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Two neighbors stand back to back rinsing their parked cars with hoses in their driveways. There are two matching buckets filled with soapy water and sponges between them. Illustration.

The Neighbors Issue

Getting familiar with the strangers next door.

All Stories

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The Neighborly Space Just Out of Your Control

On the front porch, the desire to be neighborly butts up against the desire to be left alone.

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Can a Neighborhood Become a Network?

The mutual-aid networks that have defined the COVID-19 pandemic are looking to the long term.

The Duplex With Friends

How two families living in a duplex have weathered the pandemic together.

The Van-Life Caravan

Living in a camper van doesn’t have to mean living by yourself. Here’s how some nomads find community on the road.

What It’s Like to Be a Neighbor Right Now

Curbed asked readers how quarantine life had changed their neighborhoods. Here, five of our favorite anecdotes.

The Disaster Building

Faced with no heat, a gas leak, and a neglectful landlord, two New York City renters went from hallway acquaintances to close friends.

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Bungalow Courts Make the Best Neighbors

The 350 that remain in L.A. are some of the city’s most desirable housing.

Think of your neighbors before the pandemic: Their letters in your mailbox and the inexplicable bowling-ball sounds from above, or the person you passed on the street who looked so familiar but you weren’t sure why.

These weak ties were always crucial to our sense of community, but now, three-plus months into a routine of self-isolation that has more of us sticking close to home and relying on our neighbors for everything from groceries to social interaction, we’ve gotten more acquainted with those strangers next door. We’ve met through local mutual-aid societies that sprang up amid months of isolation, or simply because we’re spending more time on the porch or stoop. (This newfound intimacy might be tinged with frustration as we come face-to-face with each other’s quirks.)

In Curbed’s Neighbors Issue, we look at what it means to form relationships with the people who live closest to us, whether we met before or during the pandemic, or whether we live in L.A.’s bungalow courts (we stan the most neighborly form of housing in the U.S.), a New York City apartment building, or a pair of RVs that caravan together. As the country roils amid COVID-19 and the renewed movement for Black lives, we’re thinking about what it means to be a neighbor beyond our front doors. —Sara Polsky

Writers: Diana Budds, Jessica Gross, Hadley Meares, Zan Romanoff, Melody Warnick, Andrew Zaleski
Editors: Sara Polsky, Mercedes Kraus
Art Direction: Alyssa Nassner
Illustrations: Mary Kate McDevitt
Copy Editors: Emma Alpern, Cynthia Orgel, Carl Rosen
Special Thanks: Mariam Aldhahi, Megan Barber, Willy Blackmore, Marisa Carroll