<%@ Language=VBScript %> Keepgoing.org - Summer 2001 - I Want To See More Green
The Farm

I Want To See More Green
By Monica Schrager

On my way home from my local corner Hi-Fi video store, I started thinking of a conversation I had the day before with my old roommate. He’s moving back to Chicago and I told him he should move into my neighborhood. He asked, “What do you like about your neighborhood?”, and I listed my neighborhood’s benefits:

The Sears Tower and Green
  • The local feeling
  • Kids playing on the sidewalks
  • People always about
  • Families that had been there for a while and not just moved there
Of course, these are countered by some negatives:
  • My landlord’s tires getting slashed by some kids
  • The occasional sounds of bullets
  • Some gang graffiti
  • The constant police presence (although this could be construed as a pro)

However, in my opinion, and this may sound strange to some, these negatives do help make it the type of place I want to be. In truth, it reminds me of home, a neighborhood like this known as Culmore near my home in Northern Virginia.

And on my way home from the Hi-Fi, with the western-style swing doors into the “adult” section, I realized that I want to patronize local video stores and not the Blockbusters that are starting to pop up even around here. The local Benny’s Grocery as opposed to the Jewel and Dominicks; the local eateries and bars, none of which are part of a chain like Bar Louie, Alumni Club, or Olive Garden. I like seeing the local bars, not a lot I’ve been to, but I peek. And what I see are people hanging out at the bars, talking to the bartenders, and smiling. And while perhaps I romanticize what I see a bit, it is the fact that these images inspire me to romanticize, which is what it’s all about.

Mostly what I like is the green. I live near a park, with views of the Sears Tower and Hancock looming in the background. People are always there, playing softball, baseball, or basketball, and the field seems so large. I circled it the other day, I think for the first time, as I walked my landlord’s dog while he was out of town. I saw the communal atmosphere that comes from the green—people departing from a game of tag football, waving to each other, talking about meeting up—and I like that feeling.

Oh sure, other neighborhoods have their fair share of green, but it’s slowly diminishing as development takes over this booming metropolis of Chicago that is our home and it truly becomes a concrete jungle. But here in my hood, it just seems more plentiful and I don’t want to see it go. Besides, the only other place I get my requisite dose of green is at the Farm, but I can’t stay there year-round. :)

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Copyright©2001 by Monica Schrager.

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