Neighborly disputes are something I don’t have much experience with.
One of my favorite things about where I live, is my neighbors. Without the exchanged smiles, tool-sharing, favor swapping and social gatherings I enjoy with my neighbors, I would be living in just another ’50s brick ranch in one of Boulder’s more affordable neighborhoods. It’s likely I would be looking for the “next” house to call home.
Instead, I moved into Martin Acres in 2005 to house-sit… And never left. The aesthetically challenged clump of homes that lies between Broadway and US 36, Table Mesa Drive and Baseline Road in Boulder Colorado, is by far the friendliest place I have ever lived.
To put this in perspective, I grew up in New Zealand and lived in a small town, a university city and a smaller seaside city. (I had neighborly disputes on several occasions with my neighbor who’s kids burgled my house in college!) I spent a summer living in an apartment at Redondo Beach (LA area) in California and left NZ permanently in 1997… to travel the world. My next “home” was England. I enjoyed a life lived along the banks of the Thames in a shared townhouse, had my own condo a short distance from Hampton Court Palace, and spent months in staff accommodations at several well known hospitals during the years I spent there. (No neighborly disputes in England… I didn’t even meet the neighbors!) When I returned “down under” it was to Sydney Australia and I ran the gambit from a brand new apartment in a secure building to a run-down apartment over retail space. Both were walking distance to downtown Sydney. After taking a job in Massachusetts I lived on the island of Nantucket, 30 miles off Cape Code. The windswept island that I called home for 3 years was also a friendly little place. I had staff accommodation at a 200 year old inn, then rented a “barn” that had been converted to a 2 bedroom carriage house. Rumor has it that the main house had been home to Abraham Lincoln’s mother, once!
So getting back to Martin Acres, Boulder CO… I know a good thing when I see it/feel it! My house-sitting position of 3 months was soon up and the architectural style of the 50’s and 60’s was not what kept me here. You see, within just a short period of time I had forged friendships and neighborly relationships throughout the ‘hood. I felt welcomed. I knew I could ask for help and receive it. The area was happy, cooperative, innovative and just packed with hard working, intelligent people. People who recognized building strong healthy relationships was just as important in a community as not letting your home get run-down!
Neighborly disputes have never been an issue here, but even if a dispute arises, I am confident that the people I proudly call my neighbors, would never act like the two guys with the neighborly disputes below: