Who are the people in your neighborhood?

I have a mild obsession with identifying the personalities of various neighborhoods in different cities. Perhaps it comes from being the daughter of two New Yorkers, where you can have two differnt neighborhoods on one block. But where do Dopers live?

I live in Burlington, Vermont. My neightborhood is the Old North End. While our elementary school is one of the poorest in the state, the Old North End has a fantastic cultural personality. Burlington is a refugee placement city for Vietnamese and Bosnian/Croatian families, and the majority of them end up either in the Old or New North End. As a result, I have a fantastic Vietnamese market, which is stocked as well as anything in Chinatown in New York. The Old North End is a collection of low income families, refugees, artists, and a lot of elderly folk who keep the whole thing stable. It’s all these different people coexisting as a community that rocks. Across the street from the aforementioed Vietnamese market is a brightly painted pastry and soup shop. That dicotomy makes the Old North End special.

Where do you live?

In your neighborhood, they’re in you’re neighborhood…

They’re the people that you meet, as you’re walking down the street…

They’re the people that you meet each day…

(Repeat until you are 12 years old)

I second Danalan’s post. :smiley:

I live in Coconut Grove, FL, known for the tropical trees, the greenery, the nice homes, and the OTHER Miami nightlife (not South Beach). Cocowalk, a dozen bars, a dozen restaurants, two movie theatres, shops, all within EASY walking distance. My immediate neighborhood is the condo complex I live in, a courtyard setup. When I first got here I sat at a table by the pool while my cat walked and chased lizards, and basically said HELLO to anyone and everyone. Soon enough, people sat with me and chatted, then two people would sit, then four, now we have a nice group of neighbors who look after one another, go out for dinner together, lend toilet paper (OK it was a gift, I don’t want it back), share beer, and generally hang out. This is the best neighborhood I’ve ever been in. I can call any of eight neighbors to borrow anything or get a ride anywhere, and I would happily do the same for all of them, plus more.

Oh, thanks. This is exactly the song I want to be singing in my mind today. Especially since I have a huge meeting, and I have a habit of walking around the office singing whatever song is in my head. Out loud. I mean, I got snickers the day it was If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands. More snickers with The Hokey Pokey. I think this one will take the cake though.
*Hey, do you know who you’d be if I gave you this shiny red hat?

Santa Clause? No not Santa Clause. What’s the matter, don’t you like Christmas? I love Christmas, it’s just that you could be…a fireman! A fireman! HOLY SMOKE!!!*
sorry. really, I am.

Ummm… I don’t know anyone in my neighborhood, really. I avoid my neighbors mostly. And in the world of bland apartment complexes, we all have seperate lives that never intersect.

Just dropped in to thank Swiddles for putting the song in my head. I’m feeling like a 12yo again… :slight_smile:

My neighborhood is still under construction - it’s a single street with 49 home sites. I think there are 9 empty lots left. The houses are priced from $106K to $125K or so. Most of the families have 2 or 3 kids and most of them are Jr High age or under, right down the the newborn next door. There are bikes and scooters and skates everywhere. Just about everyone I’ve met here has been pleasant but overall, it’s too new to have developed a neighborhood personality. Being in our mid-40s, we’re about the oldest residents, with the exception of maybe 2 households.

For the most part, it’s nice, but nothing special, and I doubt I’ll miss it when we move on…

I live in an older neighbourhood. I grew up three blocks from here and my brother owns the “family” home now. My house is 45 years old and everywhere you look are beautiful full grown trees. The corner strip mall holds the same stores they did when I was a kid and you never go there without running into someone you know. Lots of us (my age) have gravitated back here because its a lovely area.

There is a new housing development that is being shot up just a block from here. They tore down our beloved snake hills (a small forest) where we used to ride our bikes and smoke wine tipped colts. Now its a flurry of activity, no landscaping and huge houses that really don’t fit in.

I’m with Lsura. I try to avoid my neighbors as much as possible. The few we have interacted with have put me off of the rest of them. I swear I think every bigoted redneck in Stillwater is in my neighborhood.

[My gay friends, being the twisted bastards that they are (God bless 'em), love messing with the neighbors]

I would fall asleep telling you about my residential neighborhood. Boring condos, with the only cool people being the dog owners.

But my work neighborhood! Now that’s really “mine” and I love it. Let’s go for a walk. Ah, here’s the historic old theatre. They play organ in there before some shows, and people clap after particularly good films. They show a lot of indies there. There’s the shoe store where I buy my Eccos. They’re real nice in there waves. Here, let’s walk quickly past the Starbucks. There is the Borders. I like that, even though it competes with the gazillion small bookstores here in town. It’s got a cool staff. It can be hard to tell the homeless people from the staff who go outside to smoke–it’s a funky dresscode, to put it mildly. Okay, here’s the local ice cream place we love. Can you believe Ben & Jerry’s moved in next door? Rude, if you ask me. Aw, here’s where I get my photos developed. They once told me I should enter my basset photo in a contest. See that drugstore next door? It’s small, but that’s where I transferred my scrips once I got sick of the crappy service at the major chains. They’ll also sell you stamps, even singles. Very handy.

Okay, here’s a few more coffee shops. See that student bookstore across the street? They’ve got a Clinique counter and I can get you 10% off. Let me know next time it’s bonus week and we’ll go over. Here’s Ashley’s. They’ve got more imported beer on tap than anyplace. John Courage, some good hard ciders, etc. Okay, pass the head shop here, let’s go on in to the Party Store. I go in here every day. They’ve got great pizza. Here’s the owner, Jerome big smile for Jerome. Anything you want and they don’t carry? Just tell him, he’ll get it for you. Here’s a picture of his kids, aren’t they cute? Hi Bob, Hi Ted, nope no lottery tickets today.

Okay, let’s double back and go down the arcade. Here’s the new popcorn place. The guy who owns that bar, Ashley’s, which I showed you? This is his side business. Named after his dog. Let’s grab a free sample. Ooh, here’s the antique store where I got these. thrusts out hand, shows off engagement ring, and another vintage ring. They’re nice. waves That’s the owner, she’s got the cutest daughter than runs around here sometimes. And here’s the florist who did my wedding flowers! waves at Dolly, the owner And you know that clock you like in our kitchen? We got it there. thrusts pointer finger at the gift shop. Really nice stuff in there.

I’ve skipped no less than 2 bookstores, three record stores, 8 restaurants the serve everything, and countless other gems. And that’s right, we’ve only been on THREE BLOCKS. If we had more time, I’d show you the restaurant where I first met my husband and some of the cooler student hangouts, but you get the idea. I LOVE my work neighborhood. Within a 3-block walk, I can get just about anything I need, from a falafel to a cell phone to a set of fake nails. And most from small independent businesses who will remember me. Pretty good, given that I live in a real small city, eh?

We’ve lived in this house for the past 19 years or so. These houses were all built in the late 50’s and my husband grew up here. Many of our neighbors are either the original owners or their kids (or, in one case, their GRANDchildren). There’s one rental house across the street, and that changes residents every five years or so, but aside from them, the newest people on our end of the block moved in about 13 years ago. Short-timers. :wink:

When someone moves in on our street, all the neighbors manage to wander by and say hello. Our next-door neighbor puts our garbage can away for us if we don’t get to it before he does. We look after neighbors’ pets when they go on vacation, and they look after ours. The children of the oldest couple on the block know that someone’s going to be making sure their parents are all right when they can’t be there, and we all just generally look after each other’s interests. I even know most of the CATS on the street by name.

All the houses in the area are aging and need a lot of work. Their plumbing, sewer, and gas lines are all failing, and most of them need electrical work, but no one wants to move because we’re a true neighborhood, and that’s really hard to come by in newer developments. So our family is staying in our teensy crappy 50’s house and thinking about putting in an extra half-bath (since we have two girls and one bathroom), and we drive our kids across town to a better school than this area has, all because we can’t stand the idea of leaving our neighbors behind.

Ok, I admit it, I don’t like my neighbors either. To the left are a family of freaks. The mom threatened to call the police when my 7 year old fell off his bike and into their yard. She runs to and from the mailbox. The dad (heck, the whole family) refuses to look at you and speak in any way. The people we bought this house from 4 years ago said that those people didn’t speak to them the whole time they lived here (15 years).

To the right, well, they are ok, I guess. They do have “keeping up with the Jones’” issues though.

Two doors down lives the invisible man. Been here 4 years, never have seen him. There is also another invisible man living across and up one house. Saw him move in, haven’t seen him since.

At the top of the street, we have the man who thinks he owns the neighborhood. What a jerk.

Down in the cul-de-sac we have the guy with a bouncing car. He bounced it up and down the street one night. The kids thought that was a hoot. I was not impressed.

Up the street lived the pig family. They moved. When they opened the garage, all kinds of trash and garbage came pouring out. Other than that, they were nice.

Everybody else pretty much keeps to themselves. They will wave occasionally, but that’s pretty much it. As far as diversity, we are practically the United Nations.

Ok. The day I moved into my new apt, a wino sitting on the steps kept singing for me. I live in Minneapolis, in some of the cheaper apartments. The complex covers about 5 blocks with a block sized park in the center.
In the apartments dwell lots of low income families, usually Spanish-speaking.

But also, my apartments allow pets so that draws all of the people who want to own a pet and live in a city apartment. So we have all the white people with their dogs running down to the park in the mornin.

Plus, my apartment draws the chronically-single (me) because it has pretty cheap one bedrooms that a single income can afford.

Quite a few drug deals can be seen from my 2nd story window. I’ve seen two and haven’t even been looking for them.

The firemen come to the 'hood about once a week, I don’t know why. Once I came home and my building had been evacuated, don’t know why.

Around the corner is a Vietnamese hole-in-the-wall restaurant/cafe run by a girl and her mom. A hand-written sign on the door says “Best Pho in Town.” I went in there and didn’t have cash (only accepted form of payment) and they let me eat anyways and pay later!

My neighborhood is still too new to have it’s own vibe. We have about 70 homes, the oldest being built in 1996.

I live at the end of a nice long cul-de-sac with 12 houses, which is excellent for the neighborhood kids to play in. And there’s no fewer than 14 kids less than 10 years old in my cul-de-sac alone. There’s also 5 attorneys, two accountants, an engineer, a doctor, a nurse, The Rental Car King (who drives a different car every week), a lesbian couple, and a guy missing three fingers. There’s also a man in his late 50s with dementia who walks his over-fed chocolate colored retriever every day, and the dog knows the way home in case he doesn’t.

Behind me is a house that’s been vacant for 11 months, ever since the guy had a stroke while traveling in Europe. And next to that is an older couple - a rather large white man with a tiny little wife who’s Taiwanese I believe. And she has parties every month where 20 or 30 of her Taiwanese friends come over and eat, drink, play mah-jhong and dance all night long.

One of the quirkiest things is my next door neighbors. He and she each drive matching GMC Yukons, and they park them in their garage backwards. As if they work for Strategic Air Command or something, and must be ready to take off at a moments notice. And almost every day, the guy parks them in the driveway and hoses them off, removing the daily grime from their 5 mile round-trip commute. Stark contrast to my truck which gets a bath every 90 days, need it or not.

And I can’t forget the Puerto Rican man with a Filipino wife who had a party for the close neighbors complete with a roasted pig in the back yard fire pit.

Cool place.

My apartment complex has a lot of Koreans and Pakistanis. I hate it when the Koreans downstairs cook, it’s usually very foul smelling (kim chee perhaps?) and the smell permeates certain rooms of our apartment. There is also a white family next door, I still haven’t figured out the relations between all the people there (I thought the 30ish woman and the teenaged guy were mother and son, but it turns out they are a ‘couple’). I still haven’t really met any of my neighbors, except for the mother of the girl my stepdaughter plays with.

I live in an older, multi-ethnic blue collar neighborhood in East Denver. Until recently, it had a bad rap as being a gang infested, drug & prostitute peddling 'hood, but that is changing. There has been an influx of young Hispanic families buying homes here. Perhaps a generalization, but whenever such a family moves into a run-down house, they fix it up beautifully; very house-proud. Cheap, yet old & solid little houses, big yards. My mortgage is $530.00 a month. :slight_smile:

I walk the dogs daily & know many of my neighbors. Next door, single mom Sharon with three sons & two grandchildren (one a crack baby :(). Great neighbor, we look out for each other. Other neighbors on the block include three Hispanic nuclear families, two elderly couples, an Iranian taxi driver & his three dogs, gay couple accross the street, an Ethiopian couple, and several retired, single elderly persons. White people are a minority in my 'hood; I like it.

Lots of big trees, greenbelt close by, tons of funky little restaurants & odd stores down on East Colfax. You could not pay me enough to live in one of those newer soulless trophy-home subdivisions (In metro Denver, think Highlands Ranch, or the Preserve. Ugh.)

Cranky, that was a great description. I want to work in your neighborhood! (Where is it?)

I live in a dull (people-wise) sub-division. It’s fairly new - 5 years ago it was all pine forest. It’s a nice looking neighborhood with rolly, curvy streets and well-kept houses, lots of trees, and the sounds of birds. I pretty much avoid my neighbors, though. The people across the street, and on the west side of my house, are very nice. I don’t really know anybody else.

The house on my driveway side is another story, but they have to live with themselves, so I really don’t care. Stupid pricks, and they don’t like dogs, either, so screw 'em.

The neighborhood just seems to be missing…I don’t know…I guess neighborlyness would be a good made-up word. I grew up in NYC, and everyone knew each other. People would say “Hi”, and hang out on their porches on warm nights. A couple times each summer we’d get a permit to close off the street and have a block party. As kids, we’d all play stickball or other games in the street. My neighborhood now is dull. Maybe all the kids are too busy staying inside playing computer games and getting fat. The only time I see other adults are when they mow their lawns.

BTW, one of the neatest areas I’ve visited, that looked like a really cool place to live, is Portland Maine.

I’m in a long, skinny neighborhood. It’s a mile long, and 2 yards wide. My street meanders alongside a small river, and in the late 50’s a developer ran a road part-way down, carved out lots on each side of it, and built houses. Later on, he ran it the rest of the mile to the road on the next section line, so you could drive thru. The same thing happened on the other side of the river. Lots of houses built over the last 40 years or so, and a rich mixture of architecture and styles. On the back side of both roads are farm fields that rotate through corn, soybeans, wheat, and so on.

On one side of our place is a middle school teacher and her local community health service bureaucrat husband. Great people, and she has a garden in the back yard that she lovingly tends all summer long. We get free produce of whatever she has too much of to can and/or eat that week, unless the deer get it first. Once she saw me practicing in the back yard with my bow, and asked if I would shoot a few deer so they wouldn’t raid her garden so often. Seriously - fresh venison from the back yard!

Across the street is the retired speaker of the state house and his crazy wife. He’s looked upon as an elder statesman of the local democratic party. His wife, on the other hand, is the party’s Avenging Angel. A few years ago, Jeffrey Feiger (Jack Kevorkian’s lawyer) ran for governor here in Michigan. The wife swore this was the best thing that could ever happen for the state. Her husband rolled his eyes, and once he won the primary, quietly said he’d probably vote for him. Still, she’s great with the kids in the area, and she’s often leading the pack of rollerbladers up and down the street in warm weather. She also hosts the coffee klatch on her front porch on those lazy summer evenings.

Next door to them is a guy I worked with and went to college with, and didn’t see for 17 years until I moved in across the street from him. On the other side of our house are two gay guys and the 2 kids from one’s previous marriage. Both are wonderful cooks, and one taught the vietnamese owner of a local restaurant his recipe for egg-drop soup. She said his soup was better than hers. Both are absolutely willing to drop everything and help me paint a room, fix the car, anything I want. Oh, they also have a big garden. More free veggies!

On the other side of these guys is a guy that built his own house. He subcontracted out a lot of it, but he put in gallons of sweat to get it up. It took about a year and a half from “hole in the ground” to “hello, we’re you’re new neighbors”. All that is left to do is the yard and some landscaping, and it’ll be great.

Up and down the street are kids from newborn to college age. My son sold a ton of cub scout popcorn to these neighbors. All summer long I see kids on bikes, rollerbladers, parents and grandparents walking, and deer in the back yard. We really like it, and I hope we’re here for 20 years, at least!

Dire Wolf: Dear Cranky’s neighborhood used to be mine as well. Sigh. I could see it all in her description. I know the names of most of the shops she mentioned, and I’ve been in them many times myself. It’s a great place.

My current neighborhood is decent, though. Lots of nice neighbors. Not wealthy, but one of the few nearly crime-free areas left in this city. Lots of kids–there’s an elementary school just a block and a half down the street. Good, blue-collar, salt-of-the-earth working class people here, mixed with a lot of retirees. I’ll be staying here a while. :smiley: