Neighborhoods and Community
In both cases, I realized after the fact that I’d made decisions with hidden benefits. I no longer base my love for my neighborhood on mere geography.
Rather, I love my area’s fantastic community. And walking my dog through the streets has helped me integrate within it.
If I were to rewind time, I’d realize that I should stroll a neighborhood before I move there. I should talk to the people in the streets and parks. (And if I walk an area and see no one? Probably not the ‘hood for me.)
If a neighborhood’s community is anemic or nonexistent, its other advantages fade.
Research shows strong links between community and wellbeing. A robust support network means fewer stress-related health issues, lower risks for mental illness, and faster recovery from trauma and illness. I see each of these results in action in my neighborhood:
My neighbor, who has two young children and a husband who travels for work, has needed emergency babysitting. And when her washer and dryer—and then refrigerator—went on the fritz, she used mine.
We have neighborhood book clubs, parent groups, wine clubs, and block parties.
If I haven’t seen someone in a while, I check in on them. Others have done the same for me.
On a recent evening, business event ahead, one of my neighbors came to the rescue in helping me zip my dress. (Yes, really.)
How did you choose your ‘hood?