Monday, August 9, 2010

Welcome to Our Neighborhood

As most everyone now knows by now, we moved. Again. We are chronically unhappy renters. If it's not the location, it's the landlord; if it's not the landlord, it's the location; if it's neither, the place is probably falling apart; if it's none of those, we can't afford it. We often browse the Shorewest Realty website, dreamily evaluating the newly available bungalows in our favorite areas. How wonderful it will be when we have our own place and we can make it what we want.

Alas, that won't be for a good, long while--negative income does not a mortgage payment make. So for the time being we have settled, yet again. But I think it's our best bad option yet!

At 49th and Lloyd, most people relatively familiar with Milwaukee would say we've anchored ourselves firmly in the hood. True--if you venture two blocks north on our very street, you might feel a bit more comfortable with a can of Mace in your purse, especially after dark. But my notion of the hood has changed drastically since we've lived here, and I think the suburbanites are a little too heavy on the generalizations. You would be very correct to assert that this ain't Tosa. We have diversity galore, we've got the occasional boarded-up home, we've even got mounted police cruising our street (which to me, by the way, is freaking awesome). But we are also one block from Hi Mount (in fact, we share an alley with the lucky folks who reside there), and two blocks from Washington Blvd; in my mind these are two of the grandest, most lovely streets in the city. Therefore, if you ask me, we are moving up in the world!

Since school is out and I'm working part-time, I feel it is my duty to explore this wondrous area. I take long, slow jogs on hot sunny days, up and down the numbered streets, admiring the homes (some grand, some tiny, but each one different, unique) and the gardens (many mature and absolutely stunning, meticulously tended). I take my time through the 50s, especially down 51st and up 53rd, then follow Lloyd up to about 68th street and turn back through the Highlands to admire what is definitely NOT the hood (I made an entry about the Highlands a couple of years ago; historic and pristine, there are no boarded up homes there). I jog back down Washington Blvd, going out of my way to run through any available sprinklers, and end with a wild and half-dead sprint up Hi Mount, enjoying the shade of the huge canopy. Before you know it, I am home:

Yes, that is our monstrosity.   It's gorgeous, but it needs work. A LOT of work.  But that's ok; we're happy.  We have either one, or six years left in this city.  But we are home.

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