When I drove into Washington Square 11 years ago in the car of a real estate agent, there was no question that at last we had found the neighborhood we wanted to raise a family in. The overall feeling created by houses of an era gone by, the gorgeous old trees providing a shade canopy across the street, the well-kept open front yards all helped make the sale.
I feel it is time to make a personal plea to all my neighbors of Washington Square and the city to become sensitive to what we are losing, ever so slowly, but losing nonetheless. We are losing the open feeling that exists when going down the street. We are losing it because of the recent decisions of homeowners to enclose their front yards. Every fence that goes up takes away my pleasure of the neighborhoods by adding clutter and robbing my visual open space.
One might argue that it is their right to fence in the front yard if they want to. That is true. My point is that we must be more sensitive to what we have and to not hurt our neighbors, lower the property values or the beauty of the neighborhoods. First we fence the bad guy out, then we realize we have fenced ourselves in. All of a sudden the area does not feel comfortable. One feels cramped and paranoid. The open beauty is gone and now the street scene is a hodgepodge of fence types. The enjoyment is gone, the pleasurable neighborhood statement is gone, the friendliness is gone.
So, as one neighbor to another, I ask that rather than put up front yard fences, we take them down.