We have nice neighbors, especially the folks that live across the street. Some of them have lived in this downtown neighborhood their entire lives. They are usually sitting out on their front porch or under the shade trees, chatting and keeping a good eye on things. We give them credit for feeling that our old house is secure, even when we've been gone for months. Often they share how no one goes wandering onto our property without their notice. It is comforting to live in a place where there is always a friendly greeting as you walk out your front door.
"No front porches. My uncle says there used to be front porches. And people sat there sometimes at night, talking when they wanted to talk, rocking, and not talking when they didn't want to talk. Sometimes they just sat there and thought about things, turned things over. My uncle says the architects got rid of the front porches because they didn't look well. But my uncle says that was merely rationalizing it; the real reason, hidden underneath, might be they didn't want people sitting like that, doing nothing, rocking, talking; that was the wrong KIND of social life. People talked too much. And they had time to think. So they ran off with the porches."
~ Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451