Increasingly my favorite thing about Las Catalinas is the unplanned causal interactions I have with the people there. I find myself wandering around town just to see who I’ll bump into. There is something about it that just feels so good, and for me it happens more and better at Las Catalinas than it does anywhere else. That’s why the Susan Pinker video above caught my attention. There is emerging evidence that exactly the kind of casual, friendly face to face contact that happens so naturally at Las Catalinas is the biggest key of all to health, happiness, and longevity. Online does not cut it. Ms. Pinker, has a book out on the subject, The Village Effect.
“Drawing on scores of psychological and sociological studies, Pinker suggests that living as our ancestors did, steeped in face-to-face contact and physical proximity, is the key to health …” – The Boston Globe
I believe it. Of course I love being with family and close friends at Las Catalinas, but that’s not what I’m talking about now. I’m talking about chatting and trash-talking with the people around the rocking chairs at Pura Vida Ride in the morning. Teasing Christian, the waiter at Limonada, about how he can take detailed orders for a dozen people, write nothing down, and get it all right every time. Showing a kid I meet out in the waves how to boogie board. Saying hi to people having coffee on their porches. Marveling with someone I’ve never met as we come upon the large iguana that lives on Paseo del Mar. Las Catalinas is intentionally made to make these kinds of encounters easy and natural. The title of the book gets it right: these kinds of things happen best in a true village environment. Without cars. With lots of beauty.
I realize the irony of pointing this in a blog post. With a video. Oh well. Let’s talk about it in person. Rocking chairs, 8:00 am, most any day I’m in town.