There are so many reasons to love my town of Brookline: proximity to Boston, lots of parks and green space, amazing public schools, ethnic diversity, Jewish community, educated and civically engaged residents, to name a few. But there’s another reason as well—Brookline is still a village, and I don’t mean Brookline Village. Despite its 60,000-plus population, Brookline has a small-town feel and lots of spontaneous human interaction. And Coolidge Corner is a kibbutz!
I, for one, cannot go to Coolidge Corner without running into multiple friends and acquaintances. Moreover, these chance meetings are often packed full of meaty encounters that go well beyond the superficial exchange of pleasantries. I had three such experiences recently, mixed into my purchases, all of which were mutually beneficial. In one instance, I ran into a former Boston Globe journalist who had just written an article about her disdain for the concept of “retirement.” Since I myself had just penned a similar article, we agreed to exchange our written thoughts and continue the conversation at a later date. With another friend, we took some important steps to advance a project affecting her Jewish community on the North Shore, and with yet a third colleague we shared important and useful information.
It helps that it’s summertime, where a more leisurely pace allows for more extended interchanges, but in this day and age where social media rules, random face-to-face encounters on the streets of Brookline are the perfect antidote.
So my advice to anyone who wants to float a new business idea, write a book or engage in a new project, try hanging out in Kibbutz Coolidge Corner and enjoy your random human encounters and informal advice sessions. It beats Facebook any day of the week!
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