Neighbor. Hood.

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

I’ve thought about writing a Post on this topic for a while but have hesitated. Discussing the people who make up a neighborhood & how their actions influence it can be divisive. Black & White with no Gray seems to be the outcome. My side, Your side. We are both rubber, We are both glue.

This year marks 25 years I have lived in my neighborhood. The houses here were inexpensive & highly available in 1992. White Flight had taken hold & a good deal of this area was minority, African American & Puerto Rican. Crime was rampant: drugs, prostitution, gangs. HIV, AIDS. Why did we buy a house in this scenario? Because we got a big house with a big yard & a real honest to goodness driveway, which is a plus during the winter. Also the location is within easy walking distance of downtown & about a mile from the Canadian border. It was a chance taken not for the present but for the future.

There were many years the house was broken in to. Replacing doors, even metal doors with metal frames was a habit. Looking out the window at 3am to a view of hookers servicing clients in the front yard. Syringes littering the yards, stuck in the poor old maple tree. Used condoms dumped on the lawn. Coming home to find graffiti written across the front door in black magic marker. (Handy hint: Simple Green, straight out of the bottle, is a life saver in removing ink.) I will not let these bastards get me down was my mantra. This is my home.

Then about 10 years ago young professionals discovered what a bargain this area was. Beautiful homes waiting to be loved & restored. Great location to the downtown. And yes, they were/are for the most part Caucasian. The LGBTQ community is a strong presence; the next street over from me, which was a notorious drug & gang street, is now lined with restored homes & gardens. It is thriving. It is reborn. People want to move here, invest here. As a consequence, the value of my property has quadrupled.

There is a new wave of immigrants from Yemen. An abandoned theatre a couple blocks away is now a Mosque. These are quiet, law abiding people who keep their homes neat & make sure their children go to school. They are what we wish for in a neighbor.

Not long ago I drove through an area of the city that just a couple years ago was a dump. Homes that had garbage literally covering the yard, weeds up to my waist. Then a major hospital decided to build a medical campus nearby. Thousands of educated professionals would be employed there. Many looked at the cheap fixer-uppers (more like miracles needed) & bought these homes to live in near by. And guess what …. the local population is upset that they are being priced out. Priced out of an area that many could not find the gumption to bend over to pick up the trash or burn a calorie to pull a weed or scrub the graffiti off the buildings. I feel no pity.

Is this wrong? Or is it the fact that in getting older the realization of being responsible & taking responsibility for ones’ actions becomes ingrained, at least in those willing to listen?

How many of you have gone through the resurrection of your neighborhood? I like this area, I like the neighbors.

Is this bad?

More Posts by SJWNY


46 thoughts on “Neighbor. Hood.”

  1. sjwny, thanks for a thoughtful thread topic, a story multiplied around the country.  I think of capitol hill and Georgetown areas of blight turned bright again.

    there is the converse too, sadly, with the exponential growth of the populace…. not necessarily toward slumdom, just too crowded and too noisy for comfort and in too many cases (florida for instance) destruction of the environment and cruel displacement of flora and fauna.  mostly an issue of a “foreign” immigration that has become the new norm:  people moving in to wildlife habitat where they don’t belong and where they cause great destruction. in those cases, the harm comes not from who they are or the amount of graffiti and trash they litter but the number of people themselves.


  2. Thanks for your take on a tough topic, SJ, especially as it comes from real life experience, not uninformed assumptions.

    An aspect of what you describe — our neighborhood in DC went through a similar transformation — is redlining by banks, meaning that entire neighborhoods are left out of the American Dream. Simply put, those who cannot get mortgages must rely on whatever their paychecks, if they get one, allow for housing. There’s nothing left for home maintenance, conditions deteriorate, and hopelessness sets in. Once those who can get mortgages (and equity loans for improvements) come to town they’re shoved out.

    This happens in minority urban neighborhoods and white rural areas. The demise of community banks that keep and loan out the money in their neighborhoods has been a huge factor.

  3. “mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa” says I who now lives and brings the woes of civilization into what once was a wilderness full of wildlife ranging from bison to bear, but because of over development or farming reduced to  critters like deer, ground hog and wild turkey that could adjust to the human invasion.

  4. Education is the key; no surprise that this city has a terrible school attendance record. Easy to blame “officials” yet the cultivating & tending of a child’s mind falls squarely on the parents. I believe that the failure of parents to do so constitutes child abuse & should be treated as such. Now that would be revolutionary. Responsibility. Oh my.


  5. I’ve always been interested in the history of neighborhoods, would like to hear about others as SJ has done. Ours in DC has gone from industrialists and robber barons in the early 1900s to a neighborhood for rising blacks know as the “Strivers” section (Duke Ellington played at a club down the street from us) to emergency WWII housing for mostly women office workers, then a long and pitiful decline until tax breaks for restoration in the late 1970s sparked a revival that continues today,

  6. The home in which I spent my early years was near LAX.  Almost all the men were post WW II engineers and worked at the aircraft factories or the studios.  They were all white.  It was solidly middle class, well educated, and quite nice piece of suburbia.  The high school I graduated from was with one exception all White.

    Over the years, black populations moved out of Inglewood and steadily moved west and the area became mixed black and Hispanic.  It is still quite neat, well kept and the only real difference I can see is that homes have been expanded to get an extra bedroom or bath out of what were originally 2 br 1-1/2 bath houses.  The High school is now virtually all hispanic and black, still well attended with a good curriculum and sports record.

    Why did it not go through a downturn with the “block busting” activities of the late 60s early 70s?  The difference seems to be education and people desiring to live where their talents afforded them to be.  There were a lot of areas  of LA that went downhill and then came back.  There are still areas where it is dangerous to be.  In all cases it is drugs, crime and a population trapped with little education and almost no hope.

    If you can’t see your way up, you can’t see your way out.

  7. For those who remember Chef Sheila, she just posted this from a fried of hers in Mexico:
    From my friend and Culinary Institute of America classmate Denise Ordoñez Flores. Pass this on and please. $2, $10 is nothing in these times.
    (We are fine, but it is my neighbor. Children are trapped in a elementary school so far 22 didn’t survive. there are 30 more under ground. PLEASE HELP!!!!! )

    My dear friends abroad: are you worried about the earthquake in Mexico and want to help?
    Here’s a way! In times like this, Mexico really needs your solidarity. Brigada de Rescate Topos Tlaltelolco A.C. (‘Mexican Moles’ in Spanish) is a non-profit professional rescue team formed by volunteers specialised in natural disasters –especially earthquakes– who have always been there for other countries in times of need.
    Due to the emergency in Mexico City, the Topos need financial resources (MONEY!) to fund their rescue activities (which will continue tonight and over the following days).
    PLEASE donate via PayPal to the e-mail, any amount will be truly appreciated.
    How to do it:
    1. Go to ‘Pay for goods and services’
    2. Write down the e-mail account
    3. Decide the amount and continue.

  8. I’ve lived in American suburbia once, and it was nice having newish heat, a/c, electric, plumbing, roof, etc, but it wasn’t great. With the exception of that one two year stint (and my first purchased house – a tiny post WWII brick bungalow) I haven’t lived in a house built after 1945. We’ve lived in a prewar home that was cheap and just acceptable but nothing special that was the older home surrounded by 50s & 60s ranches, then in two Victorian homes that took a ton of love to bring up to nice, and now in a too large for 3 people craftsman  built around 1920 that we have literally restored, replaced or refinished every surface and service on the inside except the first floor floors. The neighborhood is not overly dense and is filled with everything from very young families to people who’ve lived and retired there. It’s not a close neighborhood but everyone kinda knows most folks. It’s Lilly white, but it’s fairly reflective of the town in general. There is some fair percentage of mostly black folks in the downtown area, but the town in general isn’t very diverse.


  9. As to my growing-up days our neighborhood was all-white on a golf course, but thanks to integration I was not completely isolated — my junior high and high school population was half and half. Tho students more than less self-segregated, my common ground for making black friends was playing football, participating in theater and serving as class president every year (I needed their votes).

  10. I think Whiskey Jack and Mrs Jack are the people who have done the right thing about their neighborhood

    It wasn’t about hoping gentrification would come but how to make the neighborhood work for diverse people.  Particularly people of all incomes.

    I am in awe of what they have done.  Too bad more people can’t be like them.

    They still need some more money not much all things considered.

    Please give if you can




  11. As for me I grew up in a middle class neighborhood mostly white but went to an fully integrated high school

    The worst neighborhood I ever lived in was on west 14th St in NYC in1968 chicken fights in the streets.  A little scary but I never felt threatened.

    In SF I lived on Russian Hill and was involved in my neighborhood association. Among the other thing we did was sweep the street to avoid having to move our cars for the street sweepers.

    Now I live on 20 acres in Western Sonoma County and the fights with the neighbors are about water and pesticide use.

  12. I grew up in the house my great-grandparents bought/built.

    Fuel-efficient cars have turned it into a sort of suburb of a larger town about 2o mikes away.

    Dallas is a never-ending string of suburbs with no space between.  My neighborhood has been decline safety-wise),  despite rising housing prices.  Look at the crime watch section of any real estate website.  It’s eye-opening.  Damded drugs, street & perscrption are to blame for most of it.

    Public schools in TX leave much to be desired.  A friend with the Dallas/Mexican-American COC, had a difficult time finding employees who were functionally literate and had basic critical thinking skills.

  13. Going back to Ganny M’s post

    For anyone serious about survivalist gear – a solar oven.  You can even make one yourself.

  14. sj…  I don’t think it’s “bad” to want to live in a nice neighborhood free from crime.  I wouldn’t want to live among junkies no matter their ethnicity or whatever either.

    I grew up and have always lived in small towns.  Yup… they are white…  and middle class.  I make no apologies because I love to have some room to breath.  Yup…  I have to drive a ways to find amenities…  I’m ok with that trade-off.  And I love living among the deer, bear, turkeys, skunks, raccoons, bats, and bird of prey…  but I could live without the snakes 🙂


  15. Our first Victorian was on West Main St. in an area that was once grand.  It’s called Quality Hill, but you wouldn’t name it that now.  There are some beautiful homes in the couple blocks we were in the middle of, but they are in various states of repair and disrepair (ours looks like hell now – clearly the subsequent owner has plans but hasn’t moved past the demo stage).  We were directly across from the Clay St./ Monticello area – best know to locals as where the heroin and meth deals in our little town go down.  It’s a mixed neighborhood – sorta nice-ish up on the Clay St. end and pretty awful down on Monticello where there are a ton of cheap rentals and inexpensive homes.  We were between Main and Pike Streets and there was a lot of traffic between the Clay/Monti and Grant/Linden residential areas, which have a lot in common.  Wasn’t where I wanted LP to be raised.

    LP ended up with friends of both races in the Clay/Monti area because of school, and one of his favorite people in the world – one of his HS basketball coaches – a 6’5″ monster of a guy with tattoos and dreadlocks, who played at Cleveland State, lives there.  He took up for LP at a soccer game when LP was getting close to the state goal record where some of LP’s privileged white “friends” from our neighborhood were dissing him on the sidelines.  His words were, “What have you got to say about my boy?”   The punk white kids didn’t have a lot to say when he confronted them – although knowing them they were muttering the N-word as they left with their tails between their legs.

    Long story short, LP never saw race the way I grew up seeing it.  While I like to think I’m not racist, my neighborhood was a white middle class suburb of Birmingham in the 50s & 60s and there weren’t any black kids in my schools. My only real contact with black kids my age was through track.  On the other hand, one of LP’s first best friends was a black kid with white parents and siblings and his favorite coaches in the world were his soccer coach (white) and basketball coaches (both black).  Now he’s in college in NY in Harlem and is decidedly in the minority at the school and in the neighborhoods around the school, and is very comfortable there. I’m happy to see that transition from generation to generation.

  16. Have compassion upon us and upon our children. Help us bring an end to pestilence, war, and famine. Cause all hate and oppression to vanish from the earth

  17. SJ: Love the topic. Really got me rambling down memory lane. I am actually living in the city of my birth. In fact, I’m living in the neighborhood of my birth. I never would have thought that I’d be back here in my old age LOL! I live in Holyoke, MA which in its heyday was called the paper capitol of the world. The city has gone through many incarnations since I was a girl, and this neighborhood is a microcosm of those changes.

    Back in the day this neighborhood, and indeed, the city itself, was really subdivided into parishes. This small neighborhood had the French population (Canucks like my family) with the French church and the French school serving them. I began my school life at Immaculate Conception, the French School. A couple blocks away was Rosary, the Irish Church and school. I left the neighborhood when we started traveling through the generous auspices of the USAF 😉 but it was always home base because my grandmother lived here. Whenever we came back on leave or in between postings, this was home! My grandmother always made us our favorite coming home meal on our first night home. It was a particular sausage that was made right here that we couldn’t get anywhere else. Sadly the company went out of business in the ’90s and I’ve never found a sausage that compares 🙁

    We moved back to this area when I was a freshman in high school and I went to the Irish school because the French school only went up to 8th grade. By that time a small Puerto Rican community had started to grow and the population was much more diverse. I should mention that most of the housing in this neighborhood was comprised of tenements, which we called blocks. There were also some row houses near the river which had been build as housing for factory workers in the 1800s. The neighborhood was close to many paper mills and other factories. A very typical looking working class neighborhood in a New England industrial city. This neighborhood was considered the poor part of the city by many, but there was also a Polish neighborhood which was about the same economically. Yes they had a Polish church and school! My mother was a snob and would never let on where she came from and we no longer spoke French around the house because she thought it would make us appear ignorant and low class. But I actually loved the neighborhood I came from.

    Once my grandmother died in 1970 I had no reason to come back. All my former friends and relatives lived in better neighborhoods or in local suburbs. By that time I was an Army wife and traveling once again. I moved back to the area in the early ’80s and one day one of my friends and I were talking and she mentioned how much the old neighborhood had changed since I’d last seen it. We took a ride through and I was amazed. Now there were a lot of fairly cookie cutter style single family and two family houses where the tenement blocks used to be. Rosary church and school were completely gone and a large modern apartment building stood on the land they once occupied. I now live in that building which bears the name of the former church! The only thing left as a remembrance is the bell from the church steeple that sits in a little park on a corner of one of the streets that used to surround the original holy ground. A few years ago they tore down the French Church which was very beautiful. I shared a picture of it on twitter and then a picture of the monstrosity they replaced it with…a plain, ugly wooden box! If it weren’t for a small steeple you wouldn’t even know it was a church.

    The neighborhood is mainly Puerto Rican now and all the stores and landmarks of my youth are gone, as well as many of the old paper mills and factories. I still go out for walks and I shop at the little Puerto Rican market a couple blocks away. I marvel at how little it resembles the neighborhood I grew up in. Now and then I walk down to the river and stand on the plain, concrete bridge that was built in the ’90s to replace the original trestle bridge that had so much more character. The river hasn’t changed and I’m happy about that, but they did block off the road that leads to the dam where we used to go parking and “watch the submarine races”. Does anybody remember when we used to go parking? Do people still do that? LOL!

    KGC: Yes, I have the solar oven in my Amazon shopping list. I put everything I might want to buy at some time in there. I have a lot of different sections/lists. The solar oven is in the one I call “Go Gear” 🙂 There are a couple different kinds and they’re very portable.


  18. as for around these parts –if any credence can be given to a rumor a friend overheard recently, this semi-backwoods area is threatened one might say by a severe culture change soon.  it’s been whispered around that THEY’re coming and buying up the farmland.  it’s feared the old ky way of life – moonshine, tobacco, gambling, famous stink-weed mj of the cornbread mafia etc – will disappear.  property values might increase and therefore property taxes will too! oh my the turmoil, probably a bit of religious unsettling amongst the majority resident catholics and evangelics not understanding THEM.  no boozing, no laying about, no good ole boy under the table dealing, no short skirted girls with pompoms at the h.s. football games.  just hard work and clean living (“god forbid” it’s murmured) if it’s so.  yep, the amish are coming.

    well, better than oil wells and mono-mega gmo ag I guess. 🙂

  19. My connection with other races came from constantly moving.  When with one uncle on a grape ranch it was the families of pickers who came in annually.  When with my mother, it was with her one woman UN spread of friends.  I once wrote about her by saying, “We danced with the Greeks and prayed with the orientals”.   As a teen in Hollywood it was cokes at a club mixing with those who were there when it became gay adults after the sun went down, and with another group of friends actually going to black clubs.  One of the advantages of being in a constant “visitor” state of existence is that people pretty well ignore what you are doing as long as they don’t get calls from the police.

    It was a more innocent age I suppose, but it taught me early that the majority of people are actually pretty nice and fairly easy to get along with as long as you make a bit of an effort to do so.


  20. That tree was easy walking or bike riding distance from the house…..named Angel for the family who at some point owned the land. Used to just be in the middle of the woods down a dirt road……it’s still down a dirt road but it’s now a city park with hours, a gate, a gift shop, no climbing, and not so much woods around it. None of which bothers me……I had my time with the tree and now the tree belongs to the woooorld…….I imagine it looked much the same to the Edisto, Stono, and Yemassee tribes who probably hung out there every now and then, when it was only a thousand or so.

  21. somewhat on the subject of being a neighbor.
    excerpt from real change by street sense:
    Street Sense vendor runs into Sen. Al Franken and turns it into an interview

    …the senator sat down at the Hart Senate Office Building with Martin for a formal interview and some laughter.

    Is there an aspect of D.C. that says “home” to you?
    I moved to Tenleytown [a neighborhood in D.C.] six or seven months ago. We moved from Capitol Hill, where my wife and I had been for about seven years. We’re now two blocks from my daughter and her husband and two of our grandchildren. We bought kind of a nondescript apartment that doesn’t feel like home yet — but their home does. It’s a big help for my daughter and her husband. My wife loves it, and I love it too, if I get over there. I’ve been over there twice this week and got to see my grandchildren.

    I often run into you while I’m in Tenleytown, a fairly wealthy area. And my colleague once saw you sitting on a bench in Franklin Park, talking with a man who appeared to be homeless. Do you do this often? What do you talk about?
    I don’t think I do it terribly often. I might talk about the person’s circumstances, or I might not. I just talk about whatever he or she wants to talk about. I don’t want to be intrusive. I just talk about whatever happens to come up, such as whether they enjoy the park or spend a lot of time there. I don’t really have an agenda when I do that. I feel comfortable with pretty much anybody.

    What do you think is key to ending homelessness in the United States?
    I think there are a lot of keys. I’m a big champion of cradle-to-career models of education. Geoffrey Canada of the Harlem Children’s Zone has a good approach. They have a Baby Academy where parents learn how to be parents. It starts very early.

    You have to attack it in different ways. One, you need housing. The best cure for homelessness is a home. There are a lot of homeless people in America who have one difficulty or another, whether it be mental illness, addiction, a criminal record or whatever.

    We have a thing we do in Hennepin County where I’m from, in Minneapolis. The county Medicaid system has changed because of the Affordable Care Act, and they use some of that Affordable Care Act money to get people housing.
    If you get housing for someone who, say, has an addiction or a mental health issue, then they won’t get arrested, and they won’t end up in the emergency room. Those outcomes are very expensive for the county, especially the hospital and the jail.

    Instead, if they are in a home and you can get them wraparound services — including a navigator to help, because sometimes all this stuff is very complicated to qualify for and there’s a lot of bureaucracy — you can also get them either some kind of treatment and job training. That’s something that can actually save the county money.

    Right now I’m trying to do something with Tom Tillis, a senator from North Carolina, a Republican. Our staffs have gotten together to try to find ways to continue with pilot programs like that, so we can find a model that is proven to work. I think providing a home does a number of things. One, emergency rooms don’t get tied up. Jails don’t get tied up. But also, more importantly, it improves people’s lives.

    It starts with the premise that the best cure for homelessness is a home. You get someone housing and their life becomes much, much, immediately better in terms of the ability to know where you’re going to be and to be able to buy food and all that stuff.

  22. This reminds nds me of the walk-around-your-neighborhood thread, but more in-depth.

    I live in the most diverse area of DFW, so they say on the teevee.  Those new to the area are usually new to this country, as well.  They tend to be much better neighbors than the rest.

  23. ny times via msn: Mueller Seeks White House Documents Related to Trump’s Actions as President


    One of the requests is about a meeting Mr. Trump had in May with Russian officials in the Oval Office the day after James B. Comey, the F.B. I director, was fired. That day, Mr. Trump met with the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, and the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey I. Kislyak, along with other Russian officials. The New York Times reported that in the meeting Mr. Trump said that firing Mr. Comey relieved “great pressure” on him.

    Mr. Mueller has also requested documents about the circumstances of the firing of Michael T. Flynn, who was Mr. Trump’s first national security adviser. Additionally, the special counsel has asked for documents about how the White House responded to questions from The Times about a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower. That meeting was set up by Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, to get derogatory information from Russians about Hillary Clinton.

    Ty Cobb, the lawyer Mr. Trump hired to provide materials related to the Russia investigation to the special counsel and Congress, has told Mr. Mueller’s office that he will turn over many of the documents this week.

  24. Goodness so many good topics.

    My history, I grew up at the end of a mile long dirt road. The nearest neighbor was 1/2 mile away through the woods 3 miles away by road. So going to school was a culture shock, I still remember.  Diversity in our school was based on religion, It was the family who attended the holy roller church(Assembly of God) The rest of us were either connected to the Baptist church or were Methodist.

    I was 4 when I saw my first black person. We were in the west bottoms of Kansas City, my dad was a truck driver and we were there to pick him up. I pointed and  said “Look mommy a n*gger”.  No hate or prejudice in the statement, It was the only word I knew to describe what I saw. I lived in that sort of world.

    I also remember  meeting my first Catholic, Jew and Atheist. I didn’t know it but I was an atheist at the time too and having difficulty with it. But it was the first time I ever heard someone  speak it out loud.

    So how did I end up here, lol. I have to blame 2 things- A curious inquisitive mind and belonging to a generation who  changed and were changed by   the world. It is amazing how far we have come.

    But through it all I still take some of the core values in stilled in me growing up of family, friends and neighbors.It is kind of how my loyalties line up , family, friends, neighbors, and then the rest of the world.

    Where ever I have been I always try to be and old fashion neighbor. It has served me well, if I was dealing the neighborhood crack head or  our Cambodian neighbor, Grandma Eng.


  25. Yeah, Lee……he’s welcome to whatever peace he’s found to rest in but I don’t need a statue to read Bruce Catton……

  26. crackers – Very interesting link & loved the Michael Franti song at the end.  He’s my fave.

    jack – That reminds me of dodgeball in elementary school.  They split us up by religious denomination (in a public school) instead of letting us choose teams.

  27. In 1985 I decided  to sell out the cattle herd and go to the city. Like many of my fellow  immigrant neighbors it was only going to be temporary. Work for a while save up some money and return to “Gods country” Life has a way of changing when you never expect it.

    In 1989, I bought a house, Paid $9000 for it, thought I had got a great deal until I learned that their best offer had been $5000. Then I found out why, in the first 3 years, there were 3 shoot outs in front of my house. It was at the height of the crack epidemic and the low point for this neighborhood.

    This neighborhood never experience white flight, but it did experience flight to the suburbs. As I tell people what happened was “all the folks with get up and go got up an went” What was left were old people with no where to go and their ner-do-well grand children. When they died their worthless grand children inherited grandma’s house, nobody else wanted it. Or the local slum lord bought it and rented it out to who ever would pay rent once in a while. Then in 95 a Hispanic couple from California bought a house around the corner, they paid $12000. All the old folks shook their heads in disbelief that any one would pay $12000 for a house in the neighborhood. I t set right in the middle of some of our worst rental drug and party houses. Next thing  we knew another Hispanic family bought a house then the drug rentals started to be rented by Hispanics. Soon all the gunfire stopped and the Mexican music started blasting out. The old people  complained about the loud music and I just laughed. After all which is worse the sound of gunfire or a mariachi band.

    Our neighborhood will never be gentrified, we don’t have the housing stock.  Our typical house is a 700 to 900 sq ft bungalow, A good many are shotgun bungalows and are smaller than that. We are attractive to immigrants because our houses are better than where they came from.  We need immigrants to keep up these neighborhoods. They buy these small houses and invest time and money fixing them up.  They saved this neighborhood.

    What I am seeing is what I am calling the Trump effect. Houses that had been rented to Hispanics are now being rented to trash. It is my latest concern.


  28. “I will not let these bastards get me down, was my mantra. This is my home.”


    What discovered was I had to take a tough attitude or be run over. In that kind of neighborhood you can’t be intimidated.

    I think this may be why this is Mrs jack’s and my theme.

  29. A wonderful post on aging neighborhoods.  Our nests, our communities are so much to us and to see so many homeless and in distress because of hurricanes and earthquakes?  Heartbreaking to see such loss of connection to the earth…loss of possessions.  Makes me appreciate all I have.  Nice post.

    Oh susana!  RGA and Martinez...did they violate SEC law?  wilbur ross is mentioned.   I think when the Mueller investigation is complete?  The RNC will be proved to be a complicit part of the russian active measures campaign against our democracy.   How high will the corruption go in the republican party?

    Gossip …missing the mooch who is in Rome with his gf, the former Mrs. Gavin Newsom.  Still denying paternity of his stb ex-wife.   pam anderson and assange in love.


  30. KGC

    Thanks for the shout out for our fundraiser. We are getting very close. We are doing a neighborhood  yard sale Saturday and believe we will have  raised our goal. by the end of the day.  It has been an interesting process and all the hurricanes  have made it challenging.  But we have had good local community support. All the Trail mixers who donated early really gave us the momentum we needed. Thank you all!!!!


  31. Poobah, lol!  Have played golf with Mrs P & LP at Pirates Cove. Best & kitschiest links in Orlando. Then to Bonefish Grill for better fish than we get here.

  32. pogo, are you still watching ken burns’ Vietnam? rough one last night.  am appreciative and impressed by his researchers finding the old film and vets of the v.c. in addition to the u.s. folk and film.

  33. ny mag:

    Preet Bharara, the former U.S. attorney in Manhattan who was fired by the Trump administration in March, posted a video on Twitter Wednesday in which he interviews himself on why he’s launching a new podcast. “I’m doing a podcast because I care about justice, I care about fairness, I care about amplifying my voice … and I couldn’t get a TV show,” he jokes.
    Bharara is making progress on that front. According to Politico, he’s been hired by CNN as a senior legal analyst. Bharara has made guest appearances on a number of TV shows, and his new gig means he should be a frequent presence on the network.
    It appears CNN is trying to beef up its coverage of President Trump’s many legal troubles. The network also hired another frequent Trump critic, former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub, as a contributor.
    Bharara devoted the first episode of his new podcast, Stay Tuned With Preet, to discussing how he came to be fired by President Trump. He said Trump had him write down his phone number during their initial meeting in December, which bothered him because “as a general matter, presidents don’t speak to U.S. attorneys.” Sure enough, Trump called him several times, and at one point left a voice-mail that Bharara did not return because he felt it would be inappropriate. A short time later, Trump’s Justice Department told all 46 Obama-appointed federal prosecutors to submit their resignations. He refused, and was promptly fired.
    Bharara said he doesn’t think he would have lasted long under the Trump administration, even if there wasn’t a call for resignations.
    “It’s my strong belief that at some point, given the history, the president of the United States would have asked me to do something inappropriate,” he said. “And I would have resigned then.”
    Bharara has had no shortage of employment opportunities since losing his job as U.S. attorney. In addition to the podcast and the CNN gig, he is a distinguished scholar in residence at NYU’s School of Law and an executive vice-president at Some Spider Studios, his brother’s media company. His expanded media presence will do nothing to tamp down the longtime speculation that he’s considering a run for office.

  34. a bit of man-spreading here?

    the guardian: “Trump is assembling the most male-dominated government in decades” 


    A new analysis shared exclusively with the Guardian has found that 80% of nominations for top jobs in the Trump administration have gone to men – putting Donald Trump on track to assemble the most male-dominated federal government in nearly a quarter-century.

    Without a significant shift, men will outnumber women four-to-one in top positions of the Trump administration.

    By contrast, men in government outnumbered women three-to-one during the first term of George W Bush, and there were two women for every five men in government during the Clinton and Obama administrations, according to a 2013 New York Times analysis of all appointees, Senate approved or not.



  35. After all which is worse the sound of gunfire or a mariachi band. – Mr Jack

    I rate grunge and gunfire even.

    We lived through the 20 year passage of our 2 – 3 blocks from the morals of the Old West to Civilization. After we signed, the neighborhood showed up for us as trash, loud noise, and violence. We’d snooped around the block before we signed, but the litterbugs, drug dealers & gangs, and deaf folks with boom boxes must all have been on vacation.

    What made the biggest change in the ‘War Zone’ was the institution of walking groups. We didn’t scold, or even mumble. We just walked, smiled, and waved at everyone. Within 2 years most of the drug dealers were gone, but the gangster disciples continued to try recruiting – for awhile. I had a Sat Phone to call the police when such things occurred. After awhile the g.d. only bothered to come around one day every spring. When things were pretty well settled down a second problem showed up : bad behavior by relatives of cops, together with police harassment of citizens that reported the bad behavior. The ‘thin blue line’ on the black square alerts the cops that you enjoy immunity at everyone else’s expense.

    Ms NY may have wanted that driveway because of snow. Our experience was the same at first. But then I finally decided to sell because of the ice, and our paved driveway being too damned hard upon landing. Sweetie had been ready to move 5 years earlier. Anyway, we left a fine integrated neighborhood and fine neighbors when we moved.

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