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May 31st, 2001

Front Porches

I think if we want to bring back communities in America, there are a number of things we could do: make sure that every neighborhood has a kickball team, encourage kids to sell lemonade on the corner by giving them school credit for it, and most importantly: encourage people to have a front porch on their house.

Though I didn’t grow up with a front porch, for some reason I always knew I wanted one on my house, when it came time to buy one. I lived up to my promise, deciding very firmly that I wanted a front porch on my first home. We have one and though I occasionally sit on the step, the main obstacle now is that I can’t find the type of furniture I want for the porch that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Ideally, I’d like wicker furniture, but it’s expensive and requires frequent painting since it chips quickly.

Any ideas on where to look?

Feel free to share your thoughts on front porches as well. I think if more communities had them, we’d all know our neighbors a little bit better. -ram

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: Paul
DATE: Thursday May 31, 2001 -- 12:13:01AM
I agree with your sentiments, Ryan, but many of these planned communities popping up are... well, too focused on planning and not focused on community.

When I was growing up, my folks and I would often sit out on the porch. It was nice, overall. As the neighborhood changed, the number of porchsitters dropped. Big time. Now, I'd be very very surprised to see any.

It's really quite sad.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Thursday May 31, 2001 -- 12:16:58AM
Weird Ryan,
I was just thinking tonight while reading a book, about you and your front porch. I was thinking you guys should use it every chance you get, because that would definately be a great chance to get to know the neighbors. If they don't ever venture outside you can at least say you tried.
The book was talking about the lack of communities and our insular world. How homes nowadays are based around garages and such to house possesions. It kind of reminded me of "No More Prisons" and the stuff Upski was saying.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday May 31, 2001 -- 9:17:34AM
Matt -- Yes, I agree. I like what Upski has to say especially about gated communities and how they (and I would suspect, "planned communities," Paul) work against the idea of community and knowing your neighbors.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Thursday May 31, 2001 -- 9:46:53AM
My house has one of the few porches in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, the birds have taken it over so we don't use it for much. But one day, we shall reclaim that treasured space.

FROM: Patrick
DATE: Thursday May 31, 2001 -- 10:59:26AM

Homeplace at Potomac Mills is having a store closing sale and they might just have some cheap front porch type stuff...

Or, what about going with unfinished outdoor wood furniture (typically inexpensive stuff) from your local home shop and just slapping on a few coats of weather sealant? You could throw some cushions on for your butt and back...change the look by changing cushions...

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday May 31, 2001 -- 11:23:41AM
Good ideas, Pat... I think we have a gift certificate for HomePlace floating around, too...

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