How Urban Geometry Creates Neighborhood Identity reminded me of a thought I often have about where I live.
We have an apartment on the third floor in Adams Point. We have spoken to the folks on either side of us, and our building manager lives on our floor; e is the only one we really talk to in our building. We see others in the lobby or on the elevator, but I wouldn’t say we are acquaintances, and definitely not friends.
On the other hand, we know the names of people in other parts of our neighborhood, in part because they live in street-level homes, and have fruit trees or porches, natural spaces to notice and comment to one another.
I am not aware of population density in Oakland, but I imagine that my neighborhood has a fairly dense section, because we are surrounded by 3+ floored buildings, taking up entire blocks. Our building has 24 units, on a block that has three other apartments and six single family homes.
I personally don’t mind where I live, because we have immediate access to areas where people walk around and hang out. Most of my neighbors and nearby folks we meet are on parts of Grand Lake or Lakeshore Avenue, or just somewhere around Lake Merritt. It isn’t exactly about identity, but I consider if I am isolated from the people around me, and it somewhat feels like that. But as we have the aforementioned social valves, I enjoy the privacy and quiet our apartment affords us.
We didn’t plan to move here, we were forced to move in desperation, and just got very lucky that there was a vacancy when we were in need. We’ve been here almost three years, and with rising rents in this area we couldn’t stay in it if we moved. But that is for a different post. ^_^