Self-Segregating?: Part 2

Neighborhood Intimacy

Maya Bechi, M.Ed
5 min readSep 24, 2021


Photo collage created by author on Adobe Spark Post

Intimacy: “an emotional state in which two persons, or a group, have a sense of commonality, of sharing, and security.” ~Wong H.


I recall stories from my grandfather about his time serving during WWII and what it was like to finally own a house across the street from a white family.

It was one of the indicators that he’d secured part of the American Dream.

No one burned a cross on the lawn nor called him the n-word, and he didn’t call them “crackas”. Their children knew one another, played together and the block shared a collective commitment for keeping eyes out on one another’s property. There was a connection. Who knows what the political affiliations were? I was raised on that block, and in that household, situated among a community of families that fused closer together after the race riots in Detroit…years before my birth.

I didn’t have that in my current neighborhood, and I became sick, when for the first time I thought that perhaps it was because of my skin color. I stopped using the Facebook group and the NextDoor app immediately. Feelings would chill my spirit like a cold northeastern wind anytime I read the comment sections. Somehow, they had morphed into a vivid and revelatory snapshot of what truly lay beneath the trimmed lawns, group fitness class chatter and local baseball game fellowship. The division between who’s who in the neighborhood became larger and more pronounced.


Neighborhood Intimacy, Pocket neighborhoods and Cohousing

According to a study called “Neighborhood Intimacy as Perceived by Women in Urban Areas and it’s Association with Personal and Social Network Characteristics in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 150 married women were sampled and four main categories were used to build a model: education level, self-rated health, individual social network size and length of residence. They asked them questions about their feelings regarding their community. Surprisingly, the higher the educational attainment, the more dissatisfied women were with the…



Maya Bechi, M.Ed

Perfectly imperfect. A myriad of musings, research and writings prove it.