Tag Archives: neighbors

a tribute to your individuality – neighborhood style.

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i am endlessly fascinated by the postings i find on my neighborhood nextdoor site:

the one about the wild turkeys holding a woman at bay in her driveway

then her warning to others, after she escaped unscathed to the car,

as she last saw them headed down the road looking for other victims like a street gang

the one complaining about kids running through his yard instead of staying on the path 

 the one who reported the tiny pet turtle who ‘ran’ away from her yard

and on and on. 

then there was my favorite:

it was a long chat chain that began when someone relocated here from the uk and was looking for a store that sold weet bix. the response/comment section continued on for months, with neighbors offering suggestions of where to find different flavors and sizes of it, who had the best prices, adding in images of artwork made with weet bix, weet bix jokes, weet bix gifs, weet bix logo clothing, balanced towers of weet bix, opinions about weet bix, bowls of weet bix, people sharing their u.k. memories……it was absolutely brilliant, and even included a site administrator who couldn’t take it anymore, trying to wind it up at one point, summarizing it by listing the previously suggested stores, only to have it start up again, people telling her just stop reading it if she was over it, but they were having a ball, leading to it win our ‘best post of the year,’ due to it’s refusal to end, and for the enthusiasm level with which the neighborhood embraced this, rising to the occasion in this ongoing quest to find and celebrate everything weet bix. i loved it. (in the spirit of the chat chain, this may be the longest run-on sentence/paragraph/rambling explanation ever)

happy national neighbor day

“the curiosity of the neighbors about you, is a tribute to your individuality, and you should encourage it. ”    

-quentin crisp

printing money.

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Take the Wooden Money

During the darkest days of the Great Depression, the logging city of Tenino, Washington, created a complimentary wooden currency to help locals survive the economic crisis. Now, almost 90 years later, the town is once again “printing money” on postcard-sized sheets of maple to help locals suffering from financial hardship. Pegged at the rate of real U.S. dollars, the currency can be spent everywhere from grocery stores to gas stations and child care centers, whose owners can later exchange them.

“It worked perfectly,” says Tenino’s mayor Wayne Fournier, who offers residents who demonstrate they are experiencing economic difficulties caused by the pandemic a stipend of up to $300 a month in wooden dollars. These currencies aren’t actual replacements of real money. They are complementary currencies — a broad term for a galaxy of local alternatives to national currencies.

According to research published in Papers in Political Economy in 2018, 3,500 – 4,500 such systems have been recorded in more than 50 countries across the world. Typically they are a localized currency that can only be exchanged among people and businesses within a region, town, or even a single neighborhood. Many are membership programs limited to those who have signed up; they typically work in conjunction with, rather than replacing, the official national currency.

They take many different forms. Relatively few are based on paper money; many are purely digital or exchanged via smart cards. Their goals can span multiple economic, social, and environmental objectives. Some aim to protect local independent businesses. Some promote more equal and sustainable visions of society. Others have been founded in response to economic crises when traditional financial systems have ground to a halt. As the coronavirus pandemic brings on a wave of social and economic tumult, all three challenges appear to be in play at once.

In Tenino, which has a population of less than 2,000, the wooden money is printed using an antique 1890 Chandler & Price letterpress. Since the launch in May, cities from Arizona to Montana and California have been in contact with Tenino for advice about starting their own local currencies.

“We have no idea what is going to happen next in 2020,” adds Fournier. “But cities like ours need to come up with niche ways to be sustainable without relying on the larger world.”

“sharing money is what gives it its value.”

-elvis presley

 

credits: story – Bloomberg City Lab, Peter Young. photo – Jason Redmons, AFP

tell their stories.

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after sledding on a beautiful snow day

grandies and neighbors

gather around the table

to share a large pot

of ramen, laughs, and stories. 

“honor the community you come from. tell their stories.”

-sting

 

sad raccoon.

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 on my neighborhood nextdoor site – written by a kind neighbor:

“we found a raccoon in our driveway that looks sad and is not moving.

is there anything we can do about it?”

 

“let us fill our hearts with our own compassion –

towards ourselves and towards all living beings.”

-thich nhat hanh

helpers.

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grandie f and his friends take a short walk

through their neighborhood

(and now mine)

to help bring a few first things over to my new digs.

the friendliest movers ever.

 

“i get by with a little help from my friends.”

-John lennon

 

garage sale.

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loved visiting the grandies
and their friends from the neighborhood
at their very own garage sale for kids.
they made signs
waved to cars
 took turns being the dj in the garage
keeping the music going
and offering specials
(like the ‘wear two things on your head and get one free discount’)
every few minutes.
reminds me of me when i was a kid
though I usually ended up spending my profits
buying my friends’ stuff
and they often did the same with mine.
sometimes I even ended up
with more stuff than I had started with.
 a pretty fun time for all
and some things are timeless.
I remember going with my mom
to a random garage sale as a kid and thinking
what a cool treasure hunt that the whole world was.
only to transition as an adult to think,
‘what a gross place that really is.’
– will ferrell

mayor.

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chris taylor atop a bit of art at ann arbor’s top of the park festival

i had a pleasant surprise

when i opened my front door

and standing there was

my mayor, chris taylor

he was walking around the neighborhoods

talking to people

about the upcoming primary election

we talked for a bit

and i thanked him

for all he’s done

and continues to do

for ann arbor

 when he left

and i closed the door

i thought that this is how politicians should be

just walking around talking to people in their neighborhoods.

“the true privilege of being mayor

is that I have the opportunity to be everyone’s neighbor.”

-thomas menino