Page 11 of 27
How To Make Friends With Your Neighbors
1. Bitch on the stoop: On TV, tales of neighborhood friendship always start with a delivery of baked goods to the welcome mat. But in real life, the way to get to know a person is to bitch with them. The Brooklyn stoop serves as an ideal platform for whining and comforting. Misery does love company.
2. Share your food, your alcohol, your cigarettes: This never has to be much of a grand gesture, but if you happen to pass by your neighbor, post-initial-bitching-session, why not mention you have a whole carrot cake sitting in the fridge you baked on your day off? An unopened bottle of whiskey? Oh, and no, of course you don’t mind if she bums a cigarette. Nice nice nice nice.
3. Make it Facebook official: Whether you like it or not, a friendship can remain in limbo until you find one another on Facebook. This way, you’ll never forget your neighbor’s last name, and you can even start a Facebook group for your building or your block. If your neighbor isn’t down with social media, get over fear of your own phone voice and exchange numbers.
4. Plan a building or block party together: A building or block party is an opportunity to take your neighbor relationships to the next level. You could give it a trick-or-treating kind of feel by letting each apartment put on a different theme, so people will be entertained just by wandering in and out of rooms. And, when it gets nice outside, find out who owns a barbecue. He will be your go-to person for the block party season.
5. Styrofoam cups, walkie talkies and/or Morse code: For advanced neighbor friendships only. Start communicating with these, and never, ever attempt a Clarissa Explains It All (visiting apartments whenever you feel like it by ladder) without talking about it first. Most people call that “breaking and entering.”
Illustration Mike Force