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Do you see your neighborhood differently now that you're there all the time?
Old 03-12-2012, 09:54 AM   #1
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Do you see your neighborhood differently now that you're there all the time?

And, does your neighborhood see you differently? We live in fairly densely populated suburb, where a lot of the folks we knew have either moved on or passed away. Since retirement 3 months ago, I've found myself re-evaluating where, or more precisely, amongst whom I live. Nothing scientific, more along the lines of observing who are the slobs and the neatniks, whose kids are great and whose warrant some tough-love, the usual "peek through the curtains while I'm home" sort of recon I never really did while working. Makes me wonder if I'm going to turn into the neighborhood watch - or the neighborhood curmudgeon. (I know, I gotta get out more. ) Just an observation on an aspect life after retirement I hadn't considered. If I don't start puttering around more in the front yard, I risk becoming identified as "you know, the old-timer who lives in that house over there."
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:59 AM   #2
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Interestingly, we knew our neighbors a lot better when we lived in Houston than we do in our current small town (population 3,500 or so). We know a lot of people here in town, but most of them are through church or some other group we've been involved with here. Of course, there are differences -- here we have older, much cheaper housing, few manicured lawns, no HOA, and presumably lower income and less educated neighbors. Not trying to sound snobbish but I think that's what accounts for much of the difference.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:53 AM   #3
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Not really. During the week, it's just me and a couple of older retirees down the street. Everyone else is either at work or in school.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:21 AM   #4
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Lots of old folks on this part of my street. The houses on both sides of me are currently empty. In one the old man living there recently moved into assisted living. The house is under contract and I will hopefully soon have new neighbors. On the other side the family moved out because they were upside down after taking some money out in a refi when the home market was up. It will probably take a year or two for the bank to get around to taking the house and selling it. Till then myself and a few others around the nbeighborhood will keep the yard looking okay so it at least does not look like an abandoned house. Overall my entire neighborhood seems to be less attractive because so many people have moved out and poorer people have moved in to replace them now that house prices are much lower. We are not sure where we eventually want to live so we will keep this house for now. YOU KIDS STAY OFF MY LAWN!!!
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:48 AM   #5
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Everyone on my street was FIRED before me! (some never w*rked at all). No one has a full time job!

Lots of part-timers, free lancers and a few trust funders. A little rental property here, a part time job there, some home-based income over there...it all seems to work out with a lot of bartering (I'll make you my famous chili to pay you back for x,y,z)
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:57 AM   #6
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From 1983 until 2005 the neighborhood curmudgeons lived next to us. They were an elderly couple with no kids who always held it against us that we had children without their approval. They liked to act like the local zoning cops and would report neighbors for any slight infraction. They harassed other neighbors over hedges or weeds or trash cans or blades of grass that weren't vertical enough. It got worse as they got older. And don't even think about getting near their their property line.

After they died off a young unmarried couple moved in. No kids yet, but a lot of stuff in the yard, friends intermittently living in the basement, summer parties and a dog that I enjoy watching in the fenced-in yard.

I know the current owners are probably not "good" for the neighborhood but I like them living next door better than the old, bitter, angry couple.

Now that DH is home all the time he notices all the changes in the neighborhood more than he used to. But he's not the type to worry about what's going on with neighbors outside of who is planting their garden first.
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:02 PM   #7
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Yeah. We were the young couple with a 3 y.o. and another on the way. One of very few couples with kids among what seemed like mostly retirees. The old guys would walk around the neighborhood for exercise while we watched our kids from the front yard.

Now we're the old guys. The neighbors across the street have obnoxious kids who ride motorized vehicles they are too young for, in front of my car. I walk to the community mailboxes to get out of the house for a bit and exercise. Our older neighbors don't seem to get out of their houses any more.

The neighborhood is pretty much unchanged, we've all just adopted different roles.
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:37 PM   #8
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It has been interesting learning more about my neighborhood after I swotched from working full-time to part-time back in 2001. For example, the church across the street from me has a parochial school which lets out at 2:30 so I have to remember not to be heading out or back home from 2:30-2:45 because the one-way street gets all clogged with double-parked cars.

My local library does not open until 1 PM on Tuesdays so if I need to go there for anything more than returning a book I cannot do it in the morning.

In the summer, I have to keep track of the opening times for my co-op's pool because I like to go there and read in the late morning before others go there.

My apartment building has a lot of elderly people so being around during the day means I get to see them and we actually recognize each other. Same for the building staff who are sweeping and cleaning the premesis. If I actually need something done in my apartment, I don't have to wait for the weekend - the super can come over that day or the next one.

Being around more also showed me all the useless phone calls I once missed in my working days. Lots of silly robocalls, sell-me-something (despite being on the do-not-call list) calls, and wrong numbers made me afraid to answer the phone a lot (or screen them instead).

And I can get the mail when it first arrives instead of waiting until that night.
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:02 PM   #9
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I am so happy that my neighborhood is as far from a US suburban SFH environment as it could be. The last time I lived in a "lawn care and noisey neighbors" neighborhood is age 15 when my parents sold their streetcar suburb home and bought a triplex in a big city university district.

There are some newer townhomes next to me, and they seem to have mostly young couples, familes with young kids, and a few familes with teenagers. My own building is all young to middle aged singles/cohabitors. Lots of college students all around, from a good sized university about 1/2 mile away, also lots of hospital workers from the hospital complexes all around. Also many young people who work downtown live here as it is an easy albeit uphill walk from the CBD/government area downtown.

There are also quite a few private schools either in this block or the next couple blocks, so always kids running around. Some would hate this, but I enjoy the life.

I did have to approach the neighbor across the hall from me, as her GF recently left her and she leaves her little dog alone all day and most of the night. And it barks! I felt bad about speaking to her as she is really hurting, but the noise was pretty hard on me. She somehow took care of the problem with no blowback so I feel as good as I can about it.

One resident here, the only other retired guy, is a skilled volunteer landscaper. I have begun to take a plastic grocery bag with me when I leave my apartment, and pick up some of the mess that passersby sometimes strew around. Happy to say there is little dog poop- mostly paper coffee containers.

Ha
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:19 PM   #10
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I live in an OLD 'neighborhood'. We're spread out quite a bit....houses aren't within spittin' distance! About 1/3 to 1/2 of the folks have been there as far back as I can remember (I've lived here 54 years). Most of our 'new' neighbors have been here 35-40 years....they're still the "new people" to us oldtimers! Haha!

We do have a few REALLY new neighbors that have been around for less than 10-15 years.

It's still a nice quiet and very friendly place to call home!!! We all get along great and visit often! And we even tend to take a likin' to the newest folks, and try make 'em feel welcome as well!
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:56 PM   #11
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And, does your neighborhood see you differently? We live in fairly densely populated suburb, where a lot of the folks we knew have either moved on or passed away. Since retirement 3 months ago, I've found myself re-evaluating where, or more precisely, amongst whom I live. Nothing scientific, more along the lines of observing who are the slobs and the neatniks, whose kids are great and whose warrant some tough-love, the usual "peek through the curtains while I'm home" sort of recon I never really did while working. Makes me wonder if I'm going to turn into the neighborhood watch - or the neighborhood curmudgeon. (I know, I gotta get out more. ) Just an observation on an aspect life after retirement I hadn't considered. If I don't start puttering around more in the front yard, I risk becoming identified as "you know, the old-timer who lives in that house over there."
We moved into our current neighborhood just a couple years before I retired, so it hasn't been much of a difference.

We got to know our neighbors when our kids were growing up and hanging around together, but now that the kids have their own drivers' licenses the parents have pretty much gone back to their doing their own things.

I think relationships are more about who you share common interests with, not who you share a neighborhood with. We have a couple good friends on our street but most of our neighbors are just nodding acquaintances.

Maybe I'll spend more time with these people if when they retire. But based on the one or two who have made the transition over the last five years, I doubt it.

The biggest difference in our neighborhood during the work week is that all the cars are off the streets...
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:08 PM   #12
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:14 PM   #13
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And, does your neighborhood see you differently? We live in fairly densely populated suburb, where a lot of the folks we knew have either moved on or passed away. Since retirement 3 months ago, I've found myself re-evaluating where, or more precisely, amongst whom I live. Nothing scientific, more along the lines of observing who are the slobs and the neatniks, whose kids are great and whose warrant some tough-love, the usual "peek through the curtains while I'm home" sort of recon I never really did while working. Makes me wonder if I'm going to turn into the neighborhood watch - or the neighborhood curmudgeon. (I know, I gotta get out more. ) Just an observation on an aspect life after retirement I hadn't considered. If I don't start puttering around more in the front yard, I risk becoming identified as "you know, the old-timer who lives in that house over there."
My neighborhood seems about the same to me as always, and I am so glad. I don't tend to sit by the window and peek out through the mini-blinds each day, though. Due to the housing crisis, not one person has moved away since I retired in 2009. Well, except the third house down that was badly damaged by flooding during Katina, was eventually repaired somewhat, and is now a rental.

Everyone except the rental keeps his/her property up nicely, or at least to my standards (and what do you expect from a rental? it's not that bad) so I have no complaints. Nobody makes any noise, or pesters me at all. It's all good. I don't know any of my neighbors closely, but I love them! They are wonderful neighbors. We all pitched in and worked so hard together for weeks to help one another clean up the debris and clear the street after Katrina. Yet another reason why I like living in my present location. They worry about me if I am out of town, or if I even leave the front door open to air out the house. Good people, but that hasn't changed.

Sometimes (very infrequently) we see someone who doesn't live in the neighborhood walking through. When that happens, everyone (including me) stares and I'm sure they get the "we know you don't live around here and I saw you so you'd best not be up to no good" vibes. 'Twas ever thus in my neighborhood, though. Makes me feel safer, too.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:40 PM   #14
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Years ago, I used to go for long walks and speak to everyone who was out working in his/her yard. I learned all sorts of interesting things about my neighbors. Then everybody else hired illegals professional landscapers to do all the yardwork, and now no one is ever outside, except for one family whose 4 kids practice various sports.

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Old 03-12-2012, 07:10 PM   #15
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I've lived in this house since Aug '78.
Neighbors have come and gone, lately 'hood has been infiltrated by college students.
Only people I have much interaction with is the ones across the street.
Several houses have been torn/burned down as part of neighborhood improvement (and firefighter practice).
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:22 PM   #16
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I don't see our neighborhood differently. Almost all of our neighbors are retired, and I very seldom see any of them. No kids in the neighborhood. It does surprise me how quiet it is around here on weekdays.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:34 PM   #17
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Years ago, I used to go for long walks and speak to everyone who was out working in his/her yard. I learned all sorts of interesting things about my neighbors.
When we do our one-mile after-dinner walk, it takes two hours...
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:01 PM   #18
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When we do our one-mile after-dinner walk, it takes two hours...
I do envy you for that.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:25 PM   #19
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When I retired I couldn't wait to get out of our old suburb. It seemed so empty and sterile!

Now we live in a 55+ community, and in season it can be very busy during during the day with all the active retirees out doing stuff. We know almost everybody. And I can enjoy my own house and yard when I don't feel like being social. It's so different from living in a working family suburb - it's like night and day!

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Old 03-13-2012, 10:27 PM   #20
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When we do our one-mile after-dinner walk, it takes two hours...
Sometimes when we go birdwatching in the park next door it's like that since we know most of the regular bird watchers.
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