Today, after biking to Alterra on 1st St. (as I do almost every day in the summer), I ran into my neighbor Geri, who lives behind us on the alley. We started talking and I asked her again how long she has lived in the neighborhood. "26 years," she said, almost with some nostalgia. I asked her what she thought we might do to create more of a sense of community on and around our block. She suggested a block party.
"Has anyone ever done this here?" I asked."No, it was talked about once, but they never acted on it." I then suggested we get a core group together to brainstorm about how to create a sense of community and told her I would talk to her soon.
On my way home from the spot in front of Doerfler school where I had run into Geri, I made a conscious effort to ride past the house of the block captain for the 3200 block of Scott. I had introduced myself on Sunday night after the shooting on the corner of 32nd and Scott. She wasn't home, but I did make sure to say hello to the people outside the house and even meet a friend of theirs, who doesn't live here. It is really important to keep up relationships; it takes time and energy to build them.
Once at home, I called Will at LBWN to see what could be done to expedite the pocket park project, since it seems that the residents (myself included) are losing some momentum. The project seems vague and out of reach. In addition to this question, I wondered if our block might be amenable to planting flowers in the admittedly slim patches of very often ill-cared-for grass between the crumbling,original slate curbs and the sidewalks. This neighborhood is incredibly rich in history, but like a fine old book that has sat too long in a damp attic, it needs the care of professional restorers to bring it back to its original lustre. Stay tuned for more on actively pursuing the ideal neighborhood...