03 January 2008

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Who knew that getting a dog would net me a whole bunch of new friends? Or, at least, acquaintances?

One of the things about living in New York is that it can be incredibly insular. You can stay in your apartment, only venturing out for work or to meet friends, and you can pretty much live in a neighborhood without ever really getting to know your neighbors.

Unless, that is, you're the guardian of Atticus Finch.

As we already know, I can't walk down the street with Atticus and not get stopped by half the people we pass; he's a rock star, folks. But part of that experience is that the conversation often turns to things other than my dog, and I've gotten to know a little bit about a lot of the people in my neighbhorhood. So whereas I once might have walked down the street and given someone a friendly nod, but gone on my way, I'm now calling my neighbors by name, and recognizing their apartment buildings as I pass by.

My dog has been my pass into a community I should have been building from the moment I arrived in Brooklyn nearly seven years ago.

That little scamp.

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