Tuesday’s ride kept me mostly in the neighborhood, down the hill to meet K. for lunch and a good shared rant session, and then back up the hill to Abell to meet R. for some co-catsitting and a conversation about our Very Big Project that we both needed to break down to be a whole lot smaller so as to avoid that familiar “oh shit, it’s due” feeling. In between there I talked on the phone with J. about renting her house in Waverly starting in August. N. and I need a bigger place, and a friend of a friend heard this house would come open then, and you know how it goes. Our renting her house solves a whole bunch of problems for her and for us, so it looks like we’re moving up the hill come August, and I couldn’t be more excited. I mean, it’s a house. I haven’t lived in a house since that brief stint with PK in Portland in 2006, and before that, the house I grew up in, which I left in 1993. Call me bourgeois, but there’s just something about a house you feel like you can settle into, make a home, and for this cat who’s never felt really settled in anywhere since 1993, the prospect of an affordable house to rent and share with somebody like N. is just pretty much off-the-charts exciting. Hopefully nothing in the next two months interrupts this move–I’m a pessimist about things I really want, so I’ll probably be a little nervous til the new lease is signed–but on Tuesday I let myself just be excited. So naturally I rode my bike over there to check it out again–yep, still adorable–but then it was time for a jaunt over to Remington to drop off those cat-sitting keys and then home to do some homework. I crossed Greenmount to head west, which at 35th street meant dismounting from my bike and lifting it up onto the curb and then weaving through these poles between two red brick columns coming out of these raised medians installed between the sidewalk and the second curb that lets you down onto Southway, because it’s not just 35th Street over here, it’s Southway. The physical barriers communicate very clearly that people on the east side of Greenmount are not wanted on the west side of Greenmount, a daily reminder for people moving through here that yep, there’s a wrong side of the tracks, and you’re on it. This isn’t a new development, either; the street’s been like this for a long, long time, and the neighborhoods wear the separation loudly. Southway is all mansions and beautiful tree canopies, and 35th is cute, but it looks like the distant humble cousin. I snaked my way through the fringes of Guilford, taking about two minutes to get lost, and then I was back on University Parkway and taking a left on St. Paul, a right on 29th, and a right on Huntingdon. Remington’s a whole different show, too, but it’d feel pretty comfortable with East 35th, I’d reckon. The dividing lines in this town are breathtakingly solid, and they’re built right in. Here’s to figuring out how to make a home on the edge of a new one, I suppose.
Excited for you both…a real house does feel good. You were 1 year old when I got our first home on Woodlawn.
In John Waters’ first book he talks about living on Greenmount and the dichotomy and separation of folks. Of course, he does it in a very funny fashion.