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IQ: Sense of community

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Most of us have lived in a neighborhood that we look back on as our favorite ever. Probably the neatest thing about it was its special sense of community, whatever that happened to be. Has this all but disappeared from our suburban life?

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Tracy Layman
Central
Construction

What are the defining characteristics of neighborhood? I notice that communities with parks have more of a neighborhood feel.

What are the distinctive qualities of your neighborhood? The homes are cool-looking. Most were built in the '20s and '30s. The people seem friendly, though I don't know anyone very well. There's not much interaction.

What's the neatest neighborhood you've ever lived in? Sellwood, Oregon, a suburb of Portland. The neighbors knew each other and socialized. It had a small-town feel with neighborhood restaurants, taverns and stores.

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Sean Dunston
Divide
Contractor

What constitutes neighborhood? I'd use Manitou Springs as a model. Living there, I could walk to the coffee shop, to the bakery, to the organic grocery store, and I'd know most of the people I walked by.

Describe your present neighborhood. It's not really a neighborhood. It's isolated. I don't know a single neighbor. I live there only because I have free rent. When I move, it'll be back to Manitou.

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Jeanette Dobbs
Mesa Ridge
Artist

What's the defining characteristic of your present neighborhood? The scenic backdrop.

Can you name your neighbor on either side? Both are new. I know the dog on one side, though.

What's your favorite community in Colorado Springs? The neighborhood along Boulder Street between downtown and Memorial Hospital.

What's the neatest neighborhood you've lived in? Tallahassee, Florida in the area near Florida A&M. It was very southern. People were close, caring and sometimes unusual. I could pick pecans right off the trees for nothing. Here, I have to pay $6.95 a pound for them, and they're not very fresh.

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Viet Ha
Brattleboro, Vermont
College teacher

Do you know the names of your neighbors on either side? I know their names, but not the people.

Describe your community. People know each other. They're out and about. Downtown here kind of reminds me of it.

What's the neatest neighborhood you've lived in? I'm originally from a fishing village in Vietnam. That, to me, defined community. People depended on each other for survival and support. There was camaraderie.

Which neighborhood do you like best in Colorado Springs? My wife's parents live in northern Colorado Springs, and that's not very community-like. Old Colorado Springs in the area around Colorado College has a community feel. The area just west of here seems to have it, too.

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