Saturday, June 28, 2008

Meeting the Neighbors

It can be difficult to meet your neighbors when moving into a new place. My new block seems to be the opposite. It is very hard not to meet people as there are usually a dozen or so young children riding bikes or playing on the sidewalk. The parents often are watching from their doorsteps. Everyone knows everyone. But not everyone speaks English. Most of my block is Mexican with some black families as well. One block south is almost all black, and one block north is almost all Mexican. My block, or 51st Street and South Marshfield, is the dividing point. Yet today we were united for a barbeque in my landlady’s backyard.


Since Tuesday, I have been living in a two-story building. My landlady and a Northwestern University graduate live with me. He is leaving in a month to begin medical school at Northwestern so my landlady had a going-away party, which also served as a neighborhood barbeque. It was a mixture of locals and my new roommates’ friends. I spent an hour or two grilling burgers and hotdogs before someone else took over so I could meet the neighbors. I spent most of my time chatting with the kids. They had some interesting perspectives on life. In many ways it is a different world on the southside, but I’ll save that for another blog. I then impressed some the young teenage boys by dunking on a low, crooked basketball rim in the backyard alleyway. That was all before they brought out the pinata filled with candy as the children gathered round. It was a great day to be living on the southside as the rain clouds held off and the White Sox beat the Cubs. More importantly, it was good to meet the neighbors.



8 comments:

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