Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pride Is Infectious

We here at the Newk always ask you to send us emails.

We love getting them.

Even the ones promising penis enlargement.
(Damn liars.)

But every once in a while, we get one worth posting.

Today, we have two.

First off, love the website. keep up the great work.

With the expanding readership, when can we expect a corresponding iPhone app?

We dig when people say they "love" our website.

It makes us all fuzzy inside.

And to answer Dave's question...

We haven't the first clue on how to make an iphone app.

We are not opposed to the idea of technology.
(Especially streaming internet smut.)

We just know that we can't make one.

If you, or someone you are friendly with, knows how
to create such a thing, please send us an email to...

Here is the other email.

And this one is totally great and inspirational.
(Not that Dave's wasn't. We love you, Dave!)

Pride Is Infectious

I live in what I call a ’transitional block.’ That invisible line that separates the ghetto from the rest of the world runs right through my living room. If I walk out the front door and turn right, I’m in a really nice part of New Kensington...clean houses, fresh paint, no litter, maintained yards. If I walk out the front door and turn left, I see rotting wood, broken windows, crumbling sidewalks, collapsing porches, overgrown yards, trash everywhere, and junky cars that haven’t moved since the Clinton administration. My block (and yes, the transition happens in a single block,) is a mishmash of proud homeowners and empty eyesores.

It’s gotten me to thinking about how little changes can affect larger results.

(Before I go further, I must state for the record that my little home won’t be on the cover of Architectural Digest anytime soon. Martha Stewart doesn’t live here. I’m proud to say, however, that this house is both structurally and cosmetically much better than when I got it, and plans for improvement reach well into next year.)

Anyway, back to the small changes. I’ve observed that it doesn’t take much for a neighborhood to be good or bad. There was this house a few doors down from me that, well, let’s just say it was troubled. The New Ken cops knew it well. There was always a sense of unease when I left the house. Finally (and thankfully) they either moved or were incarcerated, and poof! the block changed overnight. Noise went away. Litter went away. Loiterers went away. My house became a home again. One house, big change.

I started thinking about this because the house next door finally sold. It’s been empty for two years, in and out of foreclosure, handed from bank to bank, without anybody claiming responsibility. In that two years I’ve had to pay a tree service to clear the wilderness and pulled weeds until I got poison ivy so severely that I freaked out my doctor. It’s hard to freak out a doctor. Fortunately the recent realtor at least cut the grass. It’s a big house in the middle of the block with a nice yard, and it sold for five grand. Yes, you read that right. Five thousand dollars.

So now I’m slightly terrified about what will move in. This is a big house in the middle of a transitional block. If a nice neighbor moves in, our block is saved. If a not-so-nice neighbor come in, the balance is tipped in the other direction.

It only takes one to drag us down, but it also only takes one to build us up. Case in point: my neighbor across the street just had his roof re-shingled a few weeks ago, which shamed me into painting my peeling gutters. Another guy across the street came out and fixed his steps, and a fourth neighbor (finally) pulled all his overgrown weeds from the fence on the sidewalk. One leaky roof caused improvement to four properties. Pride is infectious.

By the way, if you’re tired of paying rent, come buy a house near me. Seriously. A few more caring people will make all the difference in the world. You don’t have to be an activist; you just have to mow your lawn and not sell crack. If you currently pay more than $425 a month in rent, you could have bought the three-bedroom house next door outright with last year’s rent.

New Kensington can be as nice as we want it to be. Don’t be fooled by thinking you can’t make a difference. Little things add up, and you never know who you’re influencing.
How about that?

We are all about pride in our neighborhood.
So that email is the shiz.

Did you think you'd click on our site today, and read
something so sweet?

If you did, you have much more faith in us than we do.

We also got an email with some event details
we'd like to pass along.

There is an event this evening at Hartwood that benefits
Project Bundle-Up.

It looks like they are having a Run/Walk through the lights
from 5:30 to 8pm.

It's $10 a person, or $15 for a couple.
They will have refreshments directly following in
the parking lot.

It's a great cause, and they have amazing lights.
So head on out, and feel better in more ways than one.


Post a Comment

Thanks for the input. Keep it real.