Moving to a new neighborhood is exciting, but it takes time to get familiar with your surroundings. While most landmarks and entertainment spots are easy to find, it might be a while before you find the gems.
There are hidden gems in every neighborhood including restaurants, pubs, and antique stores off the beaten path. There are also community groups you may not see advertised, including neighborhood watch groups. If you want to become an active part of your new community, the following apps will help:
1. Neighbors: a virtual neighborhood watch app
Created by Ring, a company that sells smart home security systems, Neighbors is an app that sends users real-time crime and safety alerts from police and neighbors. For example, if someone catches a thief stealing a package from their porch, they can send neighbors an immediate alert including security footage of the crime.
This doubles as a safety app, providing a way for neighbors to communicate during a disaster. Others use the app to help reunite lost pets with their owners.
How it works
When you download the Neighbors app, you enter your address. The app will send you alerts created by anyone within a certain radius of your home. You can comment on each alert, provide more information to the community, and share photos and videos.
The app allows you to expand your radius in case you live in a rural area and want to communicate with the larger part of town. Likewise, you can restrict your radius if you only want to focus on your immediate neighborhood.
Local law enforcement has access to all public posts made on the app; however, posting is anonymous. Personal information (like names and locations) are never displayed to other users including law enforcement.
Law enforcement can also post, and their posts are clearly identified as coming from law enforcement. Ring takes privacy seriously, and the company says your location will never be provided to law enforcement without your permission or a valid, binding legal demand.
Join in-person neighborhood watch groups
When you’re new to an area, you don’t know who you can trust. You might be wondering, who are my neighbors? What do they do for a living? Join your local neighborhood watch group, and as soon as you learn people’s names, do a few searches to find out who they are. You can’t be too safe.
2. Nextdoor: a private social network for neighborhoods
Similar to Ring’s Neighborhood app, Nextdoor is a private social network for individual neighborhoods. This app functions more like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. You can buy and sell household items, find a babysitter last minute, find restaurant recommendations, and get crime alerts.
3. ioby: a neighborhood crowdfunding app
ioby is a new spin on crowdfunding. The app connects neighbors to support local causes and create positive change in your neighborhood. The app was created to bring people together to fund neighborhood projects and discuss what their neighborhood needs.
Each user can start their own project or contribute to existing projects. Not all projects are looking for money; many need volunteers or material donations.
4. Foodspotting: an Instagram-like app for foodies
Foodspotting is being touted as the Instagram of food. Users post photos of meals along with where the meal came from. You can nominate dishes you like (hilariously called “nom” in the app) and those photos will get a blue ribbon.
You can also find photos of food by location, type of food, or restaurant. For example, if you want to know what the food looks like at a restaurant you’ve never been to, you can find out with this app.
Foodspotting integrates with Instagram so that any Instagram photos tagged #food or #foodspotting will automatically show up in your Foodspotting feed.
5. OpenTable: an app to find nearby restaurants
OpenTable is an easy-to-use app that lets you make restaurant reservations without making a phone call. The only problem is many restaurants won’t let you book through the app during peak times.
6. Urban Spoon
Urban Spoon is the ultimate app for finding nearby restaurants, and is most useful when traveling out of town. The app lets you browse menus, view photos of the restaurant’s food, and make reservations.
You should feel comfortable in your neighborhood
Everyone should feel comfortable in their own neighborhood. For most people, it’s a priority to know where the good food is.
If you’re hungry after reading this article, it’s probably a good idea to download Foodspotting first. Come back for the other apps after you’ve had a good meal.