Sunday Salon ~ May 2nd, 2010

Well, HELLO Stranger!  Man, it has been awhile since I did a Sunday Salon post.  Sorry about that!  It seems that the weekends here fly by so quickly that it’s almost mid-week before I remember that I should have written a Sunday Salon post. 

Okay, enough of the excuses.  I haven’t been lagging to badly when it comes to my reading lately.  Though it took a long two weeks, I finally finished reading Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol.  This book is my book club’s May selection.  My club’s meeting is going to be pretty cool because we are (weather permitting) going to have a picnic lunch on the grounds of The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.  I will be posting my review here on Planet Books closer to the date of our meeting which is scheduled towards the end of this month. 

In The Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a TimeThe good thing about finishing The Lost Symbol is that I can now read In The Neighborhood – The Search For Community On An American Street, Once Sleepover At A Time by Peter Lovenheim. 

What an interesting book!  This sociology project of sorts was executed and written by an author, who with his family, moved into his childhood home on a picturesque street outside of Rochester, NY.  After a shocking murder-suicide occurred in a house down the street, Peter wondered who his neighbors really were and why there was no sense of community and neighborhood.  His way of getting to know his neighbors is a common practice but usually among America’s youth, not their parents.  He decided to get to know his neighbors by sleeping over in their homes and observing them during a “typical day.” 

I think my interest in reading this book stems from being a first-time homeowner in a brand new and beautiful neighborhood in Northern Virginia.  It’s a very quite place most of the time, what with adults working days, children in school and busy social and television watching schedules keeping most neighbors inside or away from home.  Sure, we all wave at each other when neighbors drive by and others are checking the mail or doing yard work but I only know the names of my immediate neighbors.  I have built some kind of a relationship with the neighbors we share fence lines with and have even had our lovely neighbors on the left over for dinner and I occasionally go over and pop a squat on their couch and catch up with them, but others, as we have, have fallen between the cracks. 

I can’t wait to see what Peter Lovenheim concludes about his neighborhood at the end of his book and I’ll be curious to see if he inspires me (the daughter of very private parents who have lived in their house for 33 years this summer and still only know their immediate neighbors) to branch out and get to know the people who live in floor plans just like mine. (80% of the houses in my neighborhood are the same model as ours.)

5 thoughts on “Sunday Salon ~ May 2nd, 2010

  1. I’m finally reading “We Were Soldiers Once…And Young” I just started on Friday, so I haven’t really had any time to get into it yet, what with the weekend being as gorgeous as it was. I loved what I saw of the movie, so I’m looking forward to getting more in depth with the story.

    Your book sounds pretty good, I might have to add it to my reading list!

    1. I saw that movie with Chris while Pete was in training back in 2002. I cried my eyes out and then their dad met us outside the theatre in Reston and we went to dinner together.

  2. Chris forbade me from seeing it. So I’m sure you know how well that went over. 😉 It’s the only time he’s ever said ‘hey, don’t see that movie’. It was on TV one day and I caught it in the middle. I just kept it on and loved it. He was afraid it would make me worry about him more, so I can understand that. I didn’t realize it was as recent as 2002, it was so timeless. Good stuff!

  3. what a cool idea for a book. i’m one of the guilty ones as far as neighbors go. we’re friendly with the neighbors to our left, but they are older than we are with adult children. the neighbors on our right are insane rednecks who have a penchant for reb flags and go-karts. really brings up the neighborhood, you know?

  4. I live in my 7th house and all have been in traditional ‘neighborhoods’ – it’s funny that the one from Nebraska where the houses were probably the closest in proximity was the one where I don’t think I ever laid eyes on the people right next door, both sides! I’m finally in one now where I can honestly say I’ve had serious conversations with everyone in the ‘hood. It’s great. It IS interesting why some neighborhoods are unfriendly or unknownable and others have get-togethers all the time.

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