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Neighborhood Connectivity
Shannon Hogan Cohen | Luneta Drive

from the left: Alice Brown, Cozette Shirts, JoAnne Calabro, Jennifer McDowell. All live on Avenida Primavera.
Photo Shannon Hogan Cohen.

There are brilliant benefits to living in a small town, neighbors actually talk and get to know each other! The feeling of community and sense of integration with others is what intrigued me about Del Mar, and of course the majestic blue Pacific. It is the connected communal warmth that can encourage effective communication.
I recently had an experience with a few neighbors about a centuries old Monterey Pine which was breaching the foundation of my one hundred and ten year old home. It was a difficult decision for me to remove the tree. However, once I explained my distress and discussing our mutual disdain about sacrificing the tree, my neighbors had a better understanding of the circumstances. We all mourned the majestic pine.

Communicating is key when it comes to building relationships, whether it is in person or online. Neighborhoods were the original “network” long before the World Wide Web. However, with our limited free time and increasing online capabilities, why not use technology as another source to make us better neighbors and communicators? We can use the internet to make us even more connected. Welcome Nextdoor, a social networking service and online app, allows users to connect with people who live in their neighborhood. You can access the site on your desktop or download it for free on your mobile phone. The website is www.nextdoor.com.

In a typical forum, you might see want ads for babysitters, restaurant recommendations, meet times for walking groups, referral requests, and posts asking for podiatrist recommendations. Last week, someone found a hamster on the playground and used the site to find the rightful owner. Each bit of shared information is strictly relegated to the confines of your specifically drawn neighborhood.

Nextdoor is also a resource for local safety. People are able to share information on burglaries, vandalism or suspicious activity in their area. It’s a neighborhood watch for the 21st century!

Let’s integrate this community Wi-Fi conversation and enhance our ability to share information in multiple ways. The ink on paper approach at the Sandpiper can also be a forum to showcase various topics on neighborhood connectivity, interfacing issues good or bad. Neighborhood connectivity is the state of being connected with our neighbors. There are many ways to virtually be friendly to our next-door neighbors. However, my favorite way to connect and communicate with my neighbors is still the old-fashioned knock on their door, with a plate of warm cookies.

One fact remains universal: neighborhoods thrive when people treat other people with kindness and respect. If you have a neighborhood story to share, feel free to contact me at shannonhogancohen@gmail.com. The overall objective is to thread our neighborhoods together and connect with our fellow citizens through conversation, camaraderie and collaboration.



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