I think it is difficult just to approach strangers and say hi Maybe I am shy or something, even if you are also a foreigner myself. We've got a couple of foreigners around the block, and I have hardly said hello. Recently, I heard them speaking together, they're French, and that's all I know. I'v tried sometimes to greet the newbies in the hood -seems there are more and more these days- and still it is not easy.
In the new, fancy high rise in the hood, I've seen a foreign Mom sending her kid to school every day. I'd love to say hi, she looks a bit Latina, but I also have the same ehem-ehem apprehension. I gues sit is easier as the guys say here if you are in an already social situation -a bar
- or language exchange.