Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Upper Third

Back in 1995, Steve & Joy bought their bungalow on Third Avenue. Even then, the street was pretty with many old growth trees; the entire lane is lined with classic bungalows. Of course, back then there was more than one house that contained drug dealers and the homes were somewhat neglected. But when they bought, so did several other folks who've remained there. Since then, the street has gone from an affordable investment to completely out of reach to first time buyers (or even second time buyers if you're Jeremiah and me). Homes have been refurbished, drug dealers ushered out to, presumably, Conyers. The neighbors who've been there all along are a tight-knit group and they've created an atmosphere where newcomers are amply welcome.

The street, which once contained very few little ones, is now teeming with kids. Many of the neighbors who lived there before Steve and Joy moved in are still there, making the street pleasantly diverse - a large spectrum of ages, socio-economic statuses, family histories and to some degree, colors. They call it upper Third Ave because the street is very long and logically divided into 3 big chunks. Theirs is the northernmost portion, I think it would be easier to call it simply 1/3. Our friends Rusty and Jennifer, who also live in our wider-neighborhood, like to call it "Uppity Third".

We don't live on Third Ave, but we're there so frequently we know all the neighbors and Kate arrived on the scene at about the same time as many of the wee ones over there. Sarah did, too! So when they threw their block party last Sunday, we were invited as honorary residents. There was a clown (not as scary as I expected) and face painting and a little moon walk (Kate's favorite. She declared "it's like jumping on the bed!"). It was chilly out, but fun was had by all. Together, they've built a great community over there. We're trying to do the same with our closer neighbors, many of us are pretty new to our homes, and East Lake is a busier street that doesn't lend itself as well to popping in on neighbors. But we'll get there.

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