RE: "Gawkers" at cohousing communities (FWD)
From: Stuart Staniford-Chen (
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 95 23:36 CST
Jean Pfleiderer writes

> Maybe.  I haven't been there.  But I would think Nyland's walkway could 
> be described similarly, in the sense that it is not a road and does not 
> run parallel to the road (although it is possible in an emergency to 
> use it for a  road), and rather obviously does not go anywhere except 
> to the homes in the Nyland community. Nonetheless, it is a pedestrian 
> walkway.  I can easily imagine people supposing it was perfectly 
> acceptable to walk on it, even though they do not live at Nyland or 
> even know anyone there.

When I stayed at Nyland during the conference I felt instinctively
uncomfortable walking around it.  I clearly remember talking to several 
people I bumped into on the paths and explaining who I was and that I really 
was supposed to be staying there.  No-one was in the slightest
hostile to me - I just knew that it was somebody else's place and felt that 
as a stranger I owed the residents an explanation for my presence.

> I haven't visited any other cohousing communities.  But I have to admit 
> it would never have crossed my mind that I couldn't walk through one 
> without calling first.

Clearly there is room for cohousers to differ on this subject.  I would 
suggest to you that many communities have a significantly more "closed" looking 
layout than Nyland does - it might look more private to you 
when you were standing at the edge about to enter it.

> Now that I realize how unwelcome I would be, I've lost what little 
> interest I may have had in ever visiting another coho community.  But, 
> should I ever be near one with some time on my hands and nothing better 
> to do with it, I will certainly call first!  Better safe than sorry.

That's a shame.  I very much enjoyed the hospitality that your community 
provided me with, and I'd be sorry to miss the opportunity to reciprocate 
for you.


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