You know, when me and my ex bought our house in 97, I fell in love with our neighborhood. At the time it was middle-class, a place where families bought starter homes, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Modesto. It was actually a suburb of Modesto at the time it was built. But lately it seems like it's gone slightly downhill at the time. Yeah I know, I brought the neighborhood down. I ain't contesting that. It seems to happen everywhere I live.
My house and most of the houses around it were built in the 20s, evidenced by the narrow streets, HUGE lots, and the thing I love most - recessed garages and front porches.
You see, front porches bring neighbors together. Most of the houses in my area don't have air conditioning (mine does, woo-hoo!) so in the evening a lot of folks sit out on the front porch and enjoy the cool evening breezes. And when your garage ain't blocking your veiw of your neighbors' porch, you tend to be a bit friendlier.
Matter of fact, when I take CharlieGodammit for his evening walk, I get to know my neighbors. Hey, they may not know my name but they damned sure know his. And if they don't, they still know him by sight. I hear it all the time:
"Hey, there's that wolf-dog."
"That's the motherfucker that howls in the morning."
"He's a great looking dog."
"That dog licked my baby's face yesterday."
"Don't fuck with that dog's owner."
Then they come down and want to know about the dog. We meet, talk, and laugh. I've gotten more invites to dinner, for beer, and visits than I ever have. I'd like to blame it on CharlieGodammit, but I truly think it's because of the front porches. After all, they never invite that sorry motherfucker back. Good thing too, he'd probably buttfuck their dogs and eat their Evil Cats.