Your Front Door Proximity

By Andrew Davidson
on Sept. 13, 2022


During my usual morning routine of scrubbing the internet of spelling errors and adding cat photos, I stumbled across On The Experience of Being Poor-ish, For People Who Aren't by anonymous author Resident Contrarian written back in February of 2021.

This was written a good while before this oncoming recession (and epic inflation / shrinkflation) will force many Americans to restrict spending on basics, and offers a viewpoint of someone who has had their water turned off at one point. It's a great read, the author has a natural style, and the story has a resounding redemption worth reading as well.

One part of his post resonated with me, where he mentioned:

I have 5 front doors within 15 feet of ours...
as a sign of extreme housing density due to inability to own property or choose what's best vs. what's affordable. I started doing the mental math of my friends and families front doors (as well as my own), to determine the 'poorness' of their neighborhoods, and the results seem to hold true. The richer you are, the farther and fewer 'neighbors' front doors will be to your own.

My closest neighbor's front door is 8 inches away from mine (two layers of bricks), but we're also twin rowhomes with opposite layouts. I have 3 front doors within 15 feet of mine. My West Philly neighborhood is considered poor.

In college, I lived in a high rise dorm in Brooklyn. I had 7 front doors within 15 feet of mine. It's well known that every college student is poor, and student housing is the most dense.

Is it proximity or volume that really matters?

I have suburban brothers who would have to extend the initial 15 foot boundary to capture any additional doors. These would be considered rich neighborhoods. I have 1 front door within 50 feet of mine.

I imagine naysayers are suggesting high rises might have millionaires living in them, but even if they get their own floor (expected), their 'front door' is still one story (14 feet) away from their upstairs/downstairs neighbor, and they'd probably say I have 2 front doors within 15 feet of mine when in fact you'd have to go all the way to the ground floor to access any other floor besides their own, as one might expect with higher security procedures with millionaire residents. Now it's hundreds of feet away, albeit carried in a box. I have 1 front door within 100 feet of mine.

Private gated McMansion? I have 1 front door within 1000 feet of mine (and probably no class, either!)