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Where The Heart Is

Community is hard to find in the world but when you live in Kings Park, you know the true meaning.

The one thing I will always value as a Kings Parker is I know the word ‘community’. Living somewhere new may have brought a closer commute to attractions – but it brought me farther away from something I thought was everywhere.

Recently I became a Stella & Dot Stylist which is a job that I took to carry me through the event off season. I got dressed up to walk my dog and I handed out invitations to my neighbors. I have lived in my current apartment for almost two years and I could not tell you who lives where on my street. While my husband does not understand this conundrum I had to explain.

I grew up on a block of kids remotely all my age. We knew who lived where, and the same neighbor was all of our beloved babysitter. Bus stop walks were made by friends, and for fun we would walk to 7-11. While many other people would look at us like we have six heads for saying this, we really had fun. It was like Kings Park was an open playground and all of us kids were safe because more times than most, we knew the people who lived in the houses we were walking by on a first name bases. Parents had little worry while we hung around town; because some relative or neighbor will see you spit in the street and call your mother when you got home.

While I may like to ruffle feathers about how Kings Park should update Main Street a bit – I still long for that feeling of community.

So, taking to my streets I said hello, passed out flyers and catalogues inviting everyone over on a Friday night for wine, cheese and jewelry. No obligation to purchase, just an opportunity to get to know each other.

It was not surprising to me that none of my neighbors showed up. Just some family members who I invited as back up. It did not upset me, rather it made me think. Back home (yes, Kings Park will always be home to me) if I had walked my dog down my block with invitations I would have at least gotten a phone call from someone.

Kings Park knows community like no other place I have ever been and it is something that the world completely lacks. While there may not be any one big thing that draws the world into town (expect for the KPCC that kids like to lock themselves into) there is something extremely rare and special about a town that could come together in the face of anything.

Sure every show has it’s drama – but it is the way that drama is resolved is what truly matters. 

And I know that it is not just home, but Kings Park is where the heart
is.

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Tom Scalli March 25, 2012 at 09:35 AM
Stephanie you are rite about Kings Park, it is like a family. Everyone does come out to help if need to be. Years ago it was different, everyone knew everyone, everyone now a days are in a hurry, both parents are working just to try to survive.When they come home a lot of them like to sit in front of the computer or even TV. We usually sit outdoors when the weather is nice, have our neighbors come and join us and everyone is always invited to join us. People walking by sometimes stop over for a bit. We have gotten to know not just our neighbors but people from around the block, a few blocks over and more. They are repeat friends now, that do come over and we all have gotten to know more of each other. Even the childrens school bus driver belongs here,he always dresses in costume for the holidays, can not wait to see if he dresses up before Easter recess, he is always smiling, laughing and the kids love him. One kid even asked him to go home with him so they can play together. This is KIngs Park, if somethings happen in the community everyone comes out to help, go to some of the schools events , and see how many people are there, or just the St Patricks Day Parade. Kings Park is Family. Tom Scalli
Itsawonder March 25, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Stephanie, I couldn't agree with you more about the "community" aspect of Kings Park. I grew up in a town of similar size not too far from here and though we knew all our neighbors, that's as far as it went. I moved to KP close to 20 years ago with my children who attended the schools. I was a bit surprised when I learned through time that everyone knew each other and people lived here for generations...(Parkies, I'm told they are known as.) People would kid around and say...Kings Park is like a movie where once you move in, you can't get out...lol...but then, who would want to. I know many people who moved elsewhere and couldn't wait to come back. When I first moved here, I was amazed at how the community rallied together to help families whose children were sick, husbands passed away, attended functions for children with special needs & breast cancer walks to mention a few. I liked the idea that a large portion of the school district personnel lived in Kings Park or graduated from the schools. People work harder to take better care of something they have a genuine connection to. I love how everyone is connected...sort of like the line from the theme song from the tv show "Cheers"....a place where everyone knows your name...KP is like that I hope that KP never loses this atmosphere...the "this is my home" atmosphere...It is what sets Kings Park apart and above other towns.
Stephanie Coiro March 26, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Right?! My husband always jokes that I grew up in a movie and I have unrealistic expectations of people. I guess when I was growing up if our neighbors were getting married we sat in the back of the church (even if uninvited) and waved to the bride as she left and she would ALWAYS wave back. When I see people or hear of people going through a tough time or needing anything I always reach out without a thought. So many times I hear from people 'why would you help strangers? You don't owe anyone anything.' I guess growing up in Kings Park it isn't about 'owing' it is about knowing you are blessed and helping someone who at the moment isn't feeling as such. There is good and bad everywhere, pros and cons, but one of the main 'Pros' in my book is the fact that when there is a sick kid in the community, Kings Park opens the doors to the middle school to have a fundraiser dinner for the family. When a family friend's husband passed and a bank account was opened, people reached out and deposited money so the family would stay on their feet. It is sad that not everyone grows up with the sense of community.
Stephanie Coiro March 26, 2012 at 04:28 PM
I think everyone knows my Great Uncle Matt - he was the commisioner of the St. Paddy's Day Parade last year. To this day if I see certian people they will stop dead in their tracks and tell the same memory they have of me as a baby. That is what I miss the most!

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