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Friday Question of the Day – Do You Know Your Neighbors’ Names?

by Prince Of Petworth August 18, 2016 at 10:22 pm 90 Comments

friday question
Photo by PoPville flickr user nevermindtheend

Just curious about this after some of our discussions lately – On your block how many neighbors’ names do you know? How many pets’ names do you know? Be honest, do you know the dog’s name and not the neighbor’s? If you live in an apartment/condo building – how many neighbors do you know on your floor/hallway? If you don’t mind sharing in the comments, please say how long you’ve lived in your neighborhood and what neighborhood you live in.

  • Ms. D

    For the most part, yes. I know everyone in my condo building (with a few caveats like I’m unsure if the woman changed her last name for two couples who moved in before they were married and since tied the knot…not really relevant since I know their first names), and most of the other friendly neighbors on the street. Most people walking their dogs do introduce themselves after we introduce our dogs, but there are a few who I know only by their dogs’ names.
    I don’t know the names of the new immediate next-door neighbors since they have been anything but friendly since they moved in over a year ago (I’ve said hi in passing and they’ve just ignored me…they even have a dog and I’ve suggested in passing a play date since our dogs get along well when they meet on walks, and that was an *expressed* no…for some reason).
    In the world of “unfriendly,” I know one neighbor’s name due to unfortunate circumstances (after a lot of friction, there was a police report…sorry not sorry, if you threaten me, authorities will be involved).

  • Petworth Pal

    I know 50% of the names on my block.

  • saf

    Petworth since 1990.

    I used to know everyone on my block, and some of the people on the surrounding blocks. Not as much any more – the new folks are not so easy to get to know, so the number declines as the old folks die off and the new folks move in.

    • Ms. D

      Just curious whether you think that’s because the new people are less friendly or simply because the new people aren’t “around” as much because they’re busier than, say, retirees. In my neighborhood, I’ve had plenty of people comment they “haven’t seen me around in forever” simply because I went on vacation for two weeks or had a busy week at work and wasn’t taking my dog for a walk at the “normal” times of ~7:30 AM and ~6 PM. Most of these folks are retired and don’t travel much, so their schedule is pretty fixed and they expect to see their neighbors at the same time each day. It’s never been expressed as me being “unfriendly,” but I’m not nearly as reliable as the elderly lady down the street who sits on her porch from (at least) 5-8 PM every night and pets my dog every time we walk past. It’s far easier to get to know someone who is “always around” than someone who is only out and about in the neighborhood for, say, 90 minutes a day, at sporadic times. Just a thought.

      • neighbor

        What you say is also true, but many are simply unfriendly and uninterested in being involved in neighborhood life.

        • kanon

          I think that is true for some people, but I don’t know if I’d generalize too much about “new” people. There are many reasons why someone may not be as friendly as you’d like them to be. I am super friendly, but not super outgoing, so rarely initiate conversation with strangers. If someone talks to me, though, I will respond and engage. I do try to make eye contact and smile at people as I’m walking, but sometimes I’m lost in my own thoughts. Also, after a long day at work, sometimes the last thing I want to do is to make small talk, or perhaps more significantly, the very first thing I really want to do is be home and take off my pants.

      • DF

        I’m a “new person” in Petworth as well. We’ve loved meeting our neighbors, but I’ll admit to not being “around” the block much. I enter/exit for work through alley (along with my runs) and since it’s been so hot, just haven’t wanted to spend much time on the porch. Hopefully we’ll get more time the coming months once we’ve settled more and weather is cool.

        I will say, we lived in Columbia Heights in an apartment building for 7 years and knew maybe a handful of couple’s names. Didn’t know a single person on that block. Petworth seems to be a far more social/welcoming hood.

    • John

      I’ve heard this type of comment many times since I moved to Petworth since 2009, and my experience has been the opposite. In my experience, people who are newer to the neighborhood are more likely to make eye contact, say hello or strike up a conversation.

      • jdegg

        Petworth since 2014. I know half my neighbors on my block, and others a few blocks away. Since most of them have small children, and I’m the old lady on the block, I’m the one who hosts the biannual neighborhood brunch at my house.

  • Willard St

    We live in Adams Morgan and know pretty much our entire apartment building and about 50% of the people on our side of the street. To speak a little more to your question about dogs, I will say that we’ve lived on our street for about 2 years now, and adopted a dog a year ago. Before getting a dog, we barely knew anyone outside of our apartment complex. After getting the dog, we met many more people. I think the dog serves as an icebreaker and opens people up to coming over and starting a conversation. We also had one of the last streets to get plowed over after that big snow storm last winter which was another chance to meet neighbors.

  • anon

    16th St Heights/Brightwood Park. I know by name the members of 7 households on my block, and am on friendly terms with others who may have introduced themselves but whose names I have forgotten. Also, if there is a silver lining to the relative dearth of happening places up here, it’s that you see the same faces and people at the three or four places we do have. Definitely feels like a community.

  • Just moved to Michigan Park and I’ve already met several neighbors on my block and all of my immediate neighbors. It’s such a great friendly neighborhood feel in that area. Everyone has been very welcoming to us. Lots of our neighbors have dogs as well so I’ve made a point to learn people as well as doggy names!

  • I know most names in my condo building.
    I know the name of the guy who keeps asking me out when I walk my dog in the morning,
    I know the name of the guy who organizes the hangouts with his friends in the alley.
    I don’t know the names of the people whose dogs I know the names of. None of them.

  • Nancy

    Maybe it’s the neighborhood, maybe it was the time. But I moved every 1-2 years (always in Adams Morgan/Mt. Pleasant/C.Heights) starting in 1980 and always knew several of my neighbors (though not pets’ names). This was when in apartment buildings & when in crappy english basement studios. I’m in a nice building now with front desk people. I know their names and the names of some of the dogs. But not of my neighbors. I know them by sight (and they know me by nicknames they have for me).

  • dcd

    SFH in Bethesda since January 2016: I know the names of everyone on our block, and most others in the adjoining blocks. It may be the friendliest place on earth.
    Apartment in Friendship heights, May 2016-January 2016 – didn’t know a soul, but that was on us, not the neighbors. That’s what happens when you know it’s only for 6 months. We barely unpacked.
    Rowhouse condo conversion in Columbia Heights from October 2004-May 2015: We knew our immediate neighbors, downstairs and to the left, who were part of our association. Also knew various people in the group house next door on the right, but they rotated through quickly. Couldn’t avoid knowing the PITA busybody neighbor across the alley who got up in everyone’s business. Outside of that, just a couple of random people. Oh, and though we have never met, a longtime PoPvillager lives across the street.

    • Anonymous

      You should meet the PoPvillager! Just curious, how do you know they are if you haven’t met?

      • dcd

        People sometimes indicate the block they live on, and I once thought, “Hey, that’s right across the street!” I’d like to meet, but since we moved I’m not in the neighborhood very often anymore. (I am curious if she knows immediately who the PITA busybody neighbor I referenced is.) Maybe at a happy hour sometime . . .

        • Anonymous

          Ah that totally makes sense. I thought the PoPvillager lives in your current neighborhood in Bethesda and was wondering why you hadn’t met since it’s such a good coincidence. I only became friendly with one of my neighbors in Bethesda because an investigator spoke to them for my job.

  • andy

    I know the neighbors (and several former neighbors) on my row house block, minus one or two really private people. Helps that three of them are named Pat. Our block has something like a block party. I admit I didn’t know more than three houses-worth for several years.

    I love my neighbors and neighborhood. It is like a DC microcosm in terms of race and income and all that. If we can know each other and get along DC can too.

    The people I don’t know on our block – the white group house renters at the corner. Ha!

    • andy

      also this is 16th St Hts and we’ve lived here 7 years, in DC for 20(!)

  • U neighbor

    As a homeowner, I know the names of the homeowners, business owners, and even the owner of the church next door. I’ve tried meeting renters, but they don’t seem to be interested. I mean I get it…

  • Anonamom

    When I lived in Brightwood, I knew all of my neighbors names, and most of the people on my block. Oddly enough, the ones I didn’t really know were the other ‘gentrifiers.’ My neighborhood was very welcoming, and I’m a gobshite and say hello to everyone, so it was very natural.

  • madmonk28

    I know the names of most of the neighbors on my side of the street with the exception of the renters who come and go at one house; what’s weird is that I hardly know the names of anyone across the street.

    • Jill

      Same here. I live on a busy street so I don’t think it’s that weird though.

      • madmonk28

        My street’s not busy, but you’d think the people on the other side of it lived across the Mississppi River.

  • Hukiyoyo

    I’ve lived in a largish rental building in Petworth for five years and only know the concierges. Not sure, but I think rental buildings are filled with people who are fine not knowing their neighbors. My sister has owned a row house in Petworth for about a decade and we spend quite a bit of time together. She knows most people on her block and across the alley by name. As Ms. D stated, the newer people moving in don’t seem as responsive to introductions. One neighbor will actually run inside from her back deck the second she sees my sister coming outside or if she hears a car coming up the alley. One day she couldn’t move fast enough and even hid behind a plant, unsuccessfully, and watched my sister until she left.

    • +1, when I lived in a large rental building I was definitely fine not knowing anyone around me. I can see that being different if maybe it was like a 4 unit condo building or something.

    • anon

      Lol are you serious? I don’t know if that falls under the category of “new people being unresponsive to introductions.” That sounds like someone with major social anxiety who probably shouldn’t be living a foot away from her neighbors. That said, I do feel the backyard is more for private relaxation while the front porch is where you go to be social. As such, I try to make my backyard as private as one possibly can in a DC row house, but if I see a neighbor while I’m back there I say hello and go about my business.

    • jenster8dc

      Seconding this. When I lived in apartment buildings, I knew the names of maybe 1 or 2 people (especially the woman down the hall who kept asking to borrow money from me). Now that I live in a house in NCH, I know the names of almost all the neighbors. The only exceptions are the renters across the alley, and Old Man Jenkins next door, so named because of his resemblance (physically and socially) to a Scooby Doo villain.
      (And hi, Huki! :-) )

      • Hukiyoyo

        JENSTER! :-)
        See? You only knew the names of two people and 50% of them managed to try to sponge money. Repeatedly. This is why I’m more social in a neighborhood setting and less so in a building. See you soon!

    • madmonk28

      The new people in my neighborhood are like that too. They want to go from their cat to their house without making eye contact; it makes me wonder why they moved into a city.

    • Ms. D

      Yeah, that was totally NOT my point. Newer residents in my neighborhood generally don’t shy away from introductions, they’re just not around as much as older residents. If I want to talk with several of my neighbors, they’ll be on their front porch most evenings. If they want to talk with me, they should probably have my phone number, since I’m busy enough that they will have a hard time “happening upon” me sitting out in my yard or walking around the neighborhood. *Some* newer neighbors shy away from interactions, but that’s a rare situation.

  • Suse

    Palisades, over twenty years.
    Know the homeowners but not the renters (3 houses), except for one very happy (!) couple living in the basement next door…rental turnover rate is rather high.
    Know all the dogs and children.

  • Lived 3 years in Capitol Hill, I “know” probably 30 neighbors through general recognition, but only about half of those by name. I know maybe 5 or 6 dogs’ names, don’t know any of the outdoor cat names. When the weather is nice we sit out in the swing in our front yard that faces the street so we can enjoy some beverages and chat with people who walk by (if they engage in conversation, we don’t just yell at strangers). It helps that we’re on a corner rowhouse, so we get a good bit of foot traffic.

  • P. Lecheval

    I’ve been in the same apartment for more than a decade, and I only know a handful of other residents in the building. Most people seem to be here for only a few years. Lots of younger single people who are either grad students or fresh out of school and haven’t settled down yet.

  • hellomynameis

    Similar to @Hikiyoyo, I live in a large-ish rental apartment building, and know very few of my neighbors. There are a variety of factors at play (I am one of only a few residents in the building whose first language seems to be English), and when I do say hello folks typically say hi back, especially since I recognize most of them (I have lived in my building for over three years). But no one really makes an effort to get to know the younger folks in the building, like myself. It was only when I adopted a dog a few months ago when folks did start to ask her name in the elevator, but that is about it. And because I live on a main road in Columbia Heights, my street doesn’t have a neighborhood feel to it at all, and I really don’t know anyone in the surrounding buildings.

    I’m ok with it for now, but am jealous of all those on smaller streets and/or in smaller buildings where community is fostered!


    Lived in Brookland for about 3 years now. We know the names of most everyone that lives on our block and a couple houses in the alley and surrounding streets…except for the two college house rentals on our street. They don’t really talk to anyone so I don’t feel bad not knowing them. My immediate neighbors are so awesome and a very good mix of people.

    This is one of my favorite things about living here…I’ve lived in a lot of other neighborhoods in group houses and apartments and no one ever talked even when I said hello. Its bizarre…how do you just not respond when someone says good morning?

    • KKS

      We also live in Brookland and know our neighbors. I LOVE our neighbors. Most right near us are retirees and we are fairly new (lived here for four years). They are the best and I cannot imagine living here without them! We also know some folks in the surrounding block and down 10th Street that are closer to our age (mid-30’s), and all are super nice. Having lived in more suburban neighborhoods all my life (NOVA since 1992 and Denver area prior to that), I have to say this is the most “neighborhoody” I have ever felt.

    • Stacys

      Also in Brookland. I know 90% of the people on my block. Even those I don’t “know”, I know well enough to recognize them off of the block and say hello. Our block has a block party every fall and a holiday party. A subset of us has a rotating monthly-ish dinner. We have the best block. I know this because the real estate agent said so at the open house and because it’s true.

      We got a dog about a year after we moved in. In the seven years since we’ve met so many people from all over the neighborhood. We used to know all of the dog’s names and many of the people but new people have been moving in to the neighborhood so quickly in the past year or two that it’s hard to keep up.

  • K

    We’ve lived in Deanwood for almost 3 years. We only have 2 other houses on our block and know everyone’s name. We also know most of the people on our neighboring block. But this is mostly due to everyone being so welcoming to us when we moved in (coming over to say hi and/or inviting us to Bingo and/or inviting us to church). We also have 3 kids under the age of 6 so we know most of the names of every little kid at our neighborhood playground.

  • bll

    Lived in a condo in Glover Park for five years and knew about three people. The residents were not friendly at all (there’s a distinct possibility our next door neighbor was living in a meth lab/some sort of drug den, but we did know his name!) It may have had something to do with the fact that the building was dangerously close to being majority renters, and that was a serious issue during their board meetings.
    Lived in the same building in Navy Yard for three years, know TONS of people, and have become good friends with many of them. Still some people who never say hello, but for the most part everyone is friendly. Also, everyone has a cute dog so that makes for easy introductions.

    • hanon

      +1. I think Navy Yard is a super friendly neighborhood, but also all the cute dogs do help with that.

    • Ms. D

      A building being majority renters doesn’t make it a bad place to live, as a rule. When I was renting, the rowhouse I rented the basement of was totally rental, as were the houses on each side, and I have lifelong friends from that time. I lived in a condo building with renters above and next door to me, and became friends with the renters. When I rented that place out, my tenants became friends with the upstairs and next-door neighbors. People are good neighbors whether they rent or own, in general. My current downstairs neighbors have no concept of excessive noise, even though they own. I’ve heard rumors that they are thinking abut renting their place out and looking for a larger place to start a family, and I would *welcome* that result.

  • Anon

    Mt Pleasant since 1989, present address in Mt Pleasant since 1995. Most of the time I’ve known just about everyone on my block and the surrounding blocks. We had impromptu front yard happy hours, potluck picnics in shared backyards, real feeling of neighborly-ness and watching out for each other.
    Now, decidedly less friendly. A few neighbors ignored me when I would say hi or good morning, now I don’t bother.
    People spend less time outside. Two homes across the shared alley have sold in recent years. One house – I met the new owner, talked to her another time, never saw her again. The other house (sold over a year ago) – I’ve never seen the owner. Another house recently sold, there is a car in the driveway but I’ve yet to see the new neighbor/s.
    Definitely a different neighborhood

  • lebro

    Formerly in Rosedale/Kingman Park where most people were not so friendly. We knew the people in our building, but that was about it.

    Moved to Brightwood Park in June and immediately met the neighbors on our side of the street, up to 3 houses in each direction and the guy across the street… AND their pets. Memorized all the names. Seems that most of the rest are renters and not as interested. We spent a lot of time outside until it got so hot. Looking forward to porch sitting some more starting this weekend. We are the first house to be seriously flipped on our end of the block.

    • K

      We had the exact opposite experience in Rosedale when we rented a row house a few years back. We found everyone to be almost overwhelmingly nice. We knew the names of everyone on our block (adults, kids, dogs, and indoor/outdoor cats). And got to be pretty good friends with several families on the block. I can’t take any credit for it since I am rather shy and probably would never go out of my way to introduce myself to a stranger. When it came time for us to buy we were actually very sad to leave the neighborhood. I’m sorry the neighbors were less then friendly with you.

  • Anon

    Yes. Almost everyone on the street. We moved in 2009 to our current house. The street has a block club and everyone has contact information for all the neighbors. We have annual block parties and occasional holiday parties. We give gifts to new neighbors and we send cards and flowers when there is a death.

    Where is this, you might be thinking? Brightwood. Best kept secret in DC.

  • neighbor

    I know about 40-50% of our block in Pleasant Plains (here about 5 years). We’re a “new” neighbor and I’ve found increasingly that the other “new” neighbors are the least friendly of anyone. Most don’t even return a friendly hello on the street. This includes both the new owners and the younger group house dwellers.
    Be friendly “new” neighbors.

  • SaraEP

    I know most names and all faces of those who live on my floor (and their dogs names). I don’t know everyones name in my building though.

  • Ms. S

    We live in a house and at first were next door to squatters, whose names we actually learned. This was in 2011, and those squatters eventually brought violence and drug dealing to that house and had to be evicted by the home’s current owner ( a relative of a woman who dies.) They were very young and squatting in a distant relatives house, refusing to leave!

    We learned the rightful owner’s name and her son-in-law, daughter, and their babies moved in to begin a renovation. We know their names, the name of the woman in her 70’s to the right of us, the names of their kids and the name of a 30-something woman who is basically a shut-in a few doors down. We know the names of a few other original neighbors who were here when we moved in in 2011. None of the newer “gentrifiers” have ever really talked to us or interact with us. We also know the woman who walks her dog with a baseball bat for protection and her dog’s name. So that’s 8 or 9 people. Many of our neighbors are new and seem scared to talk to strangers or keep to themselves.

    Since the interaction with the squatters and the literal violence they brought into our neighborhood, we don’t reach out to new people right away. They can introduce themselves if they want to, but mostly they just have garden type parties.

  • U Streeter

    95% of dogs.
    75% of front desk staff.
    25% of building cleaning staff.
    1% of neighbors.
    (To be fair, big building.)

  • skj84

    I know the neighbors directly next door to me. Presently live in Kingman Park, I moved in a year ago September. Neighbors to the left are a family, I just learned both the husband and wife’s names. I have the wife’s number in case of emergencies. Neighbors to the right are a group house, I know most of the occupants names and occasionally hang out with them. Can’t remember the dogs name though! Other than that I don’t know anyone else on my street.

  • b

    I know probably 90% of the people on my block by name and converse with them regularly (one house keeps to themselves). Also know all the dogs. Have lived in Petworth since Jan. 2014.

    Lived in MtP for 4 years before we moved to Petworth and only knew the people in two houses on our block–it was a much less welcoming crowd (though our next door neighbors were wonderful).

  • LittleBluePenguin

    Live in a large building in Petworth…I know the names of about 75% of people on my floor, I know a few people on other floors, I know many pets names (or at least I did at one point, I’m super bad at remembering names!). I recognize a lot of people by sight but don’t know their name. I’m the bitch who doesn’t let people in without a key fob unless I recognize you. You probably do live in the building, but I’m not letting you in if the concierge isn’t there and you don’t have a key fob. The rest of my neighborhood is….not super friendly. There’s a few nice, friendly people in the area (the old guy in spandex with the boombox set up on his bike who blasts disco, the friendly Jehovah’s Witness lady at the metro, etc), and I’ll say hi to them. But a lot of people are busy or grouchy or both. I’m totally content with keeping myself to myself, and wish some people would do that rather than curse me out or tell me to smile.

  • Tsar of Truxton

    I know the names of my immediate neighbors and many others on my block by face and will chat with them (I have met them but am terrible with names). I have a big backyard and park back there so I am rarely out front. I know quite a few people from the surrounding blocks from the dog parks, civic association events, etc.

  • Trinidaddy

    I know all of them. Our immediate area is very close-knit. South Trinidad since 2010.

  • emvee

    I’ve been in my building (condos, many are rented out) for almost a year. I know all the dogs, and some of the neighbors. We’re all pretty good at introducing ourselves, but then I immediately forget. Confession: I look at packages in the hallway for names + units to reinforce my memory. But also there’s a fair amount of turnover in the rentals, and one unit is definitely AirBNB which is messing with me. I have been referred to as, “Hi [DOG NAME]’s mom!” and I’m okay with that.

    • emvee

      Cleveland Park.

  • dap me up

    Know the residents from 20+ of the rowhouses and apartments on our block in CH, been here about 8 years. Of course, some are very easy to meet with their outgoing personalities, and some are more reserved/scared, or intimidating, but with a smile and some conversation about almost anything, you’d be surprised how much people open up, renters and owners, young and old, black, white, latino. Don’t be scared, it’s worth it. Lose the earbuds, and eye contact is vital if you want to meet your neighbors. We’re also lucky to have a very social neighbor friend who helps make introductions when asked, this is helpful, make it a team effort. Knowing the neighbors makes living in the neighborhood more fun and safer. When something happens, you come together to keep it cool. If they ignore you, don’t hold a grudge, try again tomorrow, they’re more to be pitied than scorned if they don’t want to know the neighbors.

  • rachel

    I live in a condo in a 2 unit converted townhouse in Columbia Heights since January 2015. my partner and I know the 2 women who live upstairs, and we know the names of one person on either side of us (but not the names of the rest of their housemates), and a couple people in one of the houses two houses down. We don’t know anyone across the street. There’s an older guy who sits outside most evenings at the corner and we always talk to him but I don’t actually know his name. I used to live in the Reserve condo on Meridian Pl in Columbia Heights (2008-2013) and I didn’t know anyone’s name and I don’t think my roommate did either.

  • Emmaleigh504

    I only know a few names. I barely see anyone in my building, but I do speak to them when I see them. My building is largish and has a high turn over rate with the youngins. Us olds stick around longer, but there are fewer of us.

  • HaileUnlikely

    I know my immediate neighbors on both sides, across the street, directly behind me, and diagonally behind me, a couple others on my block, and several on the intersecting block. I live on one of the very few blocks in all of NW that does not have a sidewalk, everybody on my street has their own driveway, most people come and go by car (I do not have a car), and thus some people are virtually never seen outside. (The intersecting block has sidewalks, no off street parking, and I see those people much more.) This is in Takoma; been there for about 3.5 years now.

  • wdc

    10 years in Columbia Heights. On a block with 30 houses, I know about one-third by name. If I know a human’s name, I know their pet’s name.

    • wdc

      Anecdote of awkwardness: I don’t recognize faces well and I rely on other physical attributes like hair color etc, as well as the place I see a person. I met a neighbor across the alley in the first few months, and did the usual neighborly routine each time I saw him. Then he got strangely distant. Gave me a half-hearted smile each time I said “Hi Jim!” but didn’t engage.
      You can guess why, I’m sure. I thought that Jim owned the place and it was safe to assume that a person matching Jim’s description and working in Jim’s yard was Jim. Alas, no, it was a new renter. Took me over a year to figure it out.

      • Jill

        That sounds like something I would do! I’m terrible with faces.

      • soozles

        I’m the same way. Most people say they remember the face, but can’t remember the name. I’m the opposite. I remember your name but not what you look like. LOL!

  • Pixie

    I know the names of all the resident dogs and a handful of human neighbors in my building in Takoma, which is a mix of renters and owners. I’ve been here 2 years. Previously I lived in a large rental building in Adams Morgan and didn’t know anyone by name, except the building front desk and maintenance staff.

  • E

    I live in a Logan Circle condo association full of somewhat older gay bohemian couples that first gentrified the neighborhood and younger couples, largely attorneys and such, who are paying prices the older couples can’t believe. Sadly, the two tribes don’t really mingle. Some of the young couples try; the older couples aren’t interested. I get it though. The new residents are really third or fourth generation gentrifiers at this point, and they have little in common with the first-generation. No need to elaborate; if you read popville comments you largely are aware of the story.

  • JM

    I live in a ~60 unit building in Petworth. I know the names of my immediate neighbors and maybe 5-6 others spread across the floors. We’ve lived in the building for 4.5 years. I think I know more names of the people in local businesses (e.g. baristas, Safeway cashiers, Dunkin Donuts workers, chefs/bartenders/waitstaff on Upshur, the lady at Eat More Chickn, etc) than I do in my building…probably because I interact with them much more frequently. Most of our neighbors I only see when the fire alarm goes off and we’re all standing around outside, or when we cross paths in the laundry room.

  • Jeehye Kim

    Live in LeDroit Park–I know everyone’s names save 3 houses on our block.

  • MosquitoBait

    Do long-time Petworth residents have some kind of built-up immunity to mosquitos? I’d love to sit out on our porch and say hi to new neighbors, but my wife and I are eaten alive the minute we step outside. I need to know the secret. I’m only partially joking.

    • wdc

      Install a ceiling fan on your porch. Mosquitoes can’t fly against almost any air current.

      • eva

        That definitely helps. Also a lot of older folks (heck and younger folks like me) don’t have central AC so there’s a lesser of two evils calculation going on.

  • transplanted

    When we lived in a smallish condo building we knew everyone’s names, and dogs. Now we have a big apartment building on one side (and know nobody’s names, but recognize a few people on sight to say hi to) and a house on the other side that we know everyone who lives there and are friendly with — welcome at each other’s bbqs and house parties. We live on a weird block with only like 4 houses and I have met most of the rest of the people and say hello but don’t “know” them. We’ve haven’t been in this house long, though, and I expect we’d know more people if we had kids (there’s a park on the next block).

  • Jill

    I live in a rowhouse in Capitol Hill, on a block that doesn’t see a huge amount of turnover. We’re among the newest residents and have been there 5 years.
    Immediate neighbors we know fairly well– I could tell you their full names, jobs, where they’re from, how long they’ve lived there, pet’s names, and interests. One of the neighbors runs an email list for the block and a running directory of residents’ names and contact numbers, so I generally know the rest.
    Nevertheless, I hardly ever see my neighbors, even the ones right next door. There might be a quick sighting once or twice a month as we’re rushing out to work and that’s it.

  • MPinDC

    I know a lot less of my immediate neighbors than I did five years ago. Some of the newer people who have moved in aren’t particularly friendly, others I only see driving in and out of the alley.
    But there’s a large, dog-friendly building nearby and I’ve gotten to know many of the (dog owning) residents.
    And, definitely some cases where I know the name of the dog but not the neighbor!

  • MB

    I’ve lived in Park View since 2009 and know at least 50% of the people living on my block. I consider some of my neighbors very good friends actually. We do happy hours, workouts, block parties, traveling parties, street clean-ups, watch out for each other’s places…. We have a great community! Love it!

  • Alan

    I live in Ledroit Park and, on the 300 block, 90% of us know each other. We even hang out from time to time. One of the most neighborly blocks I’ve lived on.

  • Anon 5

    I know the first name of the neighbor I share a wall with. I am definitely one of those folks that will avoid going outside if my neighbors are there. I couldn’t tell you the names of anyone else in my neighborhood.

  • Cassie

    In Hill East for 10 years, and know 90% of the names on the block (32 rowhouses out of 36) and am good friends with 50% of them. I know maybe 10% of the names of the neighbors in the immediately surrounding blocks.
    I know two pets’ names, although I should know about 16 more, but I just don’t care. There’s even a neighbor who has been there longer than me that has always had a dog, which I just found out about a year ago.

  • eva

    I’ve lived on this particular block in Petworth since 2007. I know all of my neighbors on my side of the street very well with a few exceptions–we have a residence for people in recovery on our block that turns over somewhat frequently. I know those folks by sight, but not by name. There is a group house of 20 somethings who aren’t friendly, and there is an immigrant family who is nice but doesn’t speak much English and kind of keeps to themselves. We do have a very new set of gentrifiers (only flipped house on the block) who aren’t terribly friendly, but I do know their names.

    Across the street I know about 50% by name and the rest by sight. Everyone is extremely friendly to the point of nosiness and I love it. I am never worried about my house being burglarized when I’m out of town because my neighbors notice EVERYTHING.

  • AVEnue

    I’m in a small condo building in Park View & have been here since 2012. know the names of 90% of the people in my building (100% of the dogs).

    For my block I know the names of probably 30% of people, but I know at least 75% of the residents by sight & well enough to always say hi & ask how their family is doing. We’ve had a block party (organized by a renter!) for the last 2 years and its done wonders for increasing neighborliness & helping us all know each other better – it usually turns into a giant dance party with everything from the Wobble to the Hustle & the Macarena. Can’t wait for year 3!

  • I Dont Get It

    I know my neighbors up to five doors to the left and four to the right. I only know one neighbor from across the street (It’s a wide street?). I know the neighbors over the back fence but its not the best relationship and I’m sorry I didn’t have PoP to vent when it went south 15 years ago.

  • MarkQ

    Large condo building, with a mix of of 30-40 somethings mostly. I know faces, but not names. I usually give and get a lot of “hey man” ‘s

  • soozles

    I’ve been in 16th St. Heights for six years and know most the neighbors at my end of the block and some further up. I have become friends with two couples on my block, and we have each other’s house keys and feed each other’s cats, etc.

  • Manor Park

    I know literally every person’s name who lives on my block. Not many dogs on our street but I know a few dogs. I’m in Manor Park and have lived here for just over a year.

  • KimberlyJo

    I’m going to be the only one…
    I know many of my neighbors by face, and wave, but know only a couple by name. The ones on either side of me I know (mostly) their names… but I’m terrible with names, so I keep forgetting two people in the one house, but remember their daughter’s name. I’m not super young (40s), but have two kids, and two jobs, and when I am home, I don’t spend much time on my front porch. I did once have a neighbor give me a hard time for being “unfriendly.” I did let him know that its not an affront, but that 1) I’m incredibly busy and 2) an introvert. I moved to the neighborhood (Riggs Park) in part because it was so quiet. But, I do wave and will stop and talk to anyone who asks me to… and everyone knows my two big black dogs, although not necessarily by name. :)

    • KimberlyJo

      Oh, and been in the neighborhood 5 years. Mostly long time, older residents but has been recently flipping to newer residents as people sell homes and/or pass away.

  • wpk_dc

    Unfortunately, I don’t. I moved into a new condo in December (new construction so everyone moved in within a year of each other) and of the 63 units, I probably know 7 or 8 people by name. Everyone’s friendly and says hi. We all introduced ourselves when we first meet but now I’d say we just pass in the hallways/elevator and smile. In fact, since it was right during the holiday season when I moved in and I was the last on my floor to do so, I put a holiday card under each door on my floor (7) introducing myself and saying I’d like to meet. At this point, I’d only recognize 3 people as even on my floor. The rest I never really see.

  • Felony I

    Shaw/NJ Ave NW – I know my three immediate neighbors. The other five, no, regrettably. Most everyone has been here at least three years. I’ll make an effort asap. Good discussion.


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