The City doesn't have yards, front walkways, or a tradition of hanging out on stoops as in New York to serve as the halfway space between the public and private realm, but common, or in this case grand, halls in a way do much the same thing. A resident can be in them and outside their home but not yet on the street, check the weather or the mail, or see who might be around whether the pizza man, a date, or someone sleeping on the doorstep. It's a last chance to gather yourself before facing the city.
Block of flats in Stockport evacuated following smoke grenade attack - Door set alight in incident firefighters say was 'malicious and dangerous'
30 minutes ago