A recent long and talky visit with a set designer friend reminded me just how connected everyone is: news from one theater; career prospects for a particular playwright; exciting opportunities for various designers; actor news; successes and occasional disappointments... You find yourself rootin' for peoplelike they're on your local team, ya know?
Mind you, there can be a dark side - the gossip can get ill-natured. Jealousy and feuds are not unknown in this little world. But maybe that just makes it more, um, sincere? People care.
It's an odd contrast to the modern detachment most of us feel to out physical neighbors - the folks who live in the next apartment or on the next lot, but with whom we may have nothing in common. What with the invention of air conditioning and the automatic garage door opener, we may hardly see the guy next door, but these theater people I have actually sweated and bled with (when I staple myself, usually). They are the folks I feel concerned about in a day-to-day way.
Theater seems to be my real neighborhood.
Public domain image of Levittown - found HERE at an interesting article on housing