top 10 ways to meet your neighbors

1. Get a dog and walk it every day.  Dog owners talk to each other.  (Or you could walk your pet tortoise on a leash like the poet Baudelaire did…it helped him slow down and savor the rich sensations of the modern life.)

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2. Work in your garden and say hi to passersby.

3. Go to the same coffee shop at the same time every week and get to know the regulars.

4. Push a baby in a stroller.  (My grandpa swears he saw artist Emily Carr pushing her pet monkey in a perambulator in Victoria, B.C.)

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5. If owning a dog is not an option, ask dog owners questions about their dogs.

6. Do something creative in public like knitting or drawing.

7.  Walk instead of driving.  Keep your gaze lifted, earphones off, and your arms hanging at your side.  Make eye contact and smile at oncoming walkers.

8.  Say, “I don’t think we’ve met.  My name is ___________________.”

9. Wear a benign but provocative shirt.  For example, a shirt with the words “Free Hugs” on it.

10. Throw a garage sale.

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