Re: Privacy and Openess
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 95 14:08 CST
This whole discussion about gawkers, visitors, marking boundaries, etc has
reminded me of something I heard way back (about 4 1/2 years ago) when
Cohousing was just getting active in the Twin Cities.  Bodil Vaupel, a Danish
architect living in the Twin Cities (for quite a few years, by then) told us
*her* perceptions of the differences between the Danes and Americans.  

She said the Danes are much more gregarious, live much closer together in
general, and much less private. They consider it normal to wander into their
friends houses when said friends are not home! and really make themselves at
home.  I can't remember details, but I think she said that after living in U.S.
and going home for summer vacations, it drove her crazy the way people cut
across her front lawn, etc.    I'm sure at least her husband is on e-mail --
Jim Vaupel is a demographer/statistician type.  If anyone can find his address,
it would be neat to contact her/them and see what they are doing.  She was very
interested in cohousing, but somewhat impatient about meetings - I think she
only came to 2 or 3, and soon after, they decided they were moving.  

Anyway, my point is that we are different from Danes and will have to work our
our own boundaries.  In my case, we live right next door to a group of large
condos, and have very little contact, with a few exceptions, tho we have tried.
On the other side is the back side of an apartment complex, and I've never seen
any of them execpt cars going  into their driveway.
We are essentially at the end of a private drive, and certainly, people we
don't know get asked if we can help them, but my sense is that so far, we do
not see it as a problem. But we are only 8 households so far, and few kids.  

So far, little media exposure - tho the story on us from 1 local channel got
played as one of the stories of the year at New Years.  I'm not looking forward
to more.

Judy Baxter, Monterey Cohousing Community, (MoCoCo)
Twin Cities Area, Minneapolis/St.Paul Minnesota
e-mail: baxter [at]
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