What do you dislike about having neighbors?
Last Friday after work, a friend and I were talking over beer about her plans to return to Fairbanks. (She currently lives in Haines.) When she lived in Fairbanks before, she lived completely off the grid in the remotest of places: she says that she often had to ride an ATV just to get from her cabin to her car on account of the mud, and her nearest neighbor was a mile away. Though her current apartment (house? cabin? some sort of rental) in Haines is surrounded by trees, she doesn’t like the location because she can hear her neighbor’s dogs.
This is something I can understand. Persistently noisy dogs — especially big ones, in large numbers — grate on my nerves, and it would drive me batty to have to listen to them at all hours. However, there must be some — probably plenty in the Borough — for whom the sound of a noisy dog team is music at whatever hour.
And these same people might be bothered by the occasional midnight whistle of the train, which can be heard from my house. Or by a pack of rowdy adolescents. Or by the passage of homeless people on their street. To me, those are all happy signs of human activity, of the energy and color of our community.
To me. But not to everyone.
The mind-set of “wanting to live on twenty acres” is foreign to me, and just understanding it is difficult enough. Yet it seems to be the mind-set of a good number of people in the Borough, and I’d like some help in understanding it.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the conventional wisdom in an episode of Sesame Street and what it had to say about zoning, population density, and the character of neighborhoods. Yet it doesn’t mean much if people just don’t want neighbors. And that is how many people seem.
My question, kind readers, is: what are some things you dislike about having neighbors? What are the drawbacks of living in a neighborhood?