The Neighborhood

Here in Portland, they have “neighborhoods,” which is quite helpful until you find yourself living between several of them and this fact quite confuses people in understanding where you live. Hence, I have settled for telling them we live by a certain grocery store, but that is neither here nor there.

When we moved in I met a lady in our neighborhood, fabulous accent, and sweet dog. We chatted for a bit then went our ways. I ran into her the following week and told her that I would love to help them with raking their leaves (they have a front yard; we have a front patio). She introduced me to her partner and we set it up.

It felt good to be outside on a fall day, the smell of fall in the air, the crunching of the leaves, helping my neighbors, getting blisters on my hands!

Then the garbage/compost/recycling bin issue happened…

I love (yet in that moment hated) how many people here are so involved with their neighborhood. So involved that they feel the need to tell you that the garbage/compost/recycling bins for the units you live in probably shouldn’t go where you put them… because they are not aesthetically pleasing there and the street agreed to “keep things looking nice.”

I was told that they should go in our garages, after all, everyone who lived here before apparently put all their “junk” in the garages, not their cars… Yep, you heard that right, I was “advised” to not put my car in the garage, but rather our “junk” and bins…

Anyone, who lives in a city remotely busy, knows parking is difficult and to actually have guaranteed off-street parking is like being given a bit of heaven… you don’t say “sorry, but I need to keep the junk I don’t actually have and the bins in there so I don’t upset the neighborhood.”  {Site Note: there are many bins near  or next to the side-walk; its part of the “I live in a city” deal.}

It was getting intense, so the next time I saw our guy at the management company (thankfully, it was the next day or so), I told him about the situation: a neighbor was meddling into where the units keep the bins and where we put them out for pickup.

He didn’t appear to see it as a big deal, but then again he hadn’t met the neighbors yet. I gave him the details and before he left, one neighbor was out and about. He was a brave man walking over there like that; they “chatted” and he came back looking like he was exhausted from battle and said we could do as we please with the bins.

To this day, I am not sure what exactly transpired between them, what I do know is that the neighbors have not “advised” us to do anything else since then. We just share mutual greetings as we pass each other in the neighborhood. And I park my f****** car in my garage.






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