Neighborhood Happy Hour

happy hour

Summer of 2012 has been a very nice summer, thanks to some neighbors who had a very cool idea.

Every Friday evening, since about June, they've had a simple open invitation to their neighbors to hang out in their front yard for a "happy hour" or "TGIF" get-together.

Very casual: bring some drinks and munchies to share.  Bring some outdoor chairs, or sit on lawn or the front steps.  And kids are welcome too; there are babies and toddlers and kids and pre-teens and teens hanging out.

What a great way to get to know your neighbors! We're building bonds that are much stronger than the occasional "hi" while out walking the dog, or the annual "block sale" that brings nearly everybody out and about.

The turnout of the happy hour varies from week to week, so it's never the same.

It turns out that this phenomonon is not unique to our street. See, for instance, this, this, this, and this. Everybody's is different — some are more involved than others; some are monthly not weekly; some have even have a theme.

As the days get shorter as we head into Autumn, it is still warm enough in California to continue for a bit, but probably not a good time to start something like this up in other areas where it's getting colder outdoors. Of course there's always indoors, but that involves a bit more preparation and logistics. (Especially if you don't know your neighbors that well at first, it's probably easier to spend some time outdoors before you open up your house to them!) I'm not sure if we'll be able to continue quite as before now that it's getting colder, darker, and wetter.  But it's been a great summer, and we have many more friends who happen to live right near me than we did before.

If you live in a place where you wouldn't mind getting to know your neighborhood a bit better, maybe this is something you might consider starting up when the weather permits it.

(Photo CC from Flickr by ozmafan)

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