Welcome to science. these posts explore the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.
Talking to my neighbors was easier than I thought. I only had to build the courage to engage with them. I found that we were all thinking the same thing.
Lately I've been noticing my neighborhood. I really like where I live. It's in Prospect Heights, a quiet neighborhood just north/north east of Park Slope and Prospect Park. But in all neighborhoods, there are things that need
improvement. At one end of my block, there is a massive empty warehouse.
Rumor has it that the city owns it because the original owner didn't pay his taxes and skipped the country. This encourages people to illegally dump their trash there, litter and leave their dog's waste on the sidewalk, among other things. Some fix their cars on our block and leave their used car parts kind of everywhere. Its been a real mess lately.
I decided to engage my neighbors to see if we could do something about it. In one week, I talked to about 12 people who I thought might live in the neighborhood. People that I see when I'm walking back from the grocery store or after a bike ride. The people that say hi to me as I'm making my way to my brownstone apartment.
It came as a surprise to me the following weekend that these casual conversations that I picked up with my neighbors got them talking. It got them talking about the trash and inspiring people to do something about it. A neighbor whom I had met last week told me that people were going to show up at the end of the block at 10:30am. I went and all who came worked until about 2pm clearing debris from the street.
The best thing wasn't just about having a really clean block to walk down, it also provided us a chance to meet other neighbors. Now when I see them on the street, I can call them by their name. I can say hi or ask how they're doing. It's a nice feeling. For the first time, I feel the 'neighbor' in my neighborhood.