Saturday, January 27, 2007

my neighborhood

I wanted to express how much I like my neighborhood. Without jinxing myself or anything, the people are nice, crime is relatively low (but not non-existant or I'd start to wonder what was going on), the people who live here genuinely care about their residences, and they are a direct reflection of the eclectic creative personalities who this area is comprised of. I'm in close proximity to (read: walking distance) great restaurants, shops, parks, friend's houses, grocery stores, my art studio, downtown, it really is a great location. My apartment is a little smaller then I would want in an apartment but that's okay, it's worth having to compromise a little on space to have all those other benefits. We used to rent a big house in a crappy drug infested neighborhood, not harmless drugs like pot smoking hippies, but bad drugs, like crazy theif violent meth addicts. My landlord is the nicest landlord I have ever had, and I really am happy here. The neighborhood I live in is known as Sunnyside, and my art studio, which is about 9 blocks west and 9 blocks north is known as Buckman. I can ride my bike everywhere, and see people I recognize while I'm out and they wave hi or make small talk with me.

I really can't complain.

When I lived in New York, I also really liked the neighborhood I lived in too, although it was a different kind of neighborhood, it still was great. I think that area was known as Westerleigh, it's been a while so anyone local to NY correct me if I'm wrong...the landlord was kind of weirdo that reminded me of a giant pig and his son was a scary meathead who (rumor had it) murdered someone via vehicular manslaughter. But the apartment itself was unique, it was on the second floor of an old house, attached to 2 stores, and the kitchen was huge and the living room had window access to the roof of the bedroom on the first floor, which the cats loved to run around. I specifically remember seeing male cardinals around in spring. That apartment was close to a bus that would take you right to the ferry to Manhattan, and was walking distance to pizzerias, bagel shops and delis, a little store everyone I knew called "Viet-nam Bob's" (I can't actually recall what the real name of that store was, but I hear that it's no longer there).

There were a couple of gas stations nearby, and one night when I was hanging out with former roommates, we witnessed a late night gasoline mishap, and for some reason the gas was shooting all over the gas station property as if a geyser erupted. The employees at the gas station quickly grabbed all the rags they could find, and started blotting up the gas and shoving the rags under dilapadated vehciles also on the property. This scene went from funny to very dangerous, and we quiclky called 9-1-1. Shortly thereafter, the entire block was closed down, and there were so many emergency personnel there I hoped that there wasn't any other emergencies occuring anywhere else. It amazed me that they were trying to cover the whole situation up.

Usually, at that gas station there wasn't any trouble like that, in fact, that gas station seemed to be completely dead for the graveyard shift, and often we could see the night attendant through the plate glass windows sleeping in the office chair. The gas station had their phone number on the awning, and we would prank call this sleeping overnight guy and laugh about it for hours. I think he eventually took the phone off the hook.

No comments: