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Meet your neighbors, make new friends

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#1 tedbnh

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 12:09 PM

My son and his wife live in a fairly typical housing development in Florida near Disney. When I'm there I don't see a lot of interaction between folks in the neighborhood.

The kids kindly let me keep a Dob at their house for some driveway observing when I visit. Last trip I thought we should share the views, so I set up in the driveway and walked around their cul-de-sac inviting people over to look at Saturn. It turned into a regular little party, and for some of the neighbors it was their first time meeting each other.

This past weekend I was there and put up a sign near the entrance to the development "See Saturn! Tonight 9pm at the playground." My son warned me that the HOA frowns on people posting signs (usually "Garage Sale") but I figured I'd take a chance.

At 9pm we were over there and a guy walks over who turns out to be on the HOA Board. He was really impressed and enjoyed seeing Saturn, went back and got his son who spent a half hour with us. Bottom line - he told us to put our sign where more people could see it next time, like right under the HOA sign for announcements!

A little Guerilla Astronomy sometimes goes a long way towards making connections in your neighborhood.

#2 Pharquart

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 12:27 PM

"Guerilla Astronomy." I love that term! I've described myself as an "astronomy evangelist" because I tend to bring up cool things to see that night in a variety of settings, always trying to get people to start looking up.

Brian

#3 orion61

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 03:13 PM

I used to live in a HOA neighborhood. NEVER AGAIN!
Some Snobby Housewives with nothing better to do than demand everyone paint their houses the colors THEY like.
Reminds me of the guy that painted his hous, Professionally and neatly..
It wasn't one of the allowed colors, SO he chose 2 colors that were allowed Violet, and Daisy Yellow, He then painted his house yellow with Purple Polka Dots... HEE HEE there was nothing they could do..
That poster is a great story.. I have always believed kindness served up to neighbors is the best dish of all.
Confront a neighbor after dark about a light and gain an enemy...

#4 buddyjesus

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 06:30 PM

i am with you. spent the worst six months of my life in a covenant controlled area. never again.

#5 David Pavlich

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 07:17 PM

I set up every Halloween and have now become a regular stop for many of the neighbors to see what I'm showing. The best year, by far, was the year that Comet Holmes made its impressive showing. All I had to say, especially to the adults, was, "Do you want to see a comet?" It was a great night!

David

#6 MikeBOKC

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 07:26 PM

Whenever I set up in the front yard the neighbor two doors up is there in a flash . . . he may be an eventual convert, keeps saying "oh wow, show me something else!" . On nice nights I have had 6-10 kids, parents with baby strollers and multiple dog walkers visit for a peek. There's rarely anything I want to study in depth from home, and I never mind a little drive by astronomy outreach.

#7 Classic8

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 12:57 PM

My neighborhood is very different, not many people show any curiousity or interest, even when they're walking by on the sidewalk 20 feet away. The last time someone was interested, it turned out to be someone that was just visiting the area. Although a girl next door accepted my invitation to look at the moon and she liked the view, and was amazed at the contraption I was using (7" Mak).

Not the most friendly neighborhood, that's for sure. Don't know why. Nice little suburban area.

#8 herrointment

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 02:04 PM

George....take off the Packer jacket!

#9 Brett Carlson

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 12:12 PM

The first time I brought out my 6" Starhopper...My neighbors thought I was setting up a morter! Then I got my 16" Starfinder they thought it was a rocket launcher!

After I invited them over for a look-see they are fine. I text my neighbors to "please shut the sun off" and that is code for them to shut off their overly bright porch lights and come out if they want a peek!

#10 herrointment

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 12:15 AM

The new neighbors just installed three new security lights aimed at eye level.

They do not want to meet me. Not right now.

They will meet me soon because if I don't somehow get those utterly unnecessary lights turned off I'll lose my lone observing location and I'll have to bail on the hobby.

Not too happy at the moment.....

#11 csrlice12

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 10:17 AM

Unfortunately, my front yard has a street light right across the street, my back yard has TWO streetlites across the intersection (I live on a corner lot).

#12 csa/montana

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 11:18 AM

The new neighbors just installed three new security lights aimed at eye level.

They do not want to meet me. Not right now.

They will meet me soon because if I don't somehow get those utterly unnecessary lights turned off I'll lose my lone observing location and I'll have to bail on the hobby.

Not too happy at the moment.....


Since they are new neighbors, they probably don't have a clue that you like to observe the night sky. Perhaps if you did meet them in a friendly manner & explain & even invite them over for a quick view; they might be receptive to shielding them, or re-aiming them. What they don't know, they can't fix.

Also, if they don't cooperate, you said the lights are at eye level; you could put up a light shield when viewing. :shrug: As much as we'd like to, we cannot force our neighbors to utilize their yard to suit our needs.

#13 herrointment

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 03:23 PM

Yes, thanks for the reminder, Carol!

That's going to be approach #1.

I was thinking about approach #2 while at work today, I had the brainstorm to use a blocking panel....made of Mylar!

Ahh....sweet justice!

I'll just talk to them first, of course!

#14 csa/montana

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 08:50 PM

:waytogo:

#15 Ron359

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 05:31 PM

Many counties and towns don't require shielding but they have a stray light ordinance that says your lights cannot shine on your neighbors property. If talking to them doesn't work, look into whether the your local govt. has this type of ordinance. Ron

#16 amicus sidera

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:53 PM

As much as we'd like to, we cannot force our neighbors to utilize their yard to suit our needs.


If a neighbor's utilization of their yard interferes with our right to peaceful enjoyment of our property, we most certainly can. That is what nuisance laws are all about; otherwise, loud music, barking dogs, noxious odors, etc., emanating from a given property could not be legally curtailed.

While recourse to the courts should not, and from the court's point of view must not, be our first attempt at remedy, keep in mind that they are there to afford us relief, should more diplomatic means fail.

That said, for the serious astronomer, the best neighbors are probably no neighbors (at least within shouting distance)... :grin:






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