Thursday, April 5, 2012


Piedras Blancas hosted a distinguished visitor last week: Peter Lovenheim, author of Cuesta College's Book of the Year, In the Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a Time. He writes about his Rochester, New York neighborhood.

My husband and I attended his talk Tuesday evening and purchased the book. As he signed it, I mentioned the elephant seals. His interest was piqued, and the following day he accepted our invitation to show him Piedras Blancas. As that was to be his final day on the Central Coast, we showed him other sights: Hearst Castle's Visitor Center and the otters of Morro Bay.

As we were driving north on Highway 1, we rounded the curve leaving Morro Bay, where Morro Strand State Park, currently scheduled for closure, stretches out to Morro Strand State Beach. "Do you ever get blase about where you live," he asked with a note of awe. We assured him that we appreciate this beautiful area every single day.

And I loved the book. He followed his heart into the homes and lives of his neighbors, after being shocked by a neighborhood tragedy. Reading it made me think more about getting to know my neighbors better. I invited two of them for dinner.

Thanks for writing this book, Peter and being willing to accept a stranger's invitation.

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