I've been living in New York City for 4 1/2 years, and in my neighborhood for about 3. About a year ago, I got married and my wife and I moved into a new apartment on 81st street. We were excited to make it a home and place we would enjoy returning to after work.
Growing up, my wife and her family made baked goods and brought them around to their neighbors during the Christmas season. We decided it would be fun to to do the same thing in our building since we hadn't had the chance to meet all the residents of our 5-floor walk-up.
We spent a weekend making cookies and writing friendly notes to introduce ourselves and wish each neighbor a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season. We took them door-to-door, leaving most on people's doorsteps to discover when they returned.
Over the next few days many of our neighbors stopped us in the hall and introduced themselves, asking if we were the ones who left the cookies, and thanking us. We were most amazed when we returned home after vacation and found a note under our door from an elderly gentleman in the apartment upstairs. He wrote us to say that after 35 years living in the building, we were the first to leave anything except misdirected mail at his door. He left us $10 as a token of his gratitude.
We were overwhelmed that what seemed to us like a fun and simple effort to meet our neighbors could impact one of them so deeply. I hope it encourages you to consider what small things can bring joy to your neighborhood.