People-People in your neighbourhood

As the epicenter of front-porch-culture in Canada it is no wonder that downtown Hamilton is attracting people-people; more and more every month. My question is, does the place make the people or do the people make the place?

Here in Hamilton I have found a community of like-minded souls, motivated by each other, eager to integrate, to participate, to be themselves and to get to know one another. Who could have imagined that so many people would come out in sweltering heat or pouring rain to clean up back alleys or deliver newsletters with no inducement beyond each other’s company? At these events I catch up with people I am getting to know and meet people I don’t yet know, and as I observe them what seems clear is that Hamilton is bubbling over with people-people.

Rows and rows of front porches, peppered with upholstered furniture and old TVs, clusters of people every few houses. Betty next door mows and weeds people’s lawns and Rob on the other side shovels up and down in the winter. The neighbourhood kids help me prepare for parties and the fellow across the road helps them with computer homework. I hear many, many stories of people being  neighbourly like that (mostly from Betty) while others get involved with the community groups for more collaborative projects. Still others turn their vision of helping into services like the Hamilton Dream Centre. And so it spreads, this interconnected web of helping-giving-doing interaction. It is a community rife with need but rich in assets, the greatest of which is its people.

Are all the people-people living here in Hamilton or are there other neighbourhoods where this sort of thing goes on? You tell me…


5 thoughts on “People-People in your neighbourhood

  1. I have to make a comment here. My neighbourhood in Ottawa (Adelaide Street) is very front-porch! I know just about everyone on the street, look after their kids sometimes, and shovel drives when they’re away. Now, however, I’m away – and they’re all sending me emails about how the tenants in our house are! (Very nice, from what I hear.)

  2. i just live down the street from you in a different hood…the sense of community is not as strong here, although it is certainly present; possibly in a less obvious way. there seems to be a strong Portugese population here which, perhaps, makes me a little shy and feel a little on the out. i’m more inclined to spend time in the backyard than on my front porch, which is small and not necessarily cozy. the man next door mows my front lawn for me when he’s out doing his own. i recently gave him a jar of my grandmother’s homemade strawberry jar and a card as a thank you. i did not ring his bell, but left it out on the front porch, which is my style. perhaps somebody else who is more people-people would have rang that bell. Andrew has borrowed a ladder from the guy two doors down to climb up on the roof to replace the furnace cap, which blew off during a really windy day this Spring. his son has honda civic hatchbacks, too. i think Andrew has the potential to suss out the community here. i am more recluse, preferring to curl up on my couch with the cats and a book. it’s nice to hear the hussle and bussle outside of neighbourhood kids, though. i am done rambling, now.

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