The Neighbor – HOOD

How do I describe this rust belt neighborhood, it didn’t always look like this.

We live on a main road in the hood. The last 10 years this area has changed and not for the best. We accessed the neighborhood when the husband moved back here 12 years ago. The thought of purchasing the house hadn’t even crossed our minds at that time. It was at the tipping point so we waited and watched.

The house needed to be cleaned out, the yard was so over grown that one could not tell where flowerbeds started and ended. Now as naive as this may sound we started to do some major landscaping in the front yard and side yard – we thought “we’ll set the example and see if anyone follows”. They did, yards were getting cleaned up, people were fixing up their homes and the street/ neighborhood was starting to look good. So a couple of months after we became married we decided to purchase the house and keep it in the family.

What the hell were we thinking! This beautiful relationship with our neighborhood lasted for about 2 years and then all hell broke loose.

Satan’s spawn moved in next door (have a special post about him) which would be the foreshadowing of things to come. From that day forward we coined our neighborhood as the “Hood” and she still hasn’t recovered.

We have 9 vacant houses on our block, which consist of about 31 houses, 10 of the homes are rentals and 12 are owner occupied – this is just one street. The neighborhood in which I reside has 7 streets in all, shows the tell-tale sign of economic loss. Lack of home ownership, increased rental properties with no garages/garages falling down, boarded up vacant homes with jungles of vegetation, and building code violations galore. Nothing beats a nice relaxing walk in the neighborhood. Watch out for the broken glass.

There is one thing that is very cool here, is that this neighborhood is multicultural. This is the only positive (some of the time) aspect of living here.

I know some are wondering why doesn’t the city do something – that will be a discussion for another time where that stiff drink will be in order.


4 Responses to “The Neighbor – HOOD”

  1. 1 Debra Weaver January 6, 2009 at 9:11 PM

    So tell me what rust belt city are you located in. I looked around on your site and couldn’t find a reference. Perhaps I’m old and blind, but nevertheless I’m curious. Thanks. You can e-mail me at

  2. 2 Michele January 6, 2009 at 11:27 PM


    I am keeping where I live, the city that is, anonymous at this time (its a very long story), it is in Ohio. So you are not blind and old never, age is just a number.

    I spent 24 hours in your city a year ago. I love the vibe of what is happening up there. Every where the husband and I looked there was pride, it was in your face. The city feels alive and has this energy which is lacking in mine. People said hello to us as we walked through downtown. We plan on going back to see the advancements with the city soon. Oh and that place in the parking garage, breakfast was awesome, I want to know where I can get that bread at.

  3. 3 Jaya January 19, 2009 at 7:56 PM

    Yikes, Michele. I can see why you tried to warn me about pouring a stiff drink first. It’s depressing when you’re making such a bold personal move and investing your blood, sweat, and tears into your domecile, but feel that the city you’re in is so stuck.

    Personally, I don’t have the stomach for city politics, but it sounds like you’ve got aptitude and passion for it. Hopefully you’ll meet up with some grass roots friends that you can join up with.

    Good luck and blessings for you, your family, and your “hood!”

  4. 4 Michele January 19, 2009 at 9:03 PM


    Your blog brings me peace. Thank you for your kind words.

    I started to search out other home blogs/food blogs/design blogs to actually get away from the reality of living here. So for about a year I have been a voyeur.

    Depressing, yes it was, frustrating it became, which turned into an anger. I hate politics, I am not a game player with hidden agendas and even though I was asked to run for council I declined because I know the games that are played and being a grassroots pain in the ass is actually how things get done by the people anymore – at least on some level.

    However, as I go through the events and write this down I have to laugh, its actually extremely funny now in a very sick way. I found the events over the last 8 years actually were preparing us little by little. So now with a stiff drink in hand I share the past, the present and the future – the house has a future at least – she will be a symbol of what can be if you only have some vision.

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