Sunday, July 19, 2009

dog walk

Here I am after a long absence. I know the world has been waiting. A multitude of changes have taken place since my last post. The focus of this blog is pretty narrow, though. I will only mention those changes in my immediate environs just beyond my own walls and the streets my dog and I traverse on our daily quick and dirty walk.

1. More abandoned and repossessed houses, subsequently demolished
2. More transitional people
3. More dirt and trash in the streets and in yards
4. More "For Sale" and "For Rent" signs that languish for months and months
5. More kids playing in the street (not necessarily a bad thing except when they will not move for traffic)
6. More street noise.

This summer has been the worst for bad neighbors. What do I mean by "bad"? Those who insist on "communicating" by screaming at one another, yelling profanities, who lean on their horns at any hour of day or night while revving their engines; who nonchalantly toss their chip and candy refuse while strolling down the street; who slam doors and, worse, constantly abuse their kids through violent, nasty words and physicality.

I'd love for Westsiders to share some creative ideas about: how we might begin to engage the aforementioned kids in productive, safe, free activities. I no longer believe that the adults in their lives can or want to change, or much less care. Question of the day: What does art have to do with it?


>> Pop • Culture << said...

Sounds like my part of the hood 2 years ago. Hopefully they they will transition away like my bad neighbors did. Art can help but in order to work with kids and not get arrested is a HUGE undertaking which dovetails into all the problems this country is facing. In order for true change to occur people must invest. Time AND money. Show me the money.

Anonymous said...

I have not seen these kinds of behaviors in my part of the West End,and I walk my dogs at least twice a day. Sometimes kids who have abusive or neglectful adults in their lives just need to see an adult who is polite and respectful to them. I think we need more block parties to get neighbors acquainted with each other. In the old days, when my husband grew up here, more neighbors knew each other and all looked out for everyone's kids. Today, some people will get very defensive of their children if another adult tattles on them to their parent. But if neighbors become more like neighbors, and become friends, they won't take it as a personal affront if you have a problem with their child doing something they shouldn't be doing. In my other neighborhood in the West End, we became friends with most of our neighbors, and could always discuss problems with them without becoming angry with each other. Maybe we should have block parties in the middle of January!