Saturday, April 9, 2011

On Being a Neighbor

Greetings, fellow citizens of North Minneapolis, and the blogosphere in general. We're James Neighbor, who live near James K- of Jordan Area Community Council. He's been a wonderful ambassador to the Jordan neighborhood, who gave my family a warm welcome  and has introduced us around to folks on the block, and by extension some members of the JACC. He is also involved in getting block clubs going, so if any of you are looking to get involved in your area, he's a good resource.

This home in N Mpls is a classic old city house, built around 1905 from first growth lumber (real nice!), with a 105 year old foundation (arrrgh, it's got its problems) and a pretty back yard that is ready for a new round of work. After a long winter  I'm ready for some outdoor activity, and that yard will provide all the opportunity we can fit into our schedules.

Since moving to town last fall, we've been preoccupied with getting our home in order and the daily order of business for a blended family, and winter weather discouraged getting out on the town. Now the weather is nicer and we're curious and interested in who our neighbors are, what they do, how they carry on.

We've been tracking the various North Mpls blogs and are curious about the rancorous nature of local activists. I'd heard that politics on this side of town had a longstanding reputation for feuds and bad blood, and that image has been reinforced by several bloggers here. Is this merely a personality clash, or is it some sort of culture/race thing? The "white baby" video was hilarious and appalling, and it spoke volumes about the frustration that long-time north side residents have in losing their neighborhood to gentrifying carpetbaggers from the suburbs. Of course there's the "malfeasance" question (hey, I spelled it right, right?), but people come from different backgrounds, and what may look bogus or corrupt to one person may seem perfectly logical and acceptable, even necessary, to someone else. Anyway, it's not our problem for today. We need to build new bridges before we burn the old ones.

And "we" means two or three posters here - if this becomes a bigger project we may split out separate personas, but for now we'll stay like this.

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