Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cul-de-sac Alley

I happen to think we live in the best part of town.  Others might not agree, but screw them.  We bought our house about seven years ago, and in that time I've started to understand how people become territorial about their neighborhoods.  I never really got that before.  It's probably because I've never lived in the same house, or even in the same neighborhood, for more than four years at a time.

It used to baffle me that people organized themselves into violent gangs based on their street addresses.  I still can't fathom the violence part, but I can see how, when anchored in a geographical location by whatever forces--economics, peer pressure, inertia, comfort--people become defensive of their own 'hoods and critical of others'.

And sure enough, even among our yuppie friends, we talk like a bunch of street punks about those people who live in neighborhood X or suburb Y.  Well--we don't talk about popping caps in people's asses or anything.  We say stuff like, "I don't see how they can stand the traffic out there," or "I could never live at the beach--it's like a big frat party," or "I can't even tell one of those stucco McMansions from another." I'm sure they say things about our neighborhood like, "I'm just not crazy about all the homeless guys sleeping behind the grocery store."

read more...(You'll find yourself at Aiming Low.  Don't freak out.)


  1. the cul de sac i lived on was cool.. there were 32 kids on the block.. parents ranged in age 30-late 40'[s.. we watched out for each others kids, we knew the schedule of everyone's comings and goings.. i could tell the sound of a vehicle who was leaving or coming... we helped each other out during the '94 earthquake...i miss those days, our kids were small... now they are adults and most have moved away... me included. i know that kids bring people together, and where i live, mostly adults.. sad isn't it?

  2. If the homeless guys did't live in the alley behind the grocery store, they wouldn't be homeless, they'd be simple vagrants.

  3. I was so surprised at how competitive the Portland neighborhoods are. everyone thinks their hood is the best and the rest seriously suck.

  4. aw yeah.


  5. It's a buzz kill (read kill?) to jump to another site, find the position of where I was and start reading again.

    Boo-hoo, I'm a lazy bastard. Considering how much I'm paying to read your stuff, I should really just shut the hell up.

    (I'll finish your article in the future, I'm sure).

  6. @KBF--I do wish there were more kids right on our block. I have fond memories of spending some of my childhood in a townhouse community with a courtyard.

    @Ed--Is it worse to be a vagrant?

    @Andygirl--Any cool city has its cliquey neighborhoods, it seems.

    @Greg--Linky no work. What is it? Tell me!

    @David--I didn't think about the annoyance of having to find your place. I always feel a little guilty about doing these half-posts. Any ideas for a less irritating way to go about it? (Also, just send me your proof-of-purchase for a full refund.)

  7. To riff on David's comment, you'll have to jump to Aiming Low to read mine. :-)

  8. Suburbia = death. Glad you didn't drink the kool-aid :-)


Don't hold back.


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