34 Comments

Hell yeah, love to see this!! This needs to catch on, everywhere, yesterday

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Let 1000 friend clusters bloom

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inshallah we shall make it so

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I loved this! One time, many of my friends lived in Noe Valley in SF and it was the absolute best. The intentionality here seems so key - need to find a place for myself and replicate!

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That's awesome. I lived in Noe once too, but I moved there right at the start of the pandemic, so it wasn't an especially communal time. Great neighborhood though!

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I had the same issue moving to Austin at the end of 2019. But also made me appreciate community more! I shared your article with my sister and now we’re doing some plotting. Greta read!

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I live in Noe! My best friend used to live here too, but she moved away in 2020. It's been hard finding new friends that live in Noe. Everyone keeps leaving SF. :(

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We messed up! Needed this guide then 😂 SF is hard though, I had so many friends move in and out over the five years I lived there. Hard to put down roots.

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"If a friend expresses interest in the unit, I schedule a tour myself. Then tell them "I'm seeing the unit tomorrow at 3 pm if you want to join." (Yes, I know that might seem crazy. But also remember: I live near 22 friends, and my life is awesome)."

... I really like this example of how this sort of thing doesn't happen on its own. It takes worth and it is very much worth it.

Great post Priya!

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This is delightful, thank you for sharing! The flyers for a whatsapp group are a great idea, I'm moving to a new city soon and will definitely try that in my building!

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I lived near all my friends in San Diego and can confirm it was truly life changing. Now I’ve moved temporarily to Italy for a few years and I’m already stressed about getting back to the hood! Need to tell my friends to search for housing for me. 🥰

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Jul 20, 2023Liked by Priya

Depending on bussing and other issues, local public schools and libraries provide pretty instant community as well. Having friends nearby is the best.

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This is amazing. I love this idea so much. Have you had success with friends who live in another state joining your neighborhood? Do you have any tips on how to do this for those who live just outside a larger city?

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"Have you had success with friends who live in another state joining your neighborhood?"

One of our friends moved from LA, but he was already intending to move to NYC. He originally only planned to stay with us when he first arrived, while he was looking for a permanent spot (he thought he wanted to live in Manhattan). But he really liked being here, so he moved into a nearby unit.

"Do you have any tips on how to do this for those who live just outside a larger city?"

I suspect the strategy is similar. If possible, choose a walkable area that frequently has units available for rent. Bonus points if there's a cute cafe within walking distance, or a park.

Host regularly.

If you can afford it, get an extra bedroom and let friends stay with you short-term. Another option is to ask your friends to pet-sit or house-sit when you're out of town, and hope they fall in love with the area: https://twitter.com/GyanYankovich/status/1622414714939801601?s=20&t=CctMgIBzr7vAVjvo8cfsKA

Set up Zillow and Craiglist alerts. Etc.

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QUEEN!

Thank you for all you do & are.

It was a joy to stay with you, Andrew & the crew in NY.

I can't wait to see you again soon!

❤️

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IMHO a more accurate title would be "how to live within walking distance of your friends if you already live near them".

I clicked on a post titled "How to live near your friends" because I do *not* live near my friends. If my friends moved here, they would have to switch to working/studying remotely (at least half of them would be 6+ time zones out of phase from their jobs/schools). Also AFAIK many countries don't let people immigrate just because they want to live with their friends.

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This is so impressive, Priya! Congratulations. What a skillset to foster! I always feel a roadblock with my shyness / social anxiety, but I work on it. Hopefully I can make a breakthrough with it someday. I love the idea of recurring dinner parties. I especially like the idea of leaving out flyers for a local Whats App group. Genius! I always wonder who my neighbors are but I'm too freaking shy to ask directly! Thanks for all the pointers, this is such valuable information.

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impressive. The key here was that you actually offered something of value beyond entertainment to your friends. I suspect the South Asian heritage helped quite a bit here. I wrote recently about the decline in adult friendship among Americans more broadly (most of whom are not your age). Not offering one’s time to help out is one major reason friendships wither when you can just hire service professionals.

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i loved reading this! i’m moving to brooklyn soon and really looking forward to living near friends

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I'm in the middle of setting up a coliving+coworking property in Austin Texas. Would love to connect and learn.

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This is such an interesting concept, thank you for sharing! I’m 25, and you mentioned you had friends in 20s and 30s. Do you notice more willingness from your friends to commit to the clustering based on age?

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I'm not sure! I do think every stage of life has different constraints, and sometimes it's harder to coordinate if you have kids. Although I've seen it done: https://supernuclear.substack.com/p/case-study-the-story-of-radish-81f3ca6b6616. And I'm pregnant, so I'm learning how in real time ☺️

Fwiw our eldest member is in his 50s and our youngest member was 19. And many residents' parents love visiting us and coming to our events. Several have told me they are jealous of our setup...in fact one of my goals this year is to teach a community building class to empty nesters, similar to one I teach to younger ppl: https://open.substack.com/pub/prigoose/p/announcing-fr101-building-a-community

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Would be happy to talk to you about living/working at a boarding school and raising kids here. If that is ever of interest!

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Hi Cicely,

I'd love to chat. Can you email me at Priya L Ghose at gmail or DM me on Twitter?

Priya

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Hey Priya, I didn't get to meet you on WOP just now but I noticed you were a fellowship recipient and I came to look at some of your work and this piece is awesome. I love how practical you've made it for people. My partner Corina and I are full-time working travellers and whilst our lives have become exponentially richer in terms of time, freedom, experiences, beauty, health, gratitude and more, one of the few things we've lost is closeness to friends—and we're always pondering (a) what we want/need friendships to mean in our lives now, (b) if it's better to spend time maintaining existing friendships online or making new ones IRL (we could do both, of course but everything takes TIME!), and (c) how we might write a piece about it all.

Reading your piece got me thinking. Perhaps there's something we could write together one day, IDK

Keep up the good work though, I'm subscribing! and well done on the WOP fellowship

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Hi Harrison,

I totally relate. My old brother and his wife were digital nomads for many years. I thought I was going to follow in their footsteps, but I tried nomading and I missed community. I'd love to write something together sometime ☺️

Hope the WOP fellowship went well for you. I learned a ton, and am very grateful I got to take it (although I am still significantly behind on publishing still!)

Priya

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Cool, well I'll have a think about what I might have to contribute to your ideas and essays

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