Kids + Pets

What’s a neighbor good for? Quite a lot, it turns out

By William Sturek  | February 18, 2010 - 6:16AM
satisfaction guaranteed.jpg

We spend so much time on BrickUnderground examining the darker side of neighbor relations that we decided to put a cork in our inner Larry David and round up some examples of good neighboring.

Read on to hear how your apartment-dwelling brethren answered the question, "What's the nicest thing a neighbor ever did for you?"

  • "I had just moved into my apartment when my neighbor knocked on the door, introduced himself and offered me the couch he was getting rid of,” says Sean Brennan, a Brooklyn musician, who had moved in with barely any possessions.  “We’ve been good friends ever since.”
  • Arriving at his car one morning, Midtown apartment-dweller Mike Allen discovered that it had been sideswiped. He also found a note from his down-the-hall neighbor. A witness to the incident, the neighbor had even filed a police report, which resulted in the sideswiper being found and charged.
  • "My neighbors all pitched in for two weeks to take care of my dying cat so I could have a break from that and looking after a failing parent," says Claire Wilson, a freelance writer living in Tudor City. "They did a great job. I'll now take care of anyone's cat when asked just to return the karma."
  • A Manhattan man undergoing chemotherapy learned how much an apartment building can feel like an extended family linked through seemingly talking walls: A steady stream of morale-boosting flowers, cards, gift baskets and gift certificates appeared at his door from people he knew and people he didn’t. “There was a constant knock at the door,” he says. “It was all very sweet.”
  • One young actress who lives alone says she enjoys listening to her older Chinese neighbor play the mandolin:  “And oftentimes she greets me when I get home and even checks up to make sure everything is okay.  It’s really nice to have that.”

In the less inspiring but still interesting category, we also collected these responses:

  • “Not calling the cops when shit was wild at the apartment.”
  • “Giving me great advice on girls.”
  • “Paying to have my cat fixed.” 
  • “Letting me know whenever there were parties.  So I could attend.”

Related links:

The 8 worst neighbors

Friending your celebrity neighbor

Partying with your neighbor--or not

Most likely to have bed bugs: Poor old Swedish hipsters

Your neighbor's bed bugs

Why potheads make better neighbors

Why anonymous letters don't work


Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.