Today is my 51st birthday. I’m also in London at the
moment taking in the sights with the family. We’ll also get to
see Paris, Amsterdam and Bruges. A fun and exciting week lies
ahead. And then, it’s back home to the HOA that I live in and
the condominium association I work in.
Today, I’m obviously in good spirits. So, it made me think….are
there things we can be doing in our buildings and communities
that would make them more pleasant and fun to live in? Other
than in 55 and over communities I hardly ever hear any more
about community events that bring the residents together.
For those of you who lived in the northeast, you remember “block
parties” where everyone who lived on the same block cooked some
food, took out some lawn chairs, sat on the street and the kids
played all kinds of outdoor games. They were great. I live in
my community for 16 years – not a single community event.
For those of you that are fans of Seinfeld, you may recall the
episode where the residents of Jerry’s building put up pictures
of themselves in the lobby. That way, everyone got to know and
recognize each other. Is it a crazy idea? You tell me.
I’ll say this….I love to reminisce about the co-op that I
grew-up in in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. There were four
buildings each containing 60 families. Believe me, out of the
240 families, I knew half of them well. It was amazing. The
kids played ball together, the mothers played mah-jong together
and lots of the fathers played cards together once or twice a
week. On any given night in the warm weather, our on-site
playgrounds were filled with kids and the parents sat on all of
the park benches and stayed out well past dark. Of course, the
thrill of the night was when we heard the ice cream man was
coming. All hell broke loose. Fun days.
So, is it possible to bring back those days? Do I remember a
time and a place whose time has simply come and gone? Or, am I
wrong and some of you still happen to live in one of those
communities where neighbors know their neighbors well? Is it
simply too damm hot in Florida for the neighbors to stay outside
together and socialize? How can we make our communities more
fun? More caring? Or is simply looking at our stupid I-phones,
computers and reality TV shows now enough to keep us happy? I
certainly know what I would rather be doing. Give me a Spalding
and a dollar and there’s no place I’d rather be.