Welcome to Minnow Brook

Remember through sounds
Remember through smells
Remember through colors
Remember through towns
With fear and fascination
On what was here
And what’s replacing them now.
Interchange plazas, a mall,
And crowded chain restaurants.
More housing developments go up
Named after the things they replace.
So welcome to Minnow Brook,
And welcome to Shady Space.
It all seems a bit abrupt.
I don’t like this change of pace.

I deliver pizzas for a living. Since I’ve been back from New England, I’ve worked three nine hour shifts in just as many days. My area is not inner city or campus, but out in the suburbs, near the airport. I bring pies to the McMansions all up and down Pleasant Ridge and up toward Summerfield, listening to my CDs and NPR, and trying to ignore what I see around me. I am so tired of this, right now.
The horse farms are my favorite, but even they are losing their ground to developments that tear down the trees and meticulously re-plant them in strict accordance to the owner’s whim. Be it feng shui or just south-side sunlight, it’s a little sickening and I’m getting tired of seeing it.
Natania and I live in a hundred-plus year old Victorian right off of campus. We rent one of the three apartments that this house has been converted into. I love this place. The paint (lead) on the window sill is flaking, and the nails (old iron, with no resemblance to any nail you’d see in a hardware store today) poke out of the wooden floor planks, but it’s great.
We’ve spent about four or five hours tonight getting the place back into order after the holidays. Off to Massachusetts with two suitcases, and we somehow pick up two more on the return journey, and enough stuff to fill them (and a shopping bag). Lovely gifts, indeed, but it seems like the in-family forgot that we flew up that way, and didn’t take a U-Haul. We’ve put away most everything, hung the new pictures and arranged the new doo-dads. Cleared out the kitchen to make room for the 8 piece Revereware set that mom and dad got us, and made a spot for the new food processor. I even found some time last night to relax and play some Kingdom Hearts in the comfort of our beautiful living room.
I wouldn’t say it’s our house’s “character” that does it for me, but there’s something about it that can’t be faked in some suburban subdevelopment. Something about walking down the street and popping in the comic book store, or strolling down Spring Garden, headed home from the Exchange (even though I hate the place) via foot because you’re a bit too cocked for the steering wheel. When I really need eggs or butter or milk, the corner store seems like it’s always open, and I don’t have to start an engine to get there.
I guess I just don’t care too much about convenient parking.


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