Neighborhood Pride


BrooklynWhat makes a great neighborhood? Former editor of Utne Reader and author of The Great Neighborhood Book Jay Walljasper writes about his favorite neighborhood on the website for the Project for Public Spaces. For Walljasper, a welcoming community, pedestrian-friendly roads, diverse shops, and plenty of pubs all combine to create his favorite neighborhood in America.

The key to a great neighborhood, in my opinion, is personality. Living in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, a few years ago, I could feel the place was changing, but it retained its feel as a traditional Italian neighborhood. Bistros selling mozzarella held strong in areas where new restaurants were opening all the time. For me, that was my favorite neighborhood. Feel free to chime in with yours.

Image by Jeffrey Bary, licensed under Creative Commons.

7/17/2008 9:16:53 PM

Interesting...... My favorite neighborhood would have none of the chains (Walmart, Wendy's, Starbucks, etc.) It's really disturning that I can talk to my sister in law who lives thousands of miles from me and it goes somethng like this: me: what did you do today? sister in law: not much, I went to Walmart me: me too! sister in law: I also went to Starbucks and then stopped at Wendy's after we went to the library me: me too! In my perfect neighborhood, I'd have only locally owned and operated businesses. And a farmer's market. I'd feel absolutely fabulous shopping there and knowing my money was really going into the local economy and not back to the big box chain. There would also be a space to trade goods -- I'm not sure how it would work but in my imaginary neighborhood, I don't have to worry about it. If you had some flower pots and you no longer needed them, you could drop them off and you could get something you may need in return. That would be really cool. And it would all be within walking distance or close enough to bike......not too much traffic.....and you could smell the bakery before you even opened their door......

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