Never underestimate the power of a neighborhood.

Everyone thinks that New York is this huge city where you can blend in and be anonymous and no one will ever miss you. That’s true. But its also a very neighborhood-centric city in the sense that everyone has a “guy”. I realized this tonight as I took my sick plant to Flowers by Nicholas. Even though I have never bought anything from Nick, he still gives me plant advice, free potting soil, and even shines the leaves of my sick plants. We made small talk while he was taking care of Scarlett (yes I name my plants) – “You live around here, right?” That’s all it takes to feel an instant bond of camaraderie.

So I have the plant guy who gives me free dirt,  I have the two doormen next door who take my packages, I have the laundry lady who always gets my stuff back to me the same day and loves making small talk about the upcoming long weekend. I have the bagel guys who know everything I do after midnight, and I have the convenience store guy who will give me extra ice and run the beer up to my apartment for me when I have my hands full.

This may not seem like much – I only know one of their names, and I’m not sure they know mine. But we both keep running into each other, and not ignoring that fact makes everything just a little bit better. I may not cry my eyes out to Muhammad, but its nice to hear “Hey, where have you been?” once in a while.


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