This is THE most important thing to me in a neighborhood. As you may or may not know, we move A LOT. It is hard to pick where to live when you know nothing about the place. This time we hit the jackpot.
In this book, their new neighbors bring The Bears carrot stew, seeds & nuts, and honeycomb to welcome them to the neighborhood. I kept asking Paul, every time that we were disappointed by our new neighborhood, where was my carrot stew??
I finally received said stew in the form of being "Boo"ed for Halloween. (If you don't know, being boo-ed is when someone anonymously leaves treats at your door with a picture of a ghost to put on your door, and then in turn you boo someone else.) I cried. I totally cried. And couldn't stop crying. I finally got my community that I had been seeking since I left Davis/Sacramento, CA, 10 years ago.
We are moving again this summer, and the COMMUNITY will be my #1 criteria for where we go. I love this neighborhood in Norfolk, VA where people walk to school, walk their dogs, hang out outside, "Boo" each other, and has 500 trick or treaters (so I am told!). We need each other, people.
correction Dec 2013: I also felt this lovely sense of community when we lived in Bath, UK, which we just returned from a visit, and it hasn't changed. Still that wonderful sense of connectedness...