Meet your neighbors. Make friends.
The urban legend says that no one in LA knows ANY of their neighbors. This has a grain of truth to it – there were people who lived across the street from us for 27 years at the old house and I don’t know that I ever said two words to them and I most certainly didn’t know their names. On the other hand, the other five or six closest houses to us on the street as well as the folks who lived on the other side of the wall in the back were all at least casual acquaintances. We knew their names, we knew their dogs, if they were going out of town for the weekend we would keep an eye on their place and bring their trash cans up from the curb, and they would do the same for us.
Since we moved in May I’ve met several of our neighbors and I go out of my way to say hello, introduce myself, find out who they are, invite them over if they see the telescopes out in the front yard, and so on.
Tonight that paid off.
There are the remnants of a “small” hurricane to the south of us, streaming lots of moisture across Baja and into Arizona at the moment. That stream of rain and thunderstorms is shifting over us, so I figured there might be a decent sunset to look at. Fortunately, it came just as halftime started (where my beloved KC Chiefs were beating the Broncos to go 4-0) so I grabbed my camera and went out.
As I’ve mentioned, we’re at the top of the hill, on the side of the street where our back yard drops off to the east. To our west, there are a bunch of trees and lots of power lines.
Things were starting to look colorful – but trees, neighbors’ houses, etc. I wandered down the hill a couple of houses.
Back to the west, with all of these layers of clouds and the sun setting through the layers to the west, there were some interesting spots of color floating in a sky full of darker clouds.
As the sun started to get to the horizon and peek out from under the last layer of clouds…
…the colors started to get vivid near the horizon. But still, trees, antennas, neighbors’ houses. Better, not spectacular.
The pinkish mid-layers got even more pronounced.
One of the neighboring wives came out to leave and saw me, asked what I was taking pictures of. I told her – she called for her husband to come out. I had previously met Anthony and he told me I should come with him. They live on the other side of the street with the hill dropping away and giving a clear view to the west, and they’ve got a deck so that it’s a particularly spectacular view.
Down below in the gloaming are the West Hills Baseball fields where we spent so many hours with all of our kids. The central hill there we always called Castle Peak, primarily because it’s surrounded by Castle Peak Park.
Meet your neighbors. Make friends. One of them, like Anthony, might like sunsets just as much as you do, and they might have a great view of the western horizon.