An Open Letter to the Neighborhood
I have been in the St. Gregory Neighborhood since before it was awarded that moniker. I moved onto Clarendon Avenue in April 1984. Though not of that faith, I figured I couldn’t lose being sandwiched between Catholic elementary and high schools. I was secure that I wouldn’t have to worry about gangs, and with better-than-public schools, the property would hopefully retain, if not increase its value.
I have seen a lot of block walls replace fences in my alley. As a society, mankind in general has isolated himself from his ‘society’. Instead of being friends, neighbors fear each other. We don’t visit over the wall like we did a fence when hanging laundry, which we also don’t do. We don’t call each other, we e-mail or text. Our car windows are tinted so we can’t see each other when we drive in and out of our garages that barely open enough to let us out. We wouldn’t know our neighbors if they were in front of us at the grocery store.
Road rage, drive by shootings, transients panhandling on the street corners - I know they are near. I am grateful they are not here. Yet, I still can’t remember the last time I saw kids playing football in the street. Wait, oh yeah, it was our last Block Party.
I have been on the cold edge of massacre. I get a ‘warm fuzzy’ about being active in our community and the neighborhood events.
I happen to live near a gathering spot for a large family in the neighborhood, and many in the family know of me better than I know of all of them, having lived so close for so long. Their kids are as old as they were when I moved in. The peals of laughter coming over the wall from the collection of brothers, sisters, and cousins, are like the sounds of a field full of wildflowers. Yellow, green, red, violet, blue, pink, lilac. I am glad to be part of a community that uses things like barbeques and breakfasts to bond as opposed to the bombs and bullets it seems to take some places to unite, like Oklahoma City, Columbine, and now Aurora. To say nothing of the entire Middle East. There are better ways to make one’s mark than to see whom one can out-murder. Charlie Manson and Timothy McVeigh are NOT role models or heroes of any sort.
It seems youth/students bond together more than adults/co-workers. They must have an innate sense of safety in numbers that wanes with age. They are much more we/us minded than I/you/them/they oriented. Likely because of their unity of purpose to finish school and separate. Musicians (and other eccentrics) have ‘sessions’ to bond at, while real adults have ‘meetings’ or ‘appointments’ in uncomfortable chairs. Most artists are at their best when alone. Not since life-drawing class have they communicated with each other or shared their works in progress.
We have an excellent opportunity here and now to NOT make the Evening News. To quietly go on among each other, and with each other. Sharing, supporting helping, watching, and watching out for each other. To be a community. Among other definitions, community is described as: …a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals… [in sing. ] a similarity or identity… Joint ownership or liability… Ecology: a group of interdependent organisms of different species growing or living together in a specified habitat… A set of species found in the same habitat or ecosystem at the same time.
Speed Bumps or Yard Signs
In lieu of speed humps, a proposal has been suggested to make signs that residients would allow the Association to place in their yards. There is no cost to the resident.
Click the link below to see a sample of the signs. They are two sided, and waterproof.
Please RSVP to Jeannie @ 602-279-0413 if you would be OK with having a sign in your yard.
Newsletter .pdf Downloads:
Phoenix Neighborhood Services Report
New businesses in the area that may not be in complete accordance with zoning laws. These businesses include:
- Thrift Store (South/west corner of Indian School and 19th Avenue strip mall)
- Tattoo Parlor (Just north of Indian School, on East side of 19th Avenue)
- Zia is moving out of the Plaza in the North/west corner of Indian School and 19th Avenue. No new tenants have been named yet.
We can get listed on the Phoenix Neighborhood website to get information about what’s going on in and around our neighborhood. We need to provide a main and back up contact name and phone number.
The new ‘Slow Down’ signs are beginning to appear. They will be available on a first come-first serve basis at the Block Party. Or they can be obtained from Jeannie O’Connor.