Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Blocking the Street With the Neighbors

Tuesday night I joined some of my neighbors for the National Night Out. There was police tape blocking access the 3400 block of 22nd Avenue’s top and bottom. Mid-block there was a long table with pot-luck dishes we all brought, and a circle of chairs for conversation. Looking north and south, I could see similar arrangements in the next blocks. Most attendees were women, we men played a game in which we tossed two-ball bolos at hurdles made of PVC pipe.

The idea is to dampen crime through neighborhood solidarity. I buttoned up the house before I took my lemonade to the party.

It’s good to get to know, or at least recognize my neighbors. As the egg splashes off the fan, being able to trust the people around us is going to matter more and more. Some neighbors didn’t show, and I think there are a couple of feuds happening. The mother of the kid whose friends are accused of several years of vandalism was there, and that’s a good thing. I thanked Bill, who’s an alley presence because he restores cars in his garage, for interrupting a couple of kids who were going to tag our shed. I’d heard about his having done that, but it turned out it was the duplex’s garage. Thanks, anyway. It helps.

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