About stuff (including me and writing)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Settling in

Buddy's doing much better! On the outside at least. The vet expresses concern about his bloodwork, and cautious celebration of his improved/decreased symptoms. He eats and drinks now, and climbs into the window to enjoy the view, comes to visit when I go into another room, and (what I most missed) he chats! He's also an angel about taking his medications and dietary supplement.

I attended a Downtown Lynn Social Action Community Meeting (or something like that) last night. My next door neighbor invited me along. Mostly attended by recent (past three years) downtown condo occupants (such as myself), but there were some voices representing the "other" Lynners - lots and lots of immigrants (Hispanic and Southeast Asian), plus the old guard lifelong Lynners. It's an interesting mix. Lots of different, but some shared, priorities. I found out when/where the Farmer's Market is (one block away, Thursday mornings), history and future of the downtown area (it's all about the ocean and the train), and what percentage of downtown Lynners (according to an extensive survey) don't know to call 911 in an emergency (11%!). My neighbors (the richer, newer ones, such as myself) are interested in beautification: victory gardens, local art displayed in abandoned storefronts; and saftey: better marked crosswalks, brighter street lights. Representatives of social services and entities which are invested in assistance and integration (such as my employer) are interested in giving distracted teens productive, fun activities - and in finding some kind of balance so that the "others" don't disappear from the city as the newbies move in. It'll be a challenge.

I find myself conflicted about my identity - what else is new. I don't feel like a rich white condo owner, but I am (comparatively). Should I carry around my passport to show I was born in VN? Should I participate in an expensive cafe's poetry reading? Where do I fit in (and how, and why)? The other day Karin and I were downstairs taking pictures of the outside of my building, and a nice group of kids on bikes came by and asked what was up. Were we photographers? ("She is," I said.) Why were we taking pictures of the building? "I live there." What kind of a building is it? "They're condos." The leader kid said something like, "Oh, condos." The word felt (to me) like it packed about a page worth of commentary. And in that moment and exchange was captured a major part of contemporary downtown Lynn. They were nice kids. I'm a nice condo resident. (Karin took nice photos.)

I'm interested in finding a way to do my studying and my projects without falling asleep or getting distracted. I'm scheduling in regular breaks every couple of hours to unpack and/or to walk around the neighborhood. I need to find City Hall to register to vote (I think it's about three blocks away, but the blocks around here are wonkier than Buddy's bloodwork), try out Pho Lynn, find the Post Office (I think it's about one block away, but the blocks around here...), order tickets for our local minor league pro baseball team games ($6!), and meet more neighbors.

Right. Back to Spanish studies for me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear Buddy is better.