Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

As you know if you read regularly (all six of you), I moved recently. To a slightly more...interesting part of town. My dad calls it "the edge of Boystown," as in there are lots of gay folks around here (just like Chicago's Boystown! Isn't Dad a riot? Seriously, though, I'm glad he didn't say something exponentially more offensive), and there are a lot of people about who seem to be either 1) into the WNBA, ie, lesboriffic, or 2) into Madonna, interior decorating and musical theater. So there's that.
But just on the other side of where I live is a major Kansas City thoroughfare which is well-known for being, hmm, simultaneously economically depressed and colorful. Within a few blocks of my house, there is:
1) a storefront mosque
2) a tattoo parlor (right across the street from the mosque, actually, which made me bust out laughing the first time I noticed it)
3) a storefront church (Assembly of God, if you're keeping track)
4) that low-income neighborhood staple, the 'variety store,' ie cigarette and liquor emporium; this particular variety store has a sign with a picture of a gentleman--I guess it must be the owner--who looks like the love child of Don King and the Reverend Al Sharpton
5) a clothing store started by two young entrepreneurs by the names of "J Bone" and "Ja Quan" (per their signage)
6) A CVS with the. largest. liquor. department. I have ever seen. In fact, the storefront advertises "Photos. Beer. Wine." No mention of pharmacy, though I suppose most people are aware that CVS is primarily a pharmacy chain, not to mention the fact that a large number of the people I've encountered in the store appear to be taking care of their pharmaceutical needs on their own (and I'm not talking about alternative and complementary medicine). I would say 75% of the people buying something at this CVS are buying one alcoholic beverage or another. Not that they're just buying booze--but they're certainly picking some up while they're there. ("Oh, right, I need some tampons...and some toothpaste...and a fifth of Canadian Mist.")
7) A little family start-up restaurant/drive-through called "Wings n Things." Every time I drive by I wonder what the "Things" might be, then decide that it might be better not to think about it.
8)The most depressing-looking day care center on the planet, with a painting of Shrek by the door (over the boarded-up windows) proclaiming, "Smile, Your on Camera!" Every time I see the "Your" I have to fight the urge to slam on my brakes, grab a Sharpie out of my purse and fix the damn thing. Yes, I'm a grammar Nazi; so what?
9) An auto sales lot advertising "used cars starting at $475! No credit, bad credit, no problem!" I feel like somehow someone is getting screwed over. Call it my spidey sense.
10) Two payday loan places, perhaps the only locations more depressing than the day care center. And they're always full.

Maybe someday I'll get my ass in gear and take some moody black and white pictures of the neighborhood. Maybe I'll be the next Mary Ellen Mark. Or maybe I'll just stop in Wings n Things and look at the menu, and finally stop the nagging voice in my head asking, "What 'things'?"

1 comment:

EE said...

Haha the "your" "you're" thing bothers me too!