Are You A Tourist In Your Own Town?

Are You A Tourist in Your Town?

  • Yeah, I guess I am.

  • No, Everybody Knows me

  • No, I Know Everybody

  • No, I'm the Mayor!

  • Yeah, there are whole sections of town I do not know and have never visited

  • Yeah, I pretty much come home, go to the same stores anonymously,no one would know if I moved away.

  • Yean, I want as little contact with strangers or people I know, as I can


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getbent

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San Benito County, California
I know people who only live in their houses and go to a few stores in their town, not involved in any civic activity, don't know their neighbors and when we tell them about some cool event that is happening in their town, they are always surprised and always ask how we heard about it.

We know most of the neighbors (for better or worse) for the houses around us. And we know a lot of the people who run the local stores, we have favored waiters etc. We even have some of that in some other towns that we visit often.

We are involved with a couple of different groups etc and we like walking through town and saying hi.

How connected are you to your community?
 

Brad Pittiful

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Dec 22, 2008
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20,002
Location
Philly Burbs
as a kid i knew lots of what goes on...lots more interactivity because i was still out and about due to playing with friends or going to school...which was walking distance...not until high school was when i went to a different town...then my friends circle grew to people in other towns as well and hometown friends moving to other towns

so now im out of touch with my town events not that there are activities other than the 4th of july parade and night fireworks...at least i dont think there are
 

bowman

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Posts
3,175
Location
Massachusetts
I'm more of a tourist than a man-about-town. I'm not antisocial by any means, certainly I will approach my neighbors if they're within talking distance, but I don't invite them in for coffee. What makes it easier for me is that my significant other is a joiner - tai chi classes, book club, etc - so she always knows what's going on around these parts.
 

ozcal

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Feb 5, 2015
Posts
1,490
Location
wydaho
i make it a point to get to know my neighbors names and let them know if they need my help i m here for them... i think a large part of the problems of todays society stem from the fact that people don t know their neighbors and they fail to act in a civilized manner towards strangers...
 

boxocrap

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Joined
Aug 26, 2021
Posts
1,291
Location
north delta british columbia canada
I know people who only live in their houses and go to a few stores in their town, not involved in any civic activity, don't know their neighbors and when we tell them about some cool event that is happening in their town, they are always surprised and always ask how we heard about it.

We know most of the neighbors (for better or worse) for the houses around us. And we know a lot of the people who run the local stores, we have favored waiters etc. We even have some of that in some other towns that we visit often.

We are involved with a couple of different groups etc and we like walking through town and saying hi.

How connected are you to your community?
i like my neighbors and they like me/us..we look after each other got lot's of respect etc..but "out there" people think i'm a homeless bum cause i got long hair and a long beard..the cops are always stopping me if i'm on the street walking thinking i'm in my 30's or so and looking to commit a crime..they are always surprised and not a little embar assed when they se my id i'm a couple months from 70
 
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brookdalebill

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64
Location
Austin, Tx
Austin, where I grew up, work, and own a home, I know very well.
Wimberley (30ish miles SE) where I actually live, I barely know.
I’ve been here 9 years.
I gig a fair bit in outlying areas, so when I’m not working, I tend to stay put.
 
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Harry Styron

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 2, 2011
Posts
3,363
Location
Branson, Mo
Since I live in a tourist town in an area that attracts retirees, there are always a lot of people in Branson that I don’t know.

After 30 years here, having been involved in hundreds of real estate transactions, HOA meetings, and planning and zoning meetings, I am well-known to many of the residents and most of the public officials. Because my wife taught school here and our three children who grew up here, my family is well-known to the longtime residents.

However, there is a trajectory. My wife has been retired for 13 years. My kids left town and rarely return and are not Facebookers. I no longer need to market my work to stay busy. Many of the people in my work network have retired and the whippersnappers who replaced them think I‘m just another guy who is past his prime, totally failing to recognize that I am damned important or used to be.

My parents, who had been very active in their community, always in a positive way, in their later years described to me how they felt marginalized, when their hearing was uncertain and or they wanted be listened to as they tried to explain how some “new” idea wasn’t new, but needed to be refined to surmount the obstacles that had doomed prior attempts. The younger people didn’t want to hear the backstory.

I‘m grateful that a few old-timers and some movers and shakers in their prime still consult me. I’m also looking forward to backing out.
 

CharlieO

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Mar 2, 2003
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Location
Sarasota, FL
We live in a metropolitan area of 850,000 people and are not "tourists" in our community. My wife and I are out and about regularly. We know most of our neighbors well enough to say hello and call them by name. Having said that, I have not made many close friends in 18 years. We find that we almost always go to restaurants, concerts, the theater, etc. without running into anyone who we know. Is everyone else staying at home? I don't think so.

We came here from a metropolitan area of 1,500,000 people. I couldn't go anywhere without running into somebody who I know.
 
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lowatter

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Jul 6, 2008
Posts
808
Location
SC
I'm originally from Ontario Canada but grew up outside of Detroit and my wife is from Ohio. I've lived in many different places in the states including California, Arizona(for many years) Florida, Texas and even Indiana. We live smack dap in the heart of the south in NW South Carolina(think Mayberry RFD). Most of our neighbors we're good friends with but there's the occasional born and bred local that don't like us or are weary of us "yankees" even though we don't really have any accent at all(certainly not a New York accent). You can tell that they think that we "talk funny". I still refuse to call a shopping cart a "buggy" or say "mash the button".
Overall however, we fit in just fine and enjoy living here and this will probably be where I kick the proverbial bucket.
 
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telemnemonics

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Maine
I'm not a real good fit for any of the options so I went with Mayor!

For one thing it's a very small heavily touristed town where everybody comes to party and go to the beach then to buy a business or retire.
I don't drink and can't afford much of the offerings in town but I work and interact here.
Most of the long time residents moved here after I left in the '80s, and if they are the basic boring business owner who doesn't labor in their establishment, I may never meet them.

A good number of folks will say Hi Ben and I have no clue who they are.
I was talking with the Chief of police in the post office the other day asking if everybody is growing pot.
A couple of neighboring towns too, many know me by name but I can't recall the names of the streets next to where I grew up and returned to after 24 years of walkabout.

But I deeply believe in being rooted in our community which is what I think you're saying @getbent , from the other thread where you had that thought and I presume decided it was worth exploring more.

A funny thing though is I guess the modern America more than decades ago, we are now more often transients looking for something else.
We grow up in one place, go to school in a second place, enter career in a third place, advance so we can afford a fourth place, get tired of the rat race and choose a fifth career dwelling place, then get tired of the winters or the population growth and might move to a sixth place before the seventh place we retire and possibly the eighth place we lay in a nursing home bed.

Old time values saw many literally grow up, then raise kids, then get cared for by those grown kids until we died, in the same homestead.
Not a good or bad thing, just a thing.

So my locale has such a changing roster of faces and many who hide behind staff, that most I really don't know.
But on the street when tourists come through I play diplomat and answer questions etc, unlike many locals I love swarms of tourists who come then go.
Business owners who are actually present I like to get to know as well, again, roots are good.

Really enjoy my local retailers staff, grocery and hardware stores it's nice to have friendly faces all around, that has a dollar value in my broke ass life!
The last couple of years all those people are tired and can really use a friendly smile and concern of just recognition as human beings.
 

Nightclub Dwight

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Aug 12, 2016
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2,591
Location
Pittsburgh
We know everyone, and everyone knows us around here. I'm at the library at least once per week, and I haven't bothered to bring my library card in years. They know me. When we go to our favorite restaurants they bring our preferred drinks without us ordering. If there is someone new on the waitstaff they bring them by our table to introduce them. I have the police chief's private cell phone number. We're on a first name basis with the mayor and most of city council. When a vacancy opened on the school board an official called me and suggested I run. I shovel the sidewalks for the senior citizens. We often get excess garden vegetables left on our porch. I love it all!

Edit: I selected mayor as well.
 

telemnemonics

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Maine
We live in a metropolitan area of 850,000 people and are not "tourists" in our community. My wife and I are out and about regularly. We know most of our neighbors well enough to say hello and call them by name. Having said that, I have not made many close friends in 18 years. We find that we can go to restaurants, concerts, the theater, etc. without running into anyone who we know. Is everyone else staying at home? I don't think so.

We came here from a metropolitan area of 1,500,000 people. I couldn't go anywhere without running into somebody who I know.
When I lived in NYC it was ceaselessly amazing how often I ran into "friends" all over Manhattan.
 

Killing Floor

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Feb 3, 2021
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7,909
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Austin, TX
I go out with friends and alone to find adventure wherever I go. Austin is getting large but we try to go to a new to us restaurant at least once a week. We go to shows and sports events regularly and I participate in some civic groups mostly related to clean parks and cute animals. I don’t participate in any politics except for voting. It’s easy to go out here at any age and the weather is good 90% of the time.
 

nojazzhere

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Feb 3, 2017
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70
Location
Foat Wuth, Texas
I know people who only live in their houses and go to a few stores in their town, not involved in any civic activity, don't know their neighbors and when we tell them about some cool event that is happening in their town, they are always surprised and always ask how we heard about it.

We know most of the neighbors (for better or worse) for the houses around us. And we know a lot of the people who run the local stores, we have favored waiters etc. We even have some of that in some other towns that we visit often.

We are involved with a couple of different groups etc and we like walking through town and saying hi.

How connected are you to your community?
There's a line in the film Reuben, Reuben....spoken by Frank Spofford (the grandfather) that I can't find right now.....but in effect he says he's that most alienated of all residents of their town.....the NATIVE SON. Meaning, he's lived some place all his life, and he hasn't really changed, but his town has forsaken him.
That's pretty much how I feel.
 

mr natural

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Jan 5, 2004
Posts
2,595
Age
55
Location
Atlanta, GA. Neither Albany nor Oak Park
We’ve been in Atlanta for about 15 years and it’s so huge that you can never know everything going on. I’d say I know the northeast quarter inside the perimeter pretty well and know quite a few places that tourists would never see. Downtown is lame anyway. We live in a small townhome community that used to be way out of the way and kinda undesirable when we bought our house. Our part of town became really hot maybe 5 years ago when people discovered how inexpensive it is. Now major development is happening and property values are skyrocketing. Our little townhome has gone up over 20% in the last 3 years. Home equity is great but increased tax and traffic are not. Still, we know most of our neighbors who own their homes. We have a huge garden and swap produce with many of them. We all pulled together a few years ago and got lawyers to make the county acknowledge that the substandard sewers are their responsibility. That felt good. Renters come and go.
 

JL_LI

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Location
Long Island, NY
My life was never in my town after I left for college. While I was working, I lived everywhere. I knew my way around other cities as well as home. I had favorite restaurants and activities everywhere I went. I live in what’s called a township. My community has its own zip code but I still range pretty widely in retirement. I don’t shop locally. I shop where I can buy what I want and need. I don’t know many neighbors by name. I’m more likely to know their dogs’ names.

What’s kept me close to home is the current plague. I trust the airlines to clean and disinfect the planes and hotels to clean and disinfect rooms. I don’t trust the people I would have to share the plane or lounge with. I don’t trust anyone not wearing PPE in public places.

Eventually it will be safe enough to move about. I’ll be spending even less time in my home town then.
 

Happy Enchilada

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Mar 25, 2021
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God's Country
Nojazzhere, I'm right there with ya Brother.

We have lived in this town coming up on 20 years now. Raised our 2 boys here. I played in a worship band for years, and then quit to be a Scout leader for 9 years. So yeah, we've been "involved in the community." The town used to be a "bedroom community," sorta sleepy and laid back, but that's changed over the past several years as it's become a popular destination for white flight refugees. And it's changed the town forever, and not for the good.

For example, what used to be a hometown drive-in burger joint with soft serve ice cream (think DQ without the corporate schtick) in the heart of downtown is now boarded up and scheduled to be torn down and replaced with yet another commercial McOffice building. Strip malls and multi-family (apartments and duplexes) are sprouting up everywhere to handle the influx of coastal refugees, and agricultural land is being leveled and surrounded with berms and converted into cookie-cutter subdivisions with alarming rapidity. Little boxes on the hillside ...

The annual "water parade" during which the Fire Department cheerfully hosed down delighted paradegoers who shot back with all manner of water cannons, has been cancelled because some helicopter parent objected to her little Precious being frightened by the mean old water. And the Rocky Mountain Oyster fry that the Firemen used to put on as a fundraiser during the same "Fun Days" has been cancelled and in its place a tasting for local wineries. I'm not kidding here.

Amidst all this, rents and housing prices have skyrocketed. Our humble abode was priced @ $150K - and now it's bumping up on a half million. Young folks starting out can't afford to live here any more, and folks our age that still have mortgages are flipping houses like mad. Soon they will change the tagline on our license plates from "Famous Potatoes" to "Adult Daycare for Wealthy Californians." They're tearing up major intersections to make way for the cavalcade of multi-axle construction trucks, Audis, Lexuses, and Mercedes Benzes, so we're in a perpetual cycle of orange cones and barrels and it forces us to come up with out-of-our-way workarounds to get from A to B.

The invasion brings with it concerns other than traffic and high prices. I was in line at the drive-thru the other day and a pearly white 4 Runner piloted by a bleach blonde Karen with her fuzzy little purse dog on her lap pulled right into line in front of me. I describe my town as a place where folks used to wave with all 5 fingers ...

I hear Wyoming and the west slope in Colorado are nice this time of year. We may go find out one of these days.
 




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