On Saturday I sat with Dave on the sidewalk, in front of my house, right after the annual block clean-up kick-off event. We sat there taking in the beauty of our neighbors' work, watching Liam, Ella, and Izzy run freely on the sidewalk and parkway, Dave sighed and said, " We got it nice over here, my neice and nephew live in a warzone over by Kimball". " You don't get this around here, it's nice because only dose yuppies have nice blocks, family blocks. This is a family block, like the suburbs in the city. " I said it takes a lot of work to maintain this. He said, " Naw, enough people care about their own kids and others; you got people over there, and there, and over there, spread out around the block, people who care."
I've been asked where I might live if I moved from here, I replied that I have daydreamed about living in Galewood, Oak Park, or some other family oriented nieghborhood.
To me, this block isn't the suburbs or utopia,I have seen or lived in those type of places. Here gang-bangers, addicts, hustlers, prostitutes, sexual predators, all pass through and surround this space. But if Dave's neice can sleep on the porch, like she did this Friday night, and my kids can run around (somedays) without fear of falling and getting stuck by a needle, if families can feel a sense of relative peace, then it's worth it to me to stay. I've got my family oriented neighborhood right here and we've got too many connections and growing roots here in this neighborhood, there's too much at stake to stop what we have intentionally been doing here to leave.