25.1.11

I live in the HOOD, yo

Let me just start by saying again how much I love this house. The layout, the space, the fenced yards with room to play, the wood floors, the details, even the paint color. The neighbors are all big Mexican families with lots of cousins and never ending music blasting from loud speakers. The nearby shops are all labeled in Spanish and there is an amazing taco stand just a block away from our house. It's like being in Mexico, only more expensive.

But...

We started to notice pretty soon after we moved in that this may not be the most ideal neighborhood. Maybe it was the way the local sheriff's department seemed to be permanently camped out on the corner nearest us.

Or it could have been the night someone ran through our yard evading capture by the authorities, or the drive by sheriff's vehicle with that big spotlight that they shine in yards when looking for someone that I noticed on several occasions while tucking my children in for the night.

The sound of police helicopters overhead kind of clued us in as well.

Aaron says, when people ask about the neighborhood, "Yeah, it's a great, the police are here ALL THE TIME."

So apparently we landed in gang central. Nice.

Once, when I was just driving around the block I stopped short at the sight of an officer of the law staked out behind his car with a high powered rifle waving me to go a different way. That was exciting. No playing outside that day.

Just in case I hadn't already figured it out, this happened the other day to remind me.

The Boy has a toy pistol made from wood and duct tape by his uncle. The other day we were heading out and I told him to pick it up and get in the car. I didn't notice him pretend to point it at a parked car and shoot with it. But as I closed the kids door I suddenly realized that there was a sheriff standing next to me, his car stopped in the middle of the street.

"This is a pretty violent and dangerous neighborhood," he says. "I wouldn't let him play with that or point it at cars because it could lead to a situation."

Then he pointed through the tinted window where we could see him still holding the gun and it looked pretty real. "I don't even let my son carry a play gun in car any more. If you get stopped or an officer sees it, it could lead to a pretty tense situation."

So I thanked him and got in the car to drive away. But what I really wanted to say is, "Where were you when I first came here to sign my lease?"

6 comments:

  1. Melody in SD11:56 AM

    Hi Carrien. I just wanted to laugh/cry with you. I also found out after the fact that we live in a somewhat questionable area. Apparently it is meth central in SD. Also found out from the neighbor that the previous tenant used to manufacture it in the side shed. But I do like it here. We are a half block from the beach and a quarter block to a cute park. Our lease is up, so we are month to month, but I kind of want to stay around here.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My husband and i live on a gang ridden street too. more times than I'd like I've had to get a police escort into my nieghborhood because of a shooting, once they wouldn't even let me back in ad I had to back to my office to sleep for the night.

    We've painted over grafiti more times than i can count (the sheriff told us to put a picture of Jesus up on the wall and it would stop....they were right, no tagging in over 6 mos).

    We too have had people fleeing teh police through our yard.

    It's a tough position to be in. We have always held close to the truth that we no without a doubt that God called us to live on pearl st....that's where we find our peace.

    PS....we have great taco stands too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Been there, done that!!! I totally sympathize!!! Our last house before this one was in a neighbourhood which is called North Central, but referred to by EVERYONE as "The Hood". The only difference is that here, the population was overwhelmingly First Nations, instead of Mexican. Great bannock-serving restaurant around the corner. Same thing....police on the street all the time with lights flashing, screaming and yelling and banging sounds in the middle of the night, houses broken into, burned down, anything left in the yard stolen, needles, condoms, underwear on the street, gangs and prostitutes...lovely neighbourhood. That is why we moved before the kids started school to our current neighbourhood which, as does any area, has its own issues, but NOTHING like the hood was.

    ReplyDelete
  4. you guys are making me feel better about our neighborhood. We don't have graffiti, or visible prostitution, or a lot of yelling and banging. But then there is very little visible prostitution in San Diego anymore, it's indoors now, so it could be happening just down the street for all I know.

    No, what we have is organized crime.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Melody in SD7:27 PM

    Hi Carrien. I just wanted to laugh/cry with you. I also found out after the fact that we live in a somewhat questionable area. Apparently it is meth central in SD. Also found out from the neighbor that the previous tenant used to manufacture it in the side shed. But I do like it here. We are a half block from the beach and a quarter block to a cute park. Our lease is up, so we are month to month, but I kind of want to stay around here.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My husband and i live on a gang ridden street too. more times than I'd like I've had to get a police escort into my nieghborhood because of a shooting, once they wouldn't even let me back in ad I had to back to my office to sleep for the night.

    We've painted over grafiti more times than i can count (the sheriff told us to put a picture of Jesus up on the wall and it would stop....they were right, no tagging in over 6 mos).

    We too have had people fleeing teh police through our yard.

    It's a tough position to be in. We have always held close to the truth that we no without a doubt that God called us to live on pearl st....that's where we find our peace.

    PS....we have great taco stands too.

    ReplyDelete

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