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  • New York City....it's hard to imagine it being a community, a neighborhood....
    From living here my entire life, I've become accustomed to not knowing neighbors and having immediate suspicion if a stranger showed any form of kindness towards me.

    But tonight was different...

    Riding the bus on my way home, an obviously foreign old man got on with armfuls of grocery bags (New Yorkers prefer plastic to paper). He had forgotten to save some money for his fare, so he rummaged through his grocery bags, fished out a bag of mini Crunch candy bars, and tried to give it to the bus driver. The driver politely declined and told him, "It's okay." The old man smiled an almost-toothless grin and muttered a heavily-accented "thank you" as he returned to his seat.

    Ten minutes later, as I'm walking down the hallway to my family's apartment, I see one of my neighbors, whom I've never spoken with before, open her door and mop a small section of the green linoleum floor in the hallway that one could assume was "hers" because it was in front of her door.
    This was the strangest thing I've ever seen in my apartment building.
    My mind flashed to a parallel universe, where if we lived in a suburb, that little space of green linoleum floor in the hallway was a massive front yard that the same lady was mowing now instead of mopping, as I walked to my little cookie-cutter house.

    New York might be a very different way of living...but we sure know how to make it feel like our own urban community.
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