forest through the trees

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.

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3 responses to “forest through the trees

  1. You live in Richmond? I used to live in Forest Hill. You’ve done a really great job documenting life in a transitional neighborhood.

    • transitionalneighborhoodlowdown

      Thank you! We are north of the river, but share a lot of similarities with Forest Hill. I started this blog due to the lack of information regarding living in a transitional area, in print or on the web. There are plenty of scholarly articles discussing social implications of gentrification, but no online support group for those of us actually living it.

  2. Wow! I just did a random search on “transitional neighborhood” because I’m thinking about buying a place in one. I found your blog and started reading, not realizing you are in Richmond. The neighborhood I’m looking at is in the Fan.

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