My neighborhood in general is so familiar that it's hard to startle me into seeing it differently. That was the case the other day, however, when I was going door-to-door for the terrific Carlina Rivera, who is running for city council in my district. (VOTE TODAY!)
Lots of buildings were as they have been since I've lived here—unrenovated, rundown, friendly. But there were a surprising (to me) number of fancy buildings, where the usual 4-flats-per-floor layout had been changed into a single apartment. No one let us in in buildings like that but it takes no effort to imagine how deluxe those big floor-throughs are. No surprise: Those were the people who were most impatient & rude that we were tacky enough to so much as ring their buzzers. You could tell from even those brief encounters that they felt like they were the real residents, the deserving New Yorkers, & that we are going to work for THEM.
Others were nicer. Two doors down from my building a guy opened his door, and he & I both said oh! I know you. We know each other in that New York way that involves never making eye contact or acknowledging one another, but nonetheless somehow being clear that our existence has registered.
Update: Happy to report that Carlina won the primary with 60% of the vote & is sure to get elected in November, as this is a Dem neighborhood. The real action is always in the primary not the election.