Sunday, December 7, 2008

mah hood

My neighborhood is pretty funky, which confuses me sometimes but is, for the most part, perfectly fine. Mostly I enjoy it because there are huge houses all over the place, and they're all really old. I don't know most of my neighbors, and usually identify them with monikers having to do with their houses; there is "the pink and blue house with ron paul fanatics;" "the house where the school bus driver lives who parks her bus in front of our house EVERY DAY; "the creepy blue house where I have never seen anyone;" etc. I used to sit on my balcony sometimes, when it was warm, and just write down everything that happened. For example, seeing a woman come out of the creepy house would result in something like " sighting! pink capri pants!!"
The trees are huge, and there are all kinds of weird things like a broken down carriage and the remains of a stone building in my neighbor's backyard; the path through the woods to Saint Aloyisious church; the woods behind Lincoln School; the empty lot where a house burned down; etc. I also live walking distance from the jail and old asylum, resulting in cRaZy tYmEs such as when a prisoner escaped. lol.
The police station is a block away from my house, with its requisite shooting range; so from the time I moved here, two of the most frequent sounds I hear every day are A) gunfire and B) sirens. This, combined with the multitude of bus stops to Newark near my house, the jail, my house's proximity to Bloomfield avenue, and its location on the border of Verona and Caldwell, sometimes lulls me into feeling like I live in some kind of urban ghetto, until I look out the window and see all these trees. Also, Saint Al's and the Presbyterian church are within two blocks of my house, and therefore I always hear church bells - Saint Al's' play songs, whereas the Presbyterian church rings on the hour - which is actually pretty incredible. With the addition of Calandra's (as well as Dunkin Donuts) I now smell bread baking all the time, so with the bells and the bread I also sometimes feel like I live in some quasi -medieval shire.
I also have many crazy neighbors; they're more notable for their behavior than their houses. My neighbor behind our house has a rotating cast of people who live there. It's kind of impossible to describe their antix without living here, but a short list;
- once we came home from vacation to find a deerskin being stretched in the trees that seperate our property. Their son had returned from "wilderness camp."
- once we noticed huge plumes of smoke coming from their back porch, only to later find that they were cooking a "beer can chicken". This is when you put an empty can of beer inside the chicken while you cook it... for flavor? I don't even know.
- they lift weights in the driveway, which I personally could care less about; my dad thinks it makes it look like a prison yard.
also on my street is a boarding house for men and the occasional woman. I rarely see anyone leaving or entering. One summer night, I was walking home with some friends and a resident was feeding three or four skunks on the front steps. Which was not necessarily bad; it was just bizarre.
anyway. thas ware i live.

1 comment:

  1. Unlike the "quasi-medieval shire" feeling you get from our hood, K-dubs, I get more of a sense of bizarre detached Italian voodoo. This may be because I live on Forest avenue, a lower tier than Crane street in the caldwell heirarchy. My driveway is basically this ghetto alley. My dad calls it a parking lot, and whenever i drive people who have never been to my house into my driveway, they always start like buggin out and they say "oh, is this a shortcut?" Or "Do you really live in that decrepit aqua-colored barn?" Actually, that barn has just been converted into a musical instrument shop. At any rate, the intersection of Hatfield and Forest is chill in the summer because you can just lie in the middle. Don't ask. It's kind of a sick vehicular-manslaughter-russian-roulette. Only thing that blows is that there are always pigs. I once bent over on a seemingly still night to dump a 2-Liter bottle of diet pepsi into the storm drain. Then a pig just creeped up from behind and was all like "WOOP WOOP" and the officer told me not to pour motor oil in the storm drain. Jesus. The shistiest thing that happened though is when I decided to mail about thirty letters in the forest ave mailbox at around half past one in the morning. This old woman in a trench coat and a ferocious dog strolled past me three times in a row. And as if that bitch weren't suss enough, this white ferrari (i know, right?), i'm pretty sure it was a freakin F430 spider, pulls up and the guy gets out and gives the lady a flat white package and drives away. Just thought I would give you another side of this uhhh "urban ghetto" we live in.