Sunday, August 30, 2009

Who Are These People In My Neighborhood?

We've lived in our new neighborhood now for seven months. I'm an observer, I watch things, I notice. What I've noticed is that we traded the oddness of Midtown for the weirdness of East Memphis.

It is people that make up a neighborhood and, while Midtown may have no end of characters, I've got a guy who walks in front of my house all day, every day, it seems. Every time I glance outside or sit on my front porch, this guy walks by. I have no idea where he's going or, if walking for exercise, how many laps he makes around the block (neighborhood? region?).

There is a gated community across the street from our house and the side that faces us has the typical swath of grass between the sidewalk and street. Typical, except for the fact that this 12-inch wide strip of lawn is mowed every. single. day. The lawn service contracted to handle the common areas of the community pay particular attention to this grass. It's fascinating. It's beautiful.

A park sits a couple of blocks away, abutting Richland Elementary School. Brennan Park. At any time you can go to that park and find three or four kids' jackets. I'm not sure if the park is swallowing children, save for their outerwear, or if students are taking their jackets off after school to play and then forgetting them. Probably the latter.

Every neighborhood has an ice cream truck. Ours plays Christmas carols. All summer long.

Sometimes I have to leave the craziness of my house and its nine inhabitants. When those times come, I find my escape in the bizarreness that's out there, beyond my front porch.


Toby said...

I find it most disturbing that children are wearing jackets to the park, in Memphis, in August.

warren said...

Your ice cream man was at Overton Park last week. hearing Jingle Bells on a hot August afternoon gave me the chills

Anonymous said...

Would you believe that I have seen an icecream truck in my neighborhood a total of THREE times in the 17 years I've lived in this house? ;-)

-- Jo Lynne

Mel Spillman artwork said...

East Memphis rules, we are in Colonial Acres and we love it. It is so fun to walk in this neighborhood, and to sit on the porch and "people watch".

We have nicknames for some of our regular "walkers-by" such as Frank the Tank, D.I. (Dead Inside), old dude, nosey pregnant neighbor, asshole with the dog that poops in our yard and texting teenager.

It is never boring on our porch! Of course the wine helps.

Secret Agent Mom said...

Have you seen the middle-aged couple that walks our street every evening, right at 5:00? She's usually dressed in appropriate walking clothes, but he is in jeans every single time. And they walk pretty fast!