Greg Kaufmann has lived in his neighborhood for more than a year but doesn’t quite know his neighbors.
“I know all of my immediate neighbors,” Kauffman said, “but I’ve been a little surprised I haven’t met the other people at the end of the street.”
So, he and other Ansley Park residents planned a series of 20 block parties with the hopes of uniting the community.
“My wife and I thought to host a block party and then figured if we were having this issue, other blocks probably are as well,” he said.
Kauffman, who is co-chair of the Ansley Park Civic Association events committee, said he was inspired by two other block parties in the area. This April 28 event is the first neighborhood-wide block party, which will cover three-quarters of the community.
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Kauffman said the parties come at a time where there’s been a fair amount of turnover in the neighborhood. On his Montgomery Ferry street, three homes are for sale. There are about 30 homes for sale in the Ansley Park neighborhood, according to online real estate database company Zillow.com.
“If you’re just moving in to a house, it takes time to meet people in the neighborhood,” Kauffman said.
Nine years ago, Kauffman moved to Atlanta from New York, where he lived in several high-rises and only said hello to neighbors on elevators or at the gym in passing.
“It’s been really good to move into a neighborhood that has a sense of community,” he said.
The events committee, which had been planning the event since last fall, sent out locations in the community newsletter for the block parties, most of which last two hours.
Residents must RSVP to the block party of their choosing and bring an appetizer or entrée and drinks. Hosts will provide utensils, plates, napkins, cups and seating.
Kauffman is hoping at least 15 people attend each block party.
So far, the committee has held other unifying events, including neighborhood dinners, but he’s hoping the block party idea spreads to other communities.
“I’m thinking this is something that can be used generally, not just in Ansley Park, but in other neighborhoods as well,” he said.
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