San Diego's North Park district's Then and Now tour this coming Saturday
In looking over some old email traffic between myself and Aaron Renn of Urbanophile, one of the things we had talked about is how new residents tend to not be all that interested in interfacing with the preexisting "community" within the city neighborhood they move into.
This is one of the factors generating animosity between new and "old" residents. On the other hand, there aren't many social and civic "institutions" that help to bring the two groups together.
I remember when I lived in a Detroit suburb that there was a group in Birmingham for "Newcomers" and a for profit organization called Welcome Wagon (they operate nationally) that would identify new residents and give them a "welcome package."
Otherwise, I joke that in the city, young children--taken for walks and carriage rides and bike rides by their parents--and dogs + elementary schools end up being the "social bridges" that bring residents together. (There are a number of parents groups across the city which help link parents within and across neighborhoods, such as "Moms on the Hill" in Capitol Hill.)
I am not religious, but my sense is that local churches are no longer such bridges, because their congregants are no longer "bound" by local geography, so neighbors aren't likely to meet each other in such settings.
Takoma Park Boy Scout Troop 33.
It's something we started going to last year, in part because the little girl next door loves pancakes and it's fun to take her.
This year I got into a great conversation with one of the parents of a Scout sitting across from us, and Marina was intrigued enough to start talking about joining the Girl Scouts.
One of the things that's cool about Takoma Park is "the community" (which is something also discernible in Capitol Hill and Georgetown) with a variety of community organizations that help bring together new and old residents over common interests.
I am on the email list for the North Park Main Street program in San Diego because when I first got involved in Main Street commercial district revitalization activities back in 2002 they were an early example of an urban program that seemed to have similar conditions to H Street NE.
Thire "Then and Now" walking tour sounds pretty interesting and seems to be a good way to help introduce people, especially new residents, to community history by showing them today in the context of yesterday.
Apparently the tour is now sold out.