I’m the first to admit, I’ve bragged about my particular block in Crown Heights before. We are a super friendly bunch – very cohesive, very welcoming, very green (http://bit.ly/2TyeEQE :-)! While I’m not an expert, I have three easy suggestions of things you can do right now to create community on your block:
1. Say “Good Morning!” “Good afternoon,” “Nice day,” or “Hello.” I greet everyone on my block whether I know them or not. I can trace this habit back to before I purchased my home in Crown Heights. At the time, I was walking every neighborhood in Brooklyn trying to determine which would be my future home. Part of my search criteria was whether or not people would say “Hi” back to me. My block in particular was ridiculously friendly, with people I never met before smiling and engaging way beyond what I would have expected in NYC. One day, the battery died in my 1994 Honda, and my soon-to-be neighbor across the street came out of his house unprompted and gave me a jump!
2. Shop local. Wow! Maybe it’s just me but I love walking into a store or restaurant and hearing, “Hi Jim, nice to see you again. Your usual?” Not only will you be supporting your community economy, you’re bound to meet more neighbors to greet (see no. 1) in the process.
3. Stay home. I mean, in the evening and on the weekends. Brooklyn stoops are made for sitting and if you don’t have a stoop, pull out a couple of folding chairs. Better yet, grab a broom and sweep your sidewalk and your neighbor’s while your at it 🙂