A Hill 2000 Initiative
Buioni Vicini (Being a Good Neighbor)
The Hill is one of the oldest Italian neighborhoods in America. Being neighborly built our vibrant community. A strong community means better home values, good communication, fellowship, and increased safety and security. Folks flock to our neighborhood – as visitors and residents – because we make the effort to be. . . well, neighborly.
It’s the spirit of buoni vicini. . . or “good neighbors.” This is how we do it:
Be a resource. Our new neighbors are not typically familiar with the nuances of living on the Hill. Help them by being a source of information. Identify the trades and handymen (and women), small shops, professional services, cafés, and restaurants sprinkled throughout the neighborhood. Let them know little things matter – like keeping alleys clear of trash, picking up after pets, the role public servants play in maintaining the community, and social groups. And provide them with “Numbers to Know” when there’s a nuisance or emergency.
Be open. Introduce yourself. Say “hi”. Invite your neighbors, new and old, over for dinner or drinks. Nowhere on the planet will you find more backyard get-togethers than in St. Louis, so consider hosting a safe, social event – stocked with refreshments from our Hill grocers and merchants – or serving as a block captain.
Be tidy. You are part of a community that has prided itself for nearly a century on neatness. We need you to continue that effort, as it’s that charm that keeps our properties and businesses humming. Keep your trees trimmed and grass cut. Maintain your home’s exterior, fence and property. And put trash, recyclables and grass cuttings in their proper dumpsters.
Be a good pet owner. Pets add vibrancy to a tightly knit community like ours. Early mornings and evenings on the Hill are when folks often walk their dogs. If you are one of them, keep your pets on a leash and clean up after them. Keep an especially close eye on them if your dog or cats are not spayed or neutered. We love pets. . . especially the ones who ride on golf carts.
Be helpful. Folks of all ages and abilities live on the Hill. Lend a hand if your neighbor is struggling carrying groceries. If it feels right, offer help if you see someone working on a house project. Ask an elderly neighbor if he or she needs help mowing their yard or weeding. Volunteer a morning or afternoon for our regular neighborhood clean-ups. Community work is a great icebreaker to meet neighbors and is truly appreciated.
Be vigilant. We take care of each other, always, so keep an eye out. If your neighbor is going out of town, offer to watch their property or pick up their mail. Consider joining the neighborhood Surveillance Video Program, an anonymous list of Hill surveillance (Ring) cameras used by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police to investigate neighborhood crimes. Most important – do something if you see or hear a situation that doesn’t feel right.
Be respectful. Despite best intentions, conflicts happen. On occasion, an issue will come up regarding a property or person in the neighborhood. Always strive to be a good neighbor and talk it out face-to-face if you can. Don’t be abusive or accusatory. Don’t text. And please don’t post your issue on social media. Consider sending an email or placing a note in a mailbox if you are not comfortable with direct communication. Respectful, honest, and friendly communication resolves most issues.
Be courteous. The Hill is unique in that our neighborhood features a rich mix of houses, multi-unit homes and businesses. Homes abut homes and businesses, including many restaurants, abut residences. Be considerate of your neighbors. Sounds of all type – including music and conversation – carry into front rooms and upstairs bedrooms. Be cognizant of this characteristic and, as the Sun sets, turn down the volume and move music and gatherings into your homes and back yards.
Be cautious driving. We have many young families, so please obey the speed limit. Better yet, go slow! Stop at stop signs. Put your phone down. Park within 12 inches of the nearest curb, and not on crosswalk or intersection. The same applies to golf carts, too. And when parking your car or golf cart, allow five feet between your vehicle and the nearest driveway, alley, or private street.
Be a guide to your tenants. We are a diverse community; many of our residents are tenants. As a tenant, this community also belongs to you. Landlords, screen your tenants, keep your property maintained and promptly address issues tenants bring to your attention. To learn more about your responsibilities and the best practices of renting homes in a community like the Hill, visit: towergrovecdc.org/landlord-training.