Wednesday, July 20, 2011

City Life

A few weeks ago neon graffiti appeared in the alley behind our house.  I was relieved, on inspection, to discover it said in a childish hand "Trevor Loves She'ana" rather than something like "RIP Devonne"(which would have been gang related, and we have had gang graffiti in the alley before) or "Hatin the white-Ts" (racial, and I'm just waiting for the day we get some of that).  Anyway, nice innocent boy loves girl in what looks like fluorescent orange paint stolen from a BGE gas pipe marking crew.

Better than the day a boy (nineish?) set fire to garbage in the alley.
Better than the craps players who were hanging out in the alley last summer.

But city life doesn't let you get too relieved.

This morning I took the children to what they call "The Iguana Playground."  Clearly part of a neighborhood improvement project, this is a vacant lot which has been transformed into a surprisingly nice preschooler playground: slides, climbing frame shaped like an iguana, fancy recycled tire flooring material. We often go there in the mornings because Hardie dog can come, so it is dog walk and kid outing all in one.

This morning?  Iguana playground covered in shattered wine bottles.  Evidently someone decided to use the contents of a recycling bin for smashing and crashing fun.  But this renders the playground utterly unusable.  Even if I go down and sweep, there's glass embedded in the rubbery tire flooring.  There's glass in the grass around the perimeter.  Not just a little.  Perhaps a dozen wine bottles worth.  It needs a professional clean-up crew to be crawling-child safe again and chances are there's no money for such a thing in the city budget.  It needs a monster street vacuum to hoover everything up, and then dedicated handpickers to remove remaining shards.  Aint gonna happen, I bet.  I might try a bit of cleaning on my own, but . . .  how depressing, daunting a project clean-up is.

It makes me just want to leave.

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