RE: Commonhouse: Hanging Out
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2001 09:16:10 -0600 (MDT)
Having visited a few  cohousing groups it seems to be normal for little
spontaneous hanging out  except in  conjunction with another event, eg after
dinner or after a meeting. However I have been several places that have
non-spontaneous hanging out as a regular ritual. Sunday morning paper and
coffee, the Friday night bar, Tuesday at the movies, the Monday  evening
philosophers club, etc. These types of scheduled hanging out seem to work

The key to spontaneous gatherings seems to be visibility. If you can see a
gathering going on it will multiply. For example, I visited a place where
there was sort of scruffy looking outdoor grass space between one wing of
the homes. This was a social hub, they had regular impromptu barbeques and
gatherings because all people had to do was look out the window to see the
party. The other wing of the community did not have this, the in the middle
space was all nicely landscaped, nice to look at but not a place you would
hang out in.

So if you don't have spontaneous events happening, I would suggest starting
up a simple schedule on Friday nights. Usually if alcohol is involved it
becomes a fun adult party. It may take a month or so for people to adjust
their other scheduled events to make room for a community event so be sure
not to give up too soon if turn out is light.

Rob Sandelin

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