When I tell people where I live the white collar folks ask, "where?" and the blue collar folks nod their heads in appreciation and acceptance. We've got plumbers, contractors, garage-door technicians, septic tank rooters, and a wide variety of unemployed. My neighbors burn their garbage to avoid paying for a disposal service and I wake up to the sweet sounds of diesel trucks grunting into the day.
We've got a bar down the street where a good number of people roam in tricked-out golf carts and motorcycles. We walk Dobermans and Pitt Bulls as opposed to Golden Retrievers and Collies. We are not patrolled by a Police Department, but by the County Sheriffs' Department. I called them once when a homeless man popped out at me from the bushes during a night run. Nice guys, those Sheriffs.
When we protested a re-zoning attempt by an idiot business-owner who wanted to pollute our water supply, the guy brought pictures of our hood to court as proof we didn't really give a shit.
He was right, in a way. We hoard old cars for fear of needing parts down the road....and because we don't know what else to do with them. I've seen couches and old kitchen cabinets on fire (remodeling project two doors down). I was sitting outside last summer, enjoying a beautiful evening, when a very large, shirtless man rode by with a very large dog riding shotgun in his golf cart. He had Journey's, "Don't Stop Believing" blasting loud and proud from a hotwired boombox and a 6-pack of Old Style perched precariously on the cart floor. An insanely humungous American flag waved behind him. Smile, nod, beer lift, and away he went. What did I think? Well, he didn't really give a shit what I thought. And isn't that the point?
When I bought my house I was in a rough state of mind (another story for another time). I didn't care about neighborhood stigmas and I certainly didn't care about what others did with their lives. But I remember hearing others mention a few things here and there about this hood being a bit trashy. Can't say we aren't. But like many flaws, the trashiness of my hood deserves appreciation.
I went for a walk with the girls tonight and snapped a few shots of our usual hood route.
It's no picket-fence perfection....but really, who wants that when you can be serenaded by the incredible lullaby of golf-cart Journey and domestic disputes that almost always end in outlandishly loud lovemaking?
Get out and appreciate what you're surrounded by, for I guarantee there's beauty there somewhere.