Do You Know Your Neighbors?

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Earlier this week we all vented on the biggest pet peeves about our neighbors. Thinking about all the things that annoy me about my neighbors I realized that I have lived here for more than six years and don’t know most of the people I live close to. Are neighborhoods a thing of the past? Do you know your neighbors?

Don’t get me started about the people behind us that don’t cover their trash cans thus creating an all you can eat buffet for the growing rat population in the back yard or the person who must have a goal to spit a massive piece of red gum onto the sidewalk every time they walk by. But I can't help but wonder, if I knew my neighbors would I be more tolerant of their flaws or at least feel comfortable enough to bring up any issues?

For an Op-Ed piece for the LA Times a few months ago Peter Lovenheim asked himself “Do I live in a community or just in a house on a street surrounded by people whose lives are entirely separate from my own? And I wondered: What if I could deliberately get to know these strangers on my street — know them in a meaningful way — what would I learn and how might it change the neighborhood?”

Can you knock on your neighbor’s door to borrow a cup of sugar or would they have no idea who you are? Are you happy to be uninvolved in the lives of your neighbors or do you wish you lived in a closer knit community?

Image: via Gap House by Pitman Tozer Architects by Nick Kane/Pitman Tozer