In Bernal Heights, we’re forced to look our neighbors in the eye, to make sure we’re taking care of them. It’s the way the neighborhood was built, with small lots and narrow streets. When driving, you have to look a block ahead, see who’s coming, and what you can do to get both of you by. If somebody pulls over or waits for you, you learn to thank them.
On my street, we know every car, we know whose driveway you can block, whose you can’t, and how to park our cars to make the most out of what we have. We may not talk, but we look out for each other.
The week we moved into our house, the neighbor came over and welcomed us. He also said he need our permission to connect his house to ours, to keep the rain out. We agreed and thanked him for thinking of both of us.
Our closeness is part of living on the hill, and one of the things that makes this place special.