When I read @happycampergirl ‘s post for week 3 #kinderblog14 challenge Homes and Gardens, I was excited to see that there were two options and quickly decided on Option 2: How do you feel about where you live? So I quickly looked at my Pic Collages to see what I could share in this post. And “ta-da” I had some good ones. I have lived in this neighborhood since coming to Los Angeles in 1964. I know, before many of you were born! And I have lived in my house since 1969. I remember moving in when I was pregnant with my second child, my daughter who was born in December. My son was a sweet energetic toddler and I was so happy that he would have a backyard to play in and lots of friends in the neighborhood. When we moved in, I never thought we would live here this long. But this house and this area had everything we needed for our family. Our parents lived close by as did our siblings and then my children had cousins to grow up with. We had a synagogues and Jewish Day Schools to chose from. My husband worked downtown and I was a stay at home mom for almost 10 years. It was a comfortable safe life, but things changed. My in-laws moved to Israel, followed by my sister-in-law and her family. This was devastating for me, since we were very close. My mother and grandmother (who helped raise my brother and me) continued to be an important part of my life; helping me with my children. For awhile there, I was lost. My kids were off at school and I wanted to do more for me. I tried office work which did not last long and then I remembered an acquaintance had said she thought I would be a terrific teacher and introduced me to the independent school I teach at to this day! I wonder what this says about me and changes? Hmm. So back to school I went in 1976. (this time traveling to Pasadena) to get my BA in Human Development. Then my job teaching preschool. Back to school once again (this time in my neighborhood) to get my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and a Masters in the Psychoanalytical Approach to Child Development. Teaching in the #ece for 13 years then off to kindergarten since 1991. I found my other home! This is my segue to my love affair with my neighborhood. In a very small radius I have shopping centers, movies, libraries and parks. YES all that in the plural! There are coffee shops, restaurants, bakeries and butcher shops. A major hospital is close by as are pet stores and auto repair shops. On any given day one sees joggers, dog walkers and adults pushing children in strollers. This is a vibrant neighborhood alive with people. On the “avenue” where I shop, I chat with the vendors as we smile and exchange pleasantries. We recognize and acknowledge each other. I love that the baristas at my coffee shop know what I drink and take a moment to chit chat before we move on. At one time my husband, the social one, knew everyone on my block and they knew him. Now people are moving away and new faces appear. Nice people, some with little children (for many years no young children on my block) and the neighborhood is lively, beautiful and thrives.
But not everything is perfect and how could it be, that’s not the reality in life; maybe in Disney movies. I have sent many summer and winter vacations traveling in the US and Europe (not extensively, so much on my bucket list) so I do have a frame of reference about other places. With the ups and downs in the economy changes have occurred. The “avenue” where I do much of my grocery shopping and banking is influx. The old mom and pop shops have closed and have been replaced by the “hip hop” generation. It is becoming more gentrified, with the younger crowd taking up shop. In recent years more and more traditional Spanish style houses have been replaced by what we call “mini mansions” and thus the landscape has begun to change. Major concerns continue to be the horrendous traffic congestion on the main boulevards. My street, once quiet, seems to be a new thoroughfare. Even with restricted parking on my block, sometimes trying to get in and out of my driveway is impossible. The smog creates health problems for many. There is the concern about our drought; waiting for the rain to come. And when we have the slight tremblers or earthquakes, we panic and wonder what we’re doing here. But I know, this is home.
And then there is this this
And the “mini mansions” take over.