Friends Nextdoor

How to land in a new place and create community
Stars

Ever since I learned about Nextdoor.com I have seen its potential to help people land in a new place more quickly and build a community around themselves. Most of the time when we move it takes a while to acclimate and find a new group of friends. I would guess the time it takes most people to arrive in a new town to be 2-3 years. What would our lives be like if that time was shortened to months or weeks, instead? I think they’d be richer and I explain below how this can be done by anyone, anywhere.  

Using Nextdoor.com and other online tools such as Constant Contact* (email service provider + survey capability) and Facebook (for group functions), it’s possible to quickly build a list of people who live close by who share your interests. When one relocates, these tools can be used to create a new group of friends quickly.

I’ve been doing this in my local neighborhood here in Portland and it’s led to amazing connections.

Here are the steps I have taken to try this out:

  1. Sign up for Nextdoor.com.
  2. Created an email list for potential new friends using an email service provider, and set up a sign-up form that people can use to subscribe (or, just create a simple group in your email client like Outlook or Gmail). You can make more than one list for different interests, e.g., people who like to play chess, play music, or like to effect change to make the neighborhood more livable. A person can be added to more than one list.
  3. I started conversations on Nextdoor around various list topic(s).*
  4. Via private messaging, I asked people who seem interesting to you join my lists (provide the sign-up link) and I explained what I am up to and asked for their email address.
  5. Once I formed a group, I invited group members to events. In my case I’ve hosted house concerts which is a favorite way I like to gather with people. I have also started a Facebook group so that the members of the group can speak to one another and possibly instigate activities themselves. The cool thing here is that you’re acting as matchmaker, and all of the connections are local!
  6. Repeat the above until your social life is full of interesting people who live close by and may enrich your life.
  7. Show others what you’ve done (we learn by teaching).

I’m always open to feedback. Have you tried something like this? What has worked for you? Please feel free to help me improve this concept in the comments section below or write me @ albert@albertideation.com.

As of 9.26.19 I have been doing this for about 11 months and I’m learning as I go. I have a list of 75 people in my Portland, Oregon, USA neighborhood who have been invited to various events at my house (mostly house concerts and an orphans’ Thanksgiving) and the experiment continues. I also just learned about fellow traveler Rachael Lynn’s new book At Home Anywhere, which looks promising! 

* Another way to find people who share interests is by creating a survey (I use the tool in Constant Contact). That way you can find people who share your interests and ask for their contact information all in one effort. The link to Constant Contact above is an affiliate link. 

Here’s some of my past writing about Nextdoor.com

Yes, Yes Marsha, also has some good thinking of the challenges of moving. to a new city and making new friends

Bright Earth Foods

Here’s a note I sent to a friend about Bright Earth Foods and why I’m working with them.

Bright Earth Foods

I ran into a group of people called Bright Earth Foods a while back.  Every time I interacted with them it was positive.  I kept waiting for some kind of yucky multi-level marketing pitch, but generally, they just want to offer their food.

https://www.brightearthfoods.com/

So, over the years I’d see them or one of their guys at a health food co-op demo’ing something.  Then, they were there at Beloved last year and I spent more time with one of their reps.  A guy named Brian.  He was serving people shots of noni juice and blue green algae.  So, you know me.  I try to eat and drink healthy, and I’m getting there, but BEF’s stuff is a shot in the arm of goodness. I’m telling you this because they’ve asked me to help them out (after much asking and pleading on my part 🙂 with their social networking.  Right now I’m doing it for some money ($300 for 3 months and $200 store credit).  I also have a link where if someone buys stuff I get a commission and also they have an affiliate program which is pretty easy, and same thing – if someone signs up and shares the link and a person buys something I get something and the other person does, too.

So, it definitely works like multi-level marketing, except there’s no huge salesforce involved.  Instead, it’s a bunch of super-positive people who have big hearts and a concern for health and the planet.  And I am enjoying them on many levels.

So, all that to say, if it’s something you are interested in, let me know.  Or you can sign up to be my affiliate here.

https://tinyurl.com/brightearthfoods

End of pitch/introduction for Bright Earth Foods.

The Beloved Festival

Beloved FestivalBeloved Festival 2010

When the moon is in the seventh house
and jupiter aligns with mars
The peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars
this is the dawning of the age of aquarius

I thought I’d do a little write-up of my visit to the best Festival experience I’ve ever had – The Beloved Festival, known on their website https://www.belovedfestival.com/ as Oregon Open Air Art and Music Festival which is held every year near Alsea, Oregon about 3 hours SW of Portland, Oregon, USA.

I thought I’d do this in a way that would be fun for me.  I picked up a lot of business cards, postcards and knickknacks all weekend, so I’ll pull one out at a time from my backpack and talk about it and share it with you.  And here are more photos taken by a friend.  Sound good? OK, let’s go!

1. Art by Adam Scott Miller – https://www.adamscottmiller.com – Adam’s art was featured in a large white tent with a sand floor.  Well-lit, and beautiful, the tent was a place to wander any hour of the day or night and see some very inspiring images.  I’d recommend a visit to Adam’s website for more adventuring in the world of imagery.  Then there was all of the other art at the festival – from the incredible nature installations done by Nature, Dandelion and many others (see photos), to the stage draped with beautiful orange and red fabric by Gregory and the Guildworks team, to live painting happening by the stage all weekend and jewelry by the vendors and face-painting and henna done to all who sought that out.  Pretty pretty pretty!  btw, the wristlet I got is so beautiful, I’ve decided to leave it on for a while – nice touch!

2. Dance in Seattle?  Euphoria: A Dance Odyssey: Every Tues. night, call Franklin for more info 206-406-7283.  Yes, Franklin was there, as were many members of the various ecstatic and contact dance communities which made the dance floor in front of the stage such a great place to be.  I also had a visit with Michael Suzaris and Jenny Pell (presented on permaculture at the festival  https://www.permaculturenow.com ) on their way back to Seattle.  Michael has gotten an interesting events space up and running on the north end of Lake Union called OmCulture which also hosts dance and other events.  https://www.omculture.com/ – PDX Ecstatic Dance?  https://www.pdxecstaticdance.com/GenesaGenesa Crystal, installation by Ansula

3. Bright Earth Foods.  Super Foods for Super Humans! Yum.  So, there was a guy set up on the hill by the tasty food vendors with a set up selling Noni shots.  Noni, not sure what it is, but it’s certainly good for you, and you could buy a small glass for $1 or a glass with blue-green algae in it for $2.  Their website is https://www.brightearthfoods.com – I’m looking forward to getting myself some wizard paste soon!  There’s a longer story about that goodness (we call it hippie crack around these parts) from Beloved #1, perhaps for another day.

4. Music to listen to this note by?  I suggest the Beloved music player on their website.  A quite nice selection from Beloved’s past.  Also, the slide-show on their site done by local photographer and all-time hot DJ, Raku Loren, is worth watching 🙂  Raku’s also DJ’ing this Sunday at the Village Ballroom sunday dance @ 10:30am – 7th and Dekum, NE in PDX.  B There.

5. Some stickers from Onanya These folks are doing something very right.  I saw them at a previous Beloved festival.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/onanya They say about themselves: “Our work is a collaboration between a Shipibo community of the Peruvian Amazon and us. Our clothing designs become the canvas of their magical patterns. Together we bring you a One of a Kind Piece of wearable art. This work is created while we are together in the village.”  Yep, like that 🙂

6. Ongoing Classes and Events: The Sacred Muse, The Evolutionary Priestess, the Inner Alchemy of Evolution https://www.thelivingchalice.com – lovely photo of a hummingbird feeding on this card, though website does not seem to be working. Folks in Fairview, OR

7. More clothes and beautiful people @ Naga Designs, Felt Creations!  I spent a lovely Thursday afternoon wiling away a couple hours in the sky chairs next to Alani Klein’s booth.  She and her friend came down from Courteney, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada to share their beautiful felt creations.  More @ https://www.nagadesigns.com

8. Give Peace a Dance!  Peace Village Saturday Late Nite After-Party – Organik Time Machine, Cornflower & Special Guests – Ashland, August 21st @ Cultureworks  $10.  https://www.peacevillagefestival.org and https://www.culture-works.net

9. https://autumnskyemorrison.com/ – the paintings of Autumn Skye Morrison who was doing live painting near the stage.  This painting was displayed all weekend:

10.  Nemo.  The art of Nemo Boko!  I met Nemo on Wens. night while he and his girlfriend were busy setting up the office side of the art tent.  Nemo’s site is https://www.nemo.org – for psychonauts and curious minds 🙂  Go, Nemo, Go!

11. My eleventh year at Burning Man.  Camp 11:11 3:15 & F.  My newsletter, The Eleven – sign up @ https://albertideation.com

12. 1st & 3rd Thursday night Gong Meditation in Portland with John Reinscreiber!  https://shamanicvibrations.com – “…let the voices of the gongs carry you to a place of timeless peace and solitude”  I have been to this event and John does an excellent job taking everyone deep with his gongs and sound healing.  He also has led sound healing for the Beloved Festival for the past two years, and he’ll be speaking tomorrow @ Our Community University @ my house!  Details @ https://albertideation.com/2010/07/31/ocu2/

Beloved was lovely in so many ways. People showing themselves, opening, learning, growing, being their beautiful, smart and courageous selves.  Kindness ran wild.  Great food, smart people, inspiring music, creativity, children, elders, white, black, and perfect weather in a lovely forest setting.  Thank you to the organizers and the many volunteers that made it possible!  I hope to live my life in a way that is more like what I experienced this past weekend as much as possible.

13. Third Eye Pinecones, Amulets and Adornments, Carl Weiseth, Santa Cruz, CA – https://www.conesandstones.com – these folks had a necklace that you’ll probably see a lot around town.  Very very lovely.  looks like this:

14. https://r3xx.net/ – Transformative Media Inspiring Minds.  Now, I want a tagline like that 🙂  These must have been the folks in the art tent who were displaying an interesting selection of books and videos and the like.  Nemo, hello, you must be affiliated with these folks….

  • Psychedelic Art
  • Visionary Music
  • Illuminating Books
  • subversive comics
  • delicious edibles
  • bizarre stickers
  • radical clothing
  • triply holograms – oh yes, they had some very interesting ones of those….

15. Stevee Postman – https://stevee.com – There was a large painting done by this artist, and I have a feeling there was other work around by him, as well.  Quite an image gallery @ https://stevee.com/gallery-01.html

16. Shivoso.  Pause.  Another Pause.  The best talk on tantra that I’ve ever heard.  Delivered in the purple temple to a very rapt audience.  Great Q&A afterwards.  I’ve already sent an email connecting Shivoso, recently arrived from CA to PDX, to various leaders in tantric arts here in town and hope to learn more from him.  https://intimacyarts.com : from his website: “I want to share with you new ways of being in relationship. There is a huge change coming on in the realm of intimate connections and many people are finding it challenging to navigate through the shifting fields. Many of us are trying alternative ways of being in relationships, such as polyamory, same gender, open, polyfidelity and variations in monogamous relationships, and there is a need to support these different choices. I have found a common ground for all these relationship styles that is rooted in the psychology and energetics of being human.”

17. https://www.altaryourreality.com – ah, Trinity and the folks who brought the two incredible temples, featured prominently in the pics on this slideshow and at the festival. These were where the Lovetribe‘s Cosmic Temple of Love and the Purple Temple were.  Both delicious!  OK, I could probably use some more adjectives.  Lovely.  Plush.  Soft.  Purposeful.  Watch the video here to see how these temples come together.  Thanks, Trinity!

18. Kyer Wiltshire Photography.  Funny how a business card sometimes can just look so normal.  Weddings, events, portrait, commercial, and the biggest picture book about West Coast Festival Culture in existence.  His photos were being shown as a slide show on the side of the big white tent a few nights running, and Kyer could be seen shooting photos all weekend long.  From his website: “Kyer has expanded his creative talents photographing erotic fire dancing, aerial dance, fire dancing with Phoenix Rising, Nocturnal Sunshine, LuminEssence along with many talented performers such as international magician Jeff McBride, Heavy Hips Belly Dance, Mir and Company Aerial Dance, Xeno, Mutaytor, El Circo, Apsara Dance, Mystic Family Circus, Living Tarot, Living Folklore, Yoga Motion and Cirque du Soleil. Kyer published his beautiful outdoor nude yoga photos in the Sacred Form Yoga 2005 and 2006 calendars.”  Yep, like that.

floating lotus
19. Oh Krishna, it’s Ali’s turn.  You know, the Floating Lotus, Sacred Massage Temple on Water.  I helped Ali put his water temple together – the design of the lotus is so clever.  Whoever designed it really did a beautiful job, and the end result is magical.  Ali told me that he has only used the floating platform @ Beloved.  Contact him and bring him elsewhere, I’m sure he’d love it.  So will you.  Hi Ali!  Thanks for the watermelon!  https://www.floating-lotus.org

20. Back to food. https://krishnakitchen.org – yum, yum, yum, and more yum.  Fresh coconuts?  Raw organic vegan prasadam.  Thank you for staying open late, folks.

21. Catalyst for Fun Hot Tips: https://www.catalystforfun.com – Amanda Winters, Funtrepreneur, crowd rouser and social worker.  Amanda did a wonderful job throughout the festival rousing us to greater heights.  And, she’s just moved to Portland, how lucky we are!

22.  One Oasis Credito – Redeemable for 1 Shower or 1 Sauna.  Manoj got my other one 🙂  Well, this is a longer story than I have time for right now, but suffice it to say that the Oasis is where one goes for a shower and sauna @ Beloved, and other places in the PNW.  Here is how to find them on FB.

23. HealthForce Nutritionals – Vital Healing Botanicals – https://www.healthforce.com – these folks were part of the food vendor crew which also included some great coffee, Kava, middle eastern food, Coconut Bliss, etc.  Yum, and thanks for keeping it delicious and nutritious!

24.  The music – oh my, I’m about done.  The music was fantastic.  All the performers can be found on the Beloved website, as can all the workshop presenters and other Gods and Goddesses.  Musically, Gaudi stood out for me, but I loved much of what was offered.

Thanks to my great Gazebo campmates for creating a great place to come home to, and for everyone who put this festival on.  Until next year,  Om nama shivaya!

Albert

PS – 5.25.14 – They’re still alive and kicking! Go, Beloved!

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