luka

Well-known member
you also have what sufi was talking about recently, immigrant communities, a Nepali community, a Somali community, where local Big Men dispense favours and accumulate political influence
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
When I lived in Hackney I always used to stop and chat with the guys in the corner shop, I was friends with the people who worked behind the bars of all the local pubs, the guys from Gangees Indian restaurant on Dalston Lane sent me a Christmas card, I knew and utterly hated all my neighbours... well Sammy was alright, we used to play squash together.

I used to know one of the guys in the shop on Dalston Lane, helped him out writing letters a couple of times cos his English was not that good.

In fact, in a perfect example of the neighbourhood; the reason I challenged Sam to play at squash was cos we were both drinking in The Arthur one time and the barman - along with a few other locals who all knew and loved each other and me and him of course - was goading me about how my neighbour was so much fitter than me.

Anyway, now I live in Santa Iria instead of Hackney and there is no more Prince Arthur or cornershop full of friendly Kurds... but there is The Chatterbox where on more than one occasion I have been given food literally from the plate of the person sat next to me, and where they often just chuck in a free brandy with dessert just to celebrate our friendship. And there are these pound shops run by Chinese couples. One often had their young son there and we became quite friendly cos he liked to practise his English. I like it in Santa Iria, that if I walk down the street I will say hello to a few people and wave to a couple more.

And just as in Hackney, I hate all my neighbours, with the possible exception of Cigarinho Man who is more friendly but also, a creepy and annoying nuisance.
 

Leo

Well-known member
A lot of this comes down to your own personality, though. If it's your nature to engage people, you can build varying levels of relationships. Some people are relative strangers you just nod to, others you might know their name, and stop and talk about the weather or local politics, share a vacation story. They don't become your best friends, but a minor relationship is possible. As Gus said, joining local organizations or groups is another way to do it.
 

luka

Well-known member
that's true to an extent. i have a absolute horror of knowing my neighbours as then id feel obliged to talk to them which is the last thing in the world i want
 

WebEschatology

Well-known member
do you have a friendly chat with the woman at the supermarket checkout? Hello Mrs Miggins, how's the family? do you nurse a warm pint of lager in the St Geroge of an afternoon, swapping racing tips with the other regulars?
no cause this sounds like some kind of idealised middle england that Nick Griffin was trying to sell people on in the 2000s

but yeah i have talked to my neighbours even if its just to say hi/wha gwan i've come across old friends from school and caught up with them on tings hell one woman i known since sixth form has got 2 kids now cause of her piece of shit ex spouse and i'm probably the one person from her old friends she still chats to cause he isolated her
 

WebEschatology

Well-known member
there's also the fact that sometimes neighbours are temporary cause they might be people renting out houses from families

hell here's a story for you Luke one night back in the summer i was reading and heard weird noises outside my window went to open it to tell em to turn it down i look down in the garden and i see two people fucking in there, the day after when i got the chance to speak with them it turned out they were friends of friends had a couple awkward laughs but we got along after that

before they moved i would see one of them around the ends and catch up with him
 

luka

Well-known member
"Mrs miggins" of all names where you get that one from? that's a Camberwick Green character more than anything
that's was partly the point. that when people hark back to lost community it is typically drawing on certain fantasies, eg the middle england that nick griffin etc
 

suspended

Well-known member
since i moved out of home i've never known any of my neighbours, not even to nod to.
That's because you're in the city! I know all my neighbors except a Mennonite family that keeps to themselves. We swap baked goods and homemade jams, candlesticks, watch pets and water plants when traveling.
 

luka

Well-known member
well, i guess like a lot of things, all talk about it reduces down to, it's good in some ways and bad in others.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
One thing I find interesting is the way that there are lots of different societies that exist on top of each other but which don't intersect in any way, it's almost as though they are in different dimensions. Like the neighbourhood society I described above was completely separate in every way from the hipsters who inhabited the same area and the two groups had only the most minimal interactions. Also I was part of online communities and another due to football...

When I first moved to London I became friends with a guy who worked in a trendy clothes shop near Carnaby Street and he along with all the other feckless hipsters who worked in those shops made up their own community. They would wander from shop to shop when it was quiet and take each other coffees and so on. At the end of the day when the shops closed a guy would come round and sell some stuff and they would have a lock-in in one or other of the shops - my friend's one had a cellar/storeroom place below and most of the others had something similar we could use - and we would stick some music on, drink a load of beers etc and have a miniature party of sorts.

The nature of that job meant that staff turnover was high, some people would be there for ages but most would change quite quickly and new people would join, they might bring along friends like me. People who had stopped working there would stop by. In fact now I come to think of it I met a guy who had been in the year above me at school - turned out he owned a little boutique there to my surprise. He was not the one I would have necessarily have predicted to escape small-town drudgery for the bright lights of the big city... but no doubt he would have thought the same about me.

I found a very similar thing happening on Bica in Lisbon. One of the first people we met at once we moved here was a guy who owns - along with three other people - a restaurant on that street. He invited us to go there for food which we did. We soon realised that there were a load of people who hung around there regardless of whether or not they were eating, ultimately it turned out that that restaurant formed the hub of a a community on that street. Next door was a very small, cute place which literally had two or three tables. The chef there Marco was a long term mate of our friend from next door. I think he had worked at our friend's place in the past and the rest of the waiting staff seemed to be pretty much interchangeable between the two restaurants. Along with those two there was the place opposite and another bar down the street that was easy to spot cos it had a dummy with its bright blue legs sticking out through the window into the street and people used to kinda drift between all of those. Marco worked in the one at the bottom too at times and my friend Fred DJ-d a few times in the place opposite. In the evenings the street would be full with people from these places smoking and drinking and hanging off/swinging on the tram as it went past. At about 10 or 11pm on weekends (and often on weekdays) the cage-fighting dealer guy would come around and supply everyone and often there would be a lock-in, sometimes we would be there until 11am, sometimes we would go a club and when it finished have the after-party at the restaurant.

Sadly, during lockdown, two of the four restaurants shut down (and I reckon the other two are only just hanging jon) co really they rely on tourists. When our good friend @suspended came to Lisbon we did go to my friend's place early evening but he saw a mere shadow of what used to be there. I dunno if you remember Gus but there was a bit where we went outside for a fag and the people across the street were all waving and saying hello... that was the sad remnants of a once thriving community... but hopefully it's getting back on its feet again now and this little restaurant workers scene will be back once gain.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
The point is, that even if - in many cases at least - the obvious community of actual physical neighbours has ceased to exist, there are other societies that have replaced them and who is to say that the old ones are better. In my village most of the "elders" and people who had been drinking in the pub for decades so that they knew everyone were bullying, racist old homophobes. The "wisdom" they had accumulated wasn't worth passing on and if the groupings they represented were based on anything beyond the fact that the people involved happened to have been born near each other, it tended to be cruelty and small-minded bitterness at people like me who just happened to not be the same as them. As far as I'm concerned the sooner they are totally swept away and replaced by societies that have developed because the people involved like each other and have genuine reasons to associate, the better.
 
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