Recently, my husband and I were discussing the neighborhood. I was noting how much had changed since our first year here. My husband then said, “It’s not that the neighborhood has changed, you’ve just become comfortable with it.” I didn’t answer, but thought over that statement for a few days. Finally, I gave him my reply:
1. As was uncovered with more discussion, he has become more comfortable here. Given that he grew up in a very segregated city, living in a transitional and mixed neighborhood required internal adjustment.
2. Plenty has changed. Here’s a list:
- In my first year, I picked up litter weekly on our block. I haven’t done that since.
- On our street (three blocks long), six houses that were vacant have sold to proactive homeowners in three years.
- On our street, multiple rental properties have been repaired and rented to responsible individuals/families. There are now lots of children on our street, and decrepit houses are gone.
- The drug houses are no longer in swing on our street. There is a small-time operator that has been dealing for someone else, but there is a current neighborhood initiative that should soon abate his dealing.
- Ours was one of the roughest streets in our neighborhood when we moved here. That is no longer the reality we face.
- Boom boom cars are no longer an hourly occurrence. In fact, they aren’t even a daily occurrence on the street.
- Our neighborhood association has gained clout after shutting down a nightclub, and now gets real action when needed from our City.
- Our sector lieutenant, who replaced the one from our first year, has been extraordinary in working with the neighborhood to eliminate issues. He has gone above and beyond to ensure a safe and quiet neighborhood.