Friday, May 30, 2014

Rear Window




Are you familiar with the classic Hitchcock movie Rear Window?  It's about a photographer who breaks his leg (my fav Jimmy Stewart) and since he's basically immobile during his recovery he spends hours in his apartment looking through his lens at his neighbors, making observations and judgements about their lives from afar.  He and his girlfriend uncover what they believe to be a murder, but it's all circumstantial evidence and so the thrill begins.  There is one part of the movie where a neighbors dog is discovered dead.  One of the dog's owners, a woman, starts ranting about her dead dog and who would want to kill an innocent dog and how people don't talk to each other anymore and people don't know their neighbors.  Boy can I relate.  

Tonight I was outside cleaning out the trunk of my car.  There were a couple neighbors out across the street doing similar tasks like car cleaning, and lawn care.  One neighbor we've talked to a few times over our 3 years here, but the other neighbor hasn't so much as returned a wave 3 years.  As much as I love this house, I'm not super in love with the neighborhood.  We like to go on walks as a family, but we're the only ones ever out walking.  Yes there are neighbors who smile and wave, but there are a few who will not smile and will not wave even when being waved to.  What?  One of our next-door-neighbors is a very kind and friendly family who has watched our house and gotten our mail for us when we've been out of town and brought us cookies on occasion.  When we had only lived here a matter of months they asked us to get their mail for us when they were going out of town.  We happily obliged.  The wife sad, "Yeah you guys are the neighbors we know the best."  And they have lived here for 18 years!

I'm sad to be leaving our home, the great friends we have and the city of San Antonio, but I'm ready to burn rubber out of this neighborhood.  Ok that's a little strong, but really... I'm ready for people to wave back to me when I wave to them.   And in fact our new neighborhood in Cincy seems to be a really friendly, kids running around, everyone out walking their dog kind of neighborhood.  It may seem funny to some people, but the neighborhood that I have considered our friendliest so far was in New York.  I'm curious to know about your neighborhood--do you like it, tolerate it, want to move away from it?  I have often wondered if there's anything we could have done to help people be more friendly and outgoing towards each other--like have a block party or something.  Anyone ever turn a neighborhood around?  Have you ever had a super horrible or a super great neighbor?  Dish.


12 comments:

  1. My neighborhood is awesome. It's super walkable and tons of people are always out doing just that. Just on my block the ages range from 4 to 94 with everyone in between. Our first block party was a HUGE success ("We should do this monthly!") and I'm hoping to keep that going every year. This street is so great that I have a hard time thinking about living anywhere else...though my house is only 710 sq ft so at some point it's going to have to happen.

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    1. Wow! 710 sq ft. That's impressive! But yes I'd hate to leave your neighborhood as well.

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  2. we love our current neighborhood. we were debating between two houses and my husband came to check out housing on a beautiful weekend in april (not always a common occurrence in seattle). when he came to the house we decided on, the cul-de-sac was full of kids riding their bikes and running around while the parents stood around and talked. i feel like it was a huge blessing that he had good weather for his visit because otherwise we never would have known the neighborhood was full of kids. it ended up being a huge factor in going with this house. we had four kindergarteners start at the same time this year and have summer block parties and outdoor movie nights.

    we have also lived in terrible neighborhoods. as students, we lived in south provo, next to what i'm almost positive was a meth house. a lot of shady characters coming and going at odd hours, or just going up to the house and surreptitiously handing things through windows. we also had tenants under us in provo that would throw loud, drunken parties until 6:00 in the morning when we had two small kids and we actually ended up having to call the cops on them one time. awkward.

    hopefully you end up in a wonderful neighborhood after having paid your bad neighborhood dues.

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    1. So great! And yes I hope we've paid our dues. :)

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  3. We love our neighborhood. Lots of kids out riding bikes and people walking dogs. Our last neighborhood was townhouses. And inevitably there were some people we got to know really well, mostly because our kids were extroverts and would talk to everyone. Seriously. I like to think we turned that neighborhood around just a little by our nosy and nice kids.

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    1. R--Even with our kids waving hi and being outgoing and cute to neighbors, they were still pretty standoffish. Sad face. But I really think our next neighborhood will be more fun and just walkable. I'm just excited to go on family walks and not feel like a fish out of water. Oh and the fact there there are many stray dogs seen walking this neighborhood is one more reason I'm ready to leave. I totally make it sound like a bad neighborhood--and it's not. Just not friendly and open.

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  4. Anonymous7:13 PM

    I live in New York and I must confess, I like to be left alone! No offense to the neighbors, I've met a few and quite like them--it's just that if I want to be around others, I'll call my friends, and if I don't, well, I'll stay home and don't want people dropping in. I always thought it was because we live so tightly packed here...
    Funny that you say that about NY--I was born here and all the new neighbor-friendliness from people (who usually come from elsewhere) kind of drives me nuts!! :)

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  5. What neighborhood are you moving to? We love our Cincinnati neighborhood. :)

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  6. I feel the same - I love my house, adore the ward and area, but my neighborhood is not the friendliest either. There are a lot of language barriers though, it is very diverse. I determined when we move, we are going to have a house warming party and at least meet everyone on the street.

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  7. Last year we moved into a neighborhood that is all Defense Force families (it's also 4 min walk from the beach- so AWESOME). It's lovely being around similar families, esp. other wives and kids who have husbands/dads often away/deployed. It's very friendly out walking (people here don't even put their dogs on leashes). Very handy for emergency kid sitting, or leaving the dog for the weekend too.

    I have to say that I don't like the random drop-in's though. Just doesn't suit me, i guess. I guess the other downside is since we (mostly) know our neighbors-- they are friends as well as work colleagues, when you do go out walking (we go every.single.morning with kid and dog) you have to put on real cloths and comb your hair, etc, instead of yoga pants and over-sized (possibly wrinkly) shirt (which is all I feel like doing sometimes). Also sometimes one of us gets caught up talking with a friend and that can be annoying if it happens too often and the rest of the family has to stand there waiting for 5-10 min. So good and bad things to knowing all your neighbors. Still, I'm VERY happy here!

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  8. How did I not know you are a Hitchcock fan? Or just a Jimmy fan? Hitchcock is my favorite. Also Eric H.'s. But back to the neighborhood, we are loving the one we live in right now. You only drive on these roads if you live here, so perfect for bike riding. The kids have made alot of friends who ride their bus and it has been great so far. Much better than the Cincy neighborhood. We greatly overestimated that one.

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