Urban planning community | #theplannerlife

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: The neighbors

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    23,957

    The neighbors

    Have you ever lived next to really good neighbors? Anyone ever experience anything approaching the I Love Lucy Mertz/Ricardo relationship, where the husbands and wives actually do activities together? Maybe the kids play together?

    For a couple of years when I was growing up we lived next door to a family that we really hit it off with. They had two sons that were the same ages as my brother and I, and we used to hang out all day at each others houses pretty interchangeably. Keep in mind this was during the era of 'free range kids' so we spent time at a lot of other kids' houses. But the four of us were inseparable and used to do things like build tree houses together, raid the local farmers' blueberry crop, and have sleepovers. The neighbors moved from the Detroit area and still had family living there, so whenever they'd visit Detroit they'd always come back with some frozen Sicilian pizzas they got from a pizzeria around Wixom and give us a couple. Our families used to do things together like watch Fourth of July fireworks and high school football games. Those were halcyon years, but then for some reason my mother and their mother had a falling out. And then a few months later they ended up moving. I was crushed at the time, but when I look back I see as an adult a pattern where my mother systematically got into tiffs with neighbors after getting along famously for a period of time. That's just who she was.

    These days some of our neighbors keep us at arms length and I guess to be honest we've kept some of them at arms length too. I have managed, however, to host a few backyard cookouts with a few neighbors with some success over the years.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Remote command post at local bar
    Posts
    12,217
    We've got good neighbors up and down the street. We have a few cookouts or parties, but that's about it. There is the one neighbor across the street that we all hope will move, but there's always one.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    Posts
    8,674
    When I was little, our family was very good friends with all of the families on our street. It was farm country, but on our mile-long stretch of road there were a bout a dozen+ homes. Most of the families had kids who were the same age as my older brothers and sisters but there were a couple kids who were closer to my age - one girl who lived next door was a year older than me and a girl on the other side of her was a few months younger than me (but a grade behind me in school). The younger girl was my best friend when I was little until she moved away in elementary or middle school. We were definitely "free range kids" and would wander through fields and forests and barns as if there were no property lines. Nobody seemed to mind. The only thing that would keep us out of certain fields were bulls.

    My parents and all the other parents in the area used to have cook outs all summer long and when folks needed help on their farms we would all kick in. My parents are still very good friends with a lot of those neighbors.

    These days we aren't particularly close to any of our neighbors except the old man who lives in the house behind us. He invites us over to BBQ and have ice cream when his kids visit (his kids are in their 50s and 60s but he has no grandkids) and we send him Christmas and birthday cards and he always stops to chat when he sees us outside. He also invites his neighbors from the other sides of his house over to those BBQs too.

    We have a young couple (must be in their late 20s or early 30s) who moved in across the street from us at the end of last summer. They have a little girl a few months younger than our youngest and I'm hoping that we can catch them outside this spring and get our kids playing together and then we can be friends. It's hard making friends with your neighbors when you're not a kid anymore!
    1 3 5
    ├┼┼╕
    2 4 6 R

  4. #4
    I don't know my neighbors and don't really care to find out. I've been thrown into too many pissing matches between neighbors throughout my career.

    I grew up in a series of subdivisions. Like Maister said, it was the era of free range kids and all the parents kept an eye out for the kids. One lower middle class subdivision was kinda cool. There were a bunch of kids about the same age and we managed to keep ourselves occupied and mostly out of trouble. There was a larger empty lot that got turned into a football, baseball, soccer, whatever field for us. We also played street hockey, street tennis, etc. The farmer who sold off the land kept the farm house and cattle pond. He allowed us to play hockey on it when it froze over.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    1,554
    I have good relationships with my neighbors. The guy across the street from me does home repairs for me when I need them. The people beside me are a really sweet young couple. The guy lived there for a long time initially with some roommates. He was also a nice guy, but he had some really serious drug problems. It's really fun to see how far he's come. He went away for a while, got himself clean, and moved back with his girlfriend who is now his wife and is one of the sweetest people ever. They're the ones that used my backyard for their urban farming venture. I'm hoping to stay friends with them after the move, but things happen. I do hope they hit it off with the couple that's buying my house. I haven't met them, but they're a young couple near the same age as them.

    I even got along with the neighbors on the other side of me until they got a dog and didn't take care of it well. It would get loose and come over to my house in the middle of the night and wake my dogs up and they'd be barking constantly. I've gotten into many screaming matches with them over it. Initially, I tried to be reasonable, but they would just roll their eyes at me and slam the door.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    In a 480 square foot ex baseball nacho stand
    Posts
    10,638
    Growing up there was a group of kids that hung out together but no really the parents. They all knew each other but didn't socialize.

    We have a couple that we tend to hang out with & they have a daughter 2 years older than ours. We call them sister of different mothers because they have grown up together. We've gone camping, a couple trips, gatherings and such, but they live 3 blocks away.

    There are a few other families we tend to get together with on a more than occasional basis, but they don't live in our neighborhood (no where near).

    Generally the adjacent neighbors are older with kids gone. We don't generally interact except to wave and chit-chat if we catch each other outside.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  7. #7
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    at the neighboring pub
    Posts
    6,422
    Our neighbors when I was young had a son the same age as me. We were good friends to the point our dads removed a big chunk of the fence between the backyards & created a swinging gate so we had more room for whatever game we had come up with. Grilling was a pretty common occurrence between our two families. Honestly, that whole block had a pretty awesome vibe as I think back.

    In our current neighborhood, folks keep to themselves a bit more. This is especially true since two neighboring spouses across the street ended-up having an affair with each other. Made for some good drama.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Jamestown, New York
    Posts
    1,733
    I have 2 neighbors I hang with quite a bit -- we're "The Old Bats Club" as it were -- all old retired ladies without spouses. We used to number 4 but one of the group moved away. A new older, single lady moved in just down the street last summer but she's rather stand-offish and won't even say "hi" to people passing by, but that's her loss. We have cook outs, dinners, and usually do for one another. I have a snowblower so I clear my friends' sidewalks and driveways. They watch my dog occasionally or feed the cats when I go on trips.
    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. -- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Playing at a movie theater near you
    Posts
    6,070
    So I have an elderly neighbor that has demntia but a real sweet lady and try to just talk to her. My neighbors across the street are great too and have a daughter that used to be good friends with my daughter but they kinda just stopped hanging out. Then there are the college students. It’s like I am living in the movie Neighbors. It sucks. The landlord charges $5k a month to live in this shit hole and you know what.. he gets it, and they run it like a shit hole.

    No Signature Required

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    5,487
    We lived beside an older couple, but a lot of the invitations to share meals were from us. They gave our kids Christmas cards with a little bit of cash. I cut their grass and shoveled their snow. The husband was very much like a father to me during the time my divorce began. After he died, his wife moved without saying goodbye, and sent me an email that the guy who bought my house would improve it and make the neighborhood nicer. That really hurt my feelings and I didn't talk to her after that.

    A current neighbor occasionally plows snow out of my parking space or cleans snow off of my car, and he was a great help when I found a swarm of bees in my kitchen.

    I haven't found people that I would say are as friendly as what I remember when I was growing up. I think it has a lot to do with air conditioning. People who have it don't go outside. I drive through neighborhoods on summer days and don't see a soul outside.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Doohickie's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Fort Worth, formerly Cheektowaga
    Posts
    908
    The best neighbors we had were when we lived in Dearborn, MI. On one side of us was Dick and Dottie. Dick was retired Ford; we were about the same age as his kids. Dick was the nicest, mellowist guy you'll ever meet, and he had every tool imaginable. We bought the house after renting several years, so there are a lot of tools and things I didn't have. If Dick saw me struggling with a job because I had the wrong tool, he'd offer to loan me his. We didn't see Dotttie too much really because she had MS, so mostly when we saw her it was just to and from the car. But she was friendly too. At one point, Dick declared that my wife was his daughter-in-law so we could get the Ford family discount.

    On the other side of us was Nona. I don't even remember her real name now; she was simply Nona, an Italian immigrant and widow. Her offspring lived in the area and came to visit often, but she didn't have a car, didn't get out too much (she worked in her garden, but she didn't go much further than that by herself). At the time, I had a conventional job and my wife worked at Blockbuster Video in the evenings. Sometimes she had to leave before I got home and Nona would watch our boys. "How much do I owe you, Nona?" "No, no. No money. I love-a you boys." "Well, can you get you anything at the store next time I go?" "Eh.... a coupla tomatoes would-a be nice." So I'd pick up tomatoes and the next day she'd give me the jar of spaghetti sauce she made with the tomatoes.

    The neighbors across the street were a young couple. He was a narcotics officer in the neighboring town. He worked undercover frequently so he was always "in costume." Helluva nice guy though; he got me out of a ticket once.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Above urban19's plane field
    Posts
    3,936
    Old house - lived in that neighborhood for 18 years, never set foot in another house (or on another deck) in it. We didn't have kids, so apparently we couldn't be bothered with...that about sums it up.

    New house - moved in about a month after we closed - spent the intervening weekends slowly moving stuff over and working in the yard at the new place. By the time we moved in, we had already talked more with the fabulous couple next door than we had with any neighbors at the old house, and, like us, they also hadn't moved in yet. We've already settled into a pattern of dining out with them and the widow across the street, with a rotation of who picks the restaurant. We're all expecting more interaction (thanks in part to my big deck) after winter passes.

    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    I have a snowblower so I clear my friends' sidewalks and driveways.
    Mrs. Bubba's grandfather (in Springville, NY) does this in his 'hood.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Rustbelt Incognito
    Posts
    3,043
    Twenty years ago, the summer after my brother had a stroke and succumbed to aphasia and apraxia and partial paralysis of his right arm and right leg, the old lady living next door to my mom thought she would come by and chit chat and comfort us by saying to him, “That’s god’s way of telling you to slow down!”

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Emerald Coast
    Posts
    18,061
    Let's go over recent events: Our house was egged, twice. Neighbor is stalking ZG on FB. Calling us liars on the Neighbors web site. Neighbor calling us bigots, racists, and anti-Semitic. No one talks to us because we don't attend their Baptist church. We live in a shitty neighborhood.
    Habitual Offender

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Doohickie's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Fort Worth, formerly Cheektowaga
    Posts
    908
    Quote Originally posted by Wannaplan? View post
    Twenty years ago, the summer after my brother had a stroke and succumbed to aphasia and apraxia and partial paralysis of his right arm and right leg, the old lady living next door to my mom thought she would come by and chit chat and comfort us by saying to him, “That’s god’s way of telling you to slow down!”
    Well, bless her soul!

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. What to do about the new neighbors?
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 16
    Last post: 28 Feb 2013, 1:51 PM
  2. Thy neighbors
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 34
    Last post: 12 Feb 2007, 12:43 PM
  3. Planners as neighbors
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 29
    Last post: 26 Aug 2005, 10:09 AM
  4. Article: When Neighbors Go Bad
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 5
    Last post: 12 Jul 2004, 4:06 PM
  5. Crazy neighbors
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 5
    Last post: 08 Aug 2002, 2:45 PM