Thursday, April 13, 2006

Moldy Thursday...

...we called it as kids. About 80 F here, tee shirt day, what better way to enjoy it than walking around to buy a bike inner tube & a bathroom plunger. A restaurant in the predominantly South American shopping area nearby has floor to ceiling windows all across the front that fold open, turning the place into a shaded outdoor cafe. Pricey for food, but the counter in there is calling for me to have a iced something or other. It's two long blocks, few vacancies, packed with cafes, small hair salons, a bank, real estate offices, doctors, dentists, & multi-purpose businesses catering to immigrant needs - tax accounting, bill paying, faxing, & general orientation; these mostly seem to be run by educated women who also act as counselors & fixers-of-problems. Very middle working class, & very busy on weekends. Although there's a lot of apartment buildings in the immediate vicinity, this is a predominently hispanic neighborhood of one & two family homes, but there's a lot of Caribbean people, too. I'm getting a high regard for these immigrants & children of immigrants that I hadn't considered until the debate made front page.Within only the two years I've been here, rising property values & house renovations have suppressed much of the local street action, with its evidence of drug use & sales. This particular corner will always struggle, but it's really quieted down. The owner of my building - he bought the place just before I moved in - put a super in Apt 1, brought in a monthly exterminator, finally installed a small laundry room, & levers problem tenants out - we had some druggies for awhile. To him, I'm ideal. I'm quiet, pay my rent on time, & get along with my neighbors. All of those became huge problems over the final 4 years in my previous abode, but when I leave here, I'm making certain that I go with solid reference.

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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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