one of the issues--it takes time to get to know people, and some people around here don't stay very long.
If I am not better, at least I am different. --Jean-Jacques Rousseau
snowy is offline  
Old 06-23-2008, 09:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
abaya's Avatar
Location: Iceland
I was a huge neighbor person as a kid... knew them all by name, even the old people, and had friends wherever I could find them nearby. And we're talking about a rural corner, here... end of a dirt road, everyone had at least 2 acres of land, etc. You wouldn't think that we'd have a strong sense of community, but we did.

Flash forward to all my experiences of apartment living after dorm life in college... no sense of community in any of them. The place I lived the longest, in grad school, I never knew any of my neighbors, and only spoke to them when their music got to be too loud (a lot of young men blasting stereos, for some reason). We were all insulated from each other.

In Iceland, we share a hallway with 3 other apartments. I know the guy across the hall pretty well, though he has limited skills and is pretty congenial with everyone. If he was a "normal" Icelander (like the two families upstairs), he would never speak to us... and they don't. The only neighbors we really got to know was the Polish family who used to live upstairs, and we got along really well. I felt comfortable giving them cupcakes, and they gave us all their booze when they moved out, and we would talk in the laundry room for a long time. They are probably the best neighbors I've had since I was a kid. Immigrant solidarity, I guess.

I miss the old "American" way of introducing yourself to your new neighbors, bringing 'round a pie or something, inviting them to the BBQ... I like that feeling, and I hope to have it again soon.

Originally Posted by onesnowyowl
I think that's one of the issues--it takes time to get to know people, and some people around here don't stay very long.
And yeah, there's that, too... especially in a college town. That's what I chalk up my grad school neighbor experience to, at least.
And think not you can direct the course of Love;
for Love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

--Khalil Gibran

Last edited by abaya; 06-23-2008 at 09:12 AM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
abaya is offline  
Old 06-23-2008, 09:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
PonyPotato's Avatar
Location: Ohio!
Where I lived until I was about 9 years old, we knew most of our neighbors. The area was semi-suburban, and many of my classmates lived nearby. It was easier to get to know neighbors and see them often.

Where my parents live now, the area is very rural. We know most of our neighbors ("Do you need help getting that tractor out of the mud or baling your hay?"), but they're not very wholesome people for the most part (drugs, alcohol, etc.). One of my neighbors did bring my horses to Virginia for me.. but for a steep fee.

In college? No one was very neighborly except for in the dorms. Everyone was busy and valued their privacy. I was the same way.

Where I live now, the area is also pretty rural. I've learned at least one of the neighbor's names, and I need to talk to him to find out where to get a deer processed if Crompsin and I take one down. Another of the neighbors is ex-CIA and has tons of antennas on the house.. apparently he's not very social. The others who live off of the lane are almost a half mile away, and I haven't really spoken to them other than "yeah, I live in the barn" when I'm getting my mail.

I'd like to live somewhere with friendly neighbors, but at the same time I intend to live in a rural area so it becomes difficult.
"Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark."
— Henri-Frédéric Amiel
PonyPotato is offline  
Old 06-23-2008, 09:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
Riding the Ocean Spray
BadNick's Avatar
Location: S.E. PA in U Sofa
One of the reasons I like my town & neighborhood so much is because it feels like a very neighborly place. I've lived here for 30 years now and it still very much has that feeling, though some of the people have changed. I was one of the youngest when I bought the house, now I'm on the older side of the equation. My kids have many playmates within a couple blocks, the playground is walking distance down my street and through the very nice little town/borough where you can walk to get just about anything you would need, catch a train to downtown Philly; schools are great. I suppose this is one of the main reasons why the housing values have stayed high even during the current housing crunch, and in fact they're still increasing...every time a house sells I can't believe what they get for it, and it's very rare (actually I can't recall it happening) for a house to be for sale for more than a couple weeks before it's sold, usually above asking price.

I grew up in a blue-collar area of eastern Philadelphia with streets full of nothing but row houses. We knew everybody within a block or so, and beyond that others associated through school or church...but where I am now just outside Philly is a more neighborly place to live.
BadNick is offline  
Old 06-24-2008, 04:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
jewels's Avatar
Location: Central Central Florida
I grew up in total suburbia. The ladies sat out on their driveways and had iced tea and gossiped while the kids played touch football in the street. The men got together when one had a home improvement project and worked it together. The families all got together for barbecues and the like. Oh and every street had a busybody who'd be watching your house and be sure to let your mom know that you had people over when you stayed home "sick".

I haven't seen this sense of community since I was a child. The place I just moved to seems to have a greater sense of this; perhaps because it is still a fairly small town. Last evening, the first of my neighbors introduced himself to me, and we spent nearly an hour chatting. Hopefully, this is just an early indication of future friendships and looking out for one another as members of a community with similar goals and dreams.
We are always more anxious to be distinguished for a talent which we do not possess, than to be praised for the fifteen which we do possess.
Mark Twain
jewels is offline  
Old 06-24-2008, 05:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
Functionally Appropriate
fresnelly's Avatar
Location: Toronto
Our neighbourhood (We moved in 6 months ago) just had a great big street party, last month had a streetwide garage sale and a winter pool party in February at a nearby community centre. It's awesome. We know the names of many of our neighbours, or have at least been introduced. There's a strong community vibe here and we couldn't feel more fortunate.

There are a few reasons for this:

1.) The neighbourhood is long established, built around 1914.

2.) It's a mix of mostly young families and retired grandparents.

3.) There's a school on the street with a playground and park and many of the kids here attend it.

4.) Geographically it's somewhat isolated, up on hill, surrounded by train tracks to the north, a ravine to the east and no through-traffic.

5.) There's a couple of people who are social bees and strong organizers. This may be the strongest reason. If you want a strong community, you may have to take steps yourself to build it.
Building an artificial intelligence that appreciates Mozart is easy. Building an A.I. that appreciates a theme restaurant is the real challenge - Kit Roebuck - Nine Planets Without Intelligent Life

Last edited by fresnelly; 06-24-2008 at 05:09 AM..
fresnelly is offline  
Old 06-24-2008, 06:11 AM   #11 (permalink)
abaya's Avatar
Location: Iceland
Originally Posted by fresnelly
There's a couple of people who are social bees and strong organizers. This may be the strongest reason. If you want a strong community, you may have to take steps yourself to build it.
I think that's true, to some extent. I would like to volunteer in a role like that in the future, assuming we will live in a community-type area that would be open to that kind of organization. This is assuming I *like* my neighbors, for the most part... But seriously, if you have too many people from different backgrounds, some people shy away from getting to know each other (not me, but I've seen it happen). Hard to break down those kinds of walls, unfortunately.
And think not you can direct the course of Love;
for Love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

--Khalil Gibran
abaya is offline  
Old 06-24-2008, 07:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
We work alone
LoganSnake's Avatar
Location: Cake Town
Where I was growing up, everyone knew everyone in our 50 condo building. It's just the way things were. Neighbors all hung out in the same yard, the kids played together and parents knew each other. Mostly because some people have lived there for generations. The neighbors knew me well because they have known my father since he was 10 years old.

The neighborhoods in America shift. They shift often. People move frequently and I really haven't sensed even a spec of unity anywhere I lived since moving here. Small talk, yes, but nothing where neighbors actually care about each other.
Maturity is knowing you were an idiot in the past. Wisdom is knowing that you'll be an idiot in the future. Common sense is knowing that you should try not to be an idiot now. - J. Jacques
LoganSnake is offline  
Old 06-25-2008, 05:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
lotsofmagnets's Avatar
Location: reykjavík, iceland
hmm. i was interested in abaya´s post since my experience has been quite different. when i lived in an apartment in the centre of town it was the same with me not even knowing the names or faces of the people who live around me but the place i live now is like a small community and i know well and am friends with everyone who lives there and they are almost all icelanders. i do feel the sense of community was stronger in australia though as we always knew our neighbors well and for the most part were good friends.
mother nature made the aeroplane, and the submarine sandwich, with the steady hands and dead eye of a remarkable sculptor.
she shed her mountain turning training wheels, for the convenience of the moving sidewalk, that delivers the magnetic monkey children through the mouth of impossible calendar clock, into the devil's manhole cauldron.
physics of a bicycle, isn't it remarkable?
lotsofmagnets is offline  
Old 06-25-2008, 05:40 PM   #14 (permalink)
The Reverend Side Boob
Bear Cub's Avatar
Location: Nofe Curolina
I'm very curious to see what things will be like now that I have moved.

I have relocated to Houston, and people seem MUCH friendlier than in the northeast (with the exception of their driving habits). I'm moving into an apartment complex, so this opinion is based just off clerks, insurance agents, etc that I've encountered along the way.

I spoke to my father the other day, and he mentioned that new neighbors moved in down the street who had moved to CT from Houston. They invited everyone on the street to a BBQ in their backyard, and had anticipated quite a few people showing up, as was the norm in TX. My parents, and I believe one other set of neighbors, were the only ones to show up, and they were stunned by the lack of attendance.

I can't say I'm surprised.

The area where I lived when I was younger was a nice quiet suburb, inhabited primarily by the elderly, with a handful of children thrown in there. As the elderly have bitten the bullet, the lines which distinguished my town from the adjacent city diminished rather quickly.

The quiet street in an old New England town is now full of drug dealers and young to middle aged couples who couldn't give two shits about showing any respect to their neighbors, yet alone making an effort towards creating an inviting feel in the neighborhood. They blare their music until all hours, sit out front and lay on the horn when someone is two seconds late, and they park their cars out in the narrow street because they don't feel like having to back out of their 7 car driveway.

Needless to say, I'm happy I left.
Living in the United Socialist States of America.
Bear Cub is offline  
Old 06-26-2008, 02:33 AM   #15 (permalink)
It's a girly girl!
basmoq's Avatar
Location: OH, USA
I'm currently moving into a new neighborhood. I'm actually kind of concerned, although we are only going to live there three years, it's one of those "uppity" looking neighborhoods where the homes are worth twice what the nearby neighborhoods are worth. There isn't even a "commons" or park for the kids, I guess the builders expected that you could afford your own playset or pool? I currently live in an older, family, well established neighborhood and we love it here. We got to know our neighbors quickly with one exception, and have two cops across the street. We will miss this place sorely...
"There's someone out there for everyone - even if you need
a pickaxe, a compass, and night goggles to find them."
basmoq is offline  


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:56 AM.

Tilted Forum Project

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
© 2002-2012 Tilted Forum Project

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73