Monday, March 14, 2005

Allen's neighborhood

Allen Johnson, the editorial page editor of the News & Record, was nice enough to mention me and my blog in his Sunday column. Like a lot of people I've talked to, he finds his suburban house quite satisfactory, but his suburban neighborhood less so.

In his typically humane way, he suggests that he might get more out of his neighborhood life if he put more of himself into it. I'm sure he's right about that.

But it's hard for a neighborhood to be a neighborhood if there are no places where that can happen. Neighborhoods congeal in public places like pocket parks and on sidewalks, where people can comfortably bump into each other and socialize informally, or in in-between places like front porches, where you can plunk yourself down for a drink, and your presence there is an invitation for passers-by (on the sidewalk) either just to wave and move on, or to saunter up for a little conversation.

If that stuff is missing from your neighborhood, Allen, there's going to be a new development of single-family houses and condominiums in our neighborhood very soon. I'm sure we can find you something suitable.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After all the downtown urban-hyping in the N&R, I was shocked to see that Allen Johnson lives in a snout house. An interesting column, though.

David, I'm afraid your anthrocentrism is distorting your view of snout houses. They may not welcome us, but think how appealing they must be to cars.