McDowell’s new neighbors were not inherently more likable or friendly than his tower neighbors. So what had drawn them together? In some ways, their behavior was predicted by decades of sociology similar to Baum’s campus studies. The front doors of the town houses all led to semiprivate porches overlooking the podium garden. They provided regular opportunities for brief, easy contact. These porches were a soft zone, where you could hang out or retreat as you wished.