Outside view of VIDA Building

More Than Ever, It’s Good to Know Your Neighbors

Illustration of two neighbors talking to each other from their windows

November 2020

This has been a tough year and it’s given everyone a new appreciation for the connections we share. Whether it’s being there to help when needed, getting a chance to vent our stresses, or just interacting in-person with another human, our connections suddenly mean much more. All too often, we don’t connect with the people who are physically closest to us: our neighbors. At VIDA, we’ve built a welcoming community and we encourage everyone reach out and make a new friend.

Your relationship with neighbors is unique in that it’s driven by proximity. Because they live so close by, there are countless ways that neighbors can help each other that would be difficult to expect you’re your friends on the other side of town. They can keep an eye on your place when you’re gone, and even pick up your packages, water your plants or feed the cat. Maybe you need help carrying a new piece of furniture into your place. That’s a two-minute job for a neighbor. While it’s a bit cliché, if you desperately need of a cup of sugar, light bulb, etc., your neighbors are closer than a store. Beyond those proximity-based reasons, being friends with your neighbors will broaden your social circle, which means more companionship, gossip, laughs, and joy in your life.

So how do you meet your neighbors? It’s surprisingly simple. People who live in apartments and townhouses generally want to know their neighbors, but hesitate to make the first move. All you need to do is smile and say “hello.” Because your neighborly relationship has less to do with shared interests and more to do with proximity, a friendly greeting can build an immediate connection.

Of course, one “hello” a friendship does not make. From there, ask a question. Something about the neighborhood you share works best. Do you know of a good Mexican restaurant nearby? Have you ever tried the beer at ROC Brewing? I noticed we have Amazon Hub Lockers in the parking lot, have you ever used them? You’d be surprised how simple request for advice or help can turn a stranger into an acquaintance and eventually a friend.

If you don’t seem to run into your neighbors very often, one easy way to change that is to spend more time outside. The Neighborhood of Play is designed to walkable. The next time you’re picking up dinner from Veneto, grabbing coffee at Spot, or going to an ATM for cash, leave the car at home and walk. Better yet, take a walk every day just to clear your head, get some fresh air, and (hopefully) meet your neighbors.