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Brave…Strange New World

I wanna say, in the first minute, that surely it hasn’t been SO long since I drove down Seventh Street that the place has changed to the point that I barely recognize it. But…but…??? Maybe it has?

Or maybe instead I’m losing my marbles.

Seventh Street is a road that, when I lived on the east side of Central Avenue between Central and Seventh, either housed my favorite haunts or formed a large part of the route to them. But… On reflection…???

In the first place, now that I live to the west of Central and even of Seventh Avenue (in Phoenix, avenues are to the west of Central and streets are to the east), many of those places on Seventh Street and Twelfth Street that I used to haunt, I hardly ever go to any more.

These days I tend to avoid the Safeway at Seventh Street and Glendale, where I used to do most of my non-Costco grocery shopping. It’s overpriced and overcrowded. Most of my groceries these days come from Sprouts, AJ’s (a local gourmet market), or Costco. Same with the Walgreen’s catty-corner across the intersection from the Safeway. Most of the stuff I’d buy at a Walgreen’s, I can get from Amazon or from the Albertson’s just down the street. If I just must patronize a Walgreen’s, there’s one across Conduit of Blight from said Albertson’s. All that’s required is to run the gauntlet of panhandlers to get in the front door: annoying, but a lot less time-consuming than driving several miles to a bum-free parking lot.

Unholy traffic! It was only quarter after three, but you’d  have thought it was pushing 5 p.m. Unless an awful lot of businesses are letting their workers off early because tomorrow’s Thanksgiving, the traffic on 7th Street has increased so vastly as to make the road almost unrecognizable.

Seriously. I was searching for my favorite bicycle shop, there to replace a pair of padded biking gloves that I use when manhandling Ruby’s leash. I know where it is. I know exactly where it is.

Damned if I could find it!

So I ended up having to trek east to Twelfth Street, schlep way the Hell & Gone down to Bethany Home, and backtrack north up Seventh again. Of course I found it, right where it belonged. But the whole corner seemed so changed, so altered, that I almost didn’t recognize the place.

Today’s road cruise took me past a place the handsome young real estate agent took me to: Nice enough patio home. Actually a very pleasant place, all things considered. I declined, because I really don’t want to live in a patio home — don’t like being crowded that close to the neighbors. Now…boy! Am I glad I said “no, thank you!” The tsunami of traffic pouring past that place…yipes!!! The noise would be deafening. It would be like living next door to Niagara Falls, twice a day.

Money blogger’s message here: Next time you’re looking at a house to buy, before you make a bid on it, go visit there during the rush hour. Park the car, get out, walk around for ten or fifteen minutes, and listen to what you can hear.

2 thoughts on “Brave…Strange New World”

  1. Next time you’re looking at a house to buy, before you make a bid on it, go visit there during the rush hour. Park the car, get out, walk around for ten or fifteen minutes, and listen to what you can hear.

    Yup – when I was looking at houses a decade ago, whenever I found one that I was interested in, my realtor, who is a smart cookie, said “your homework is to go drive to and from it in the morning/evening at the times you would normally be going out and about, and to hang out in the evenings/weekends and see what the neighbourhood is like – traffic, barking dogs, and other noise”

    • Yeah, I suspect that really IS a wise thing to do. One or two past Realtors have made similar suggestions, though not in such detail. Really, to get a clue to what a place’s environment is like, you almost need to go there, stop, and hang around for at least half an hour — much longer, if you can pull it off without having a neighbor call the cops.

      Not just the traffic, but yes: barking dogs! We had a nitwit couple here in the ‘Hood who got a dog that they would lock outside at night — and only at night. That animal would carry on at the top of its bark all night long! How the idiot humans could sleep through it escapes me, but apparently they didn’t care. You could hear that poor dog barking from BLOCKS away.

      Teenagers with rock bands in the garage — you need to be there when they fire up their instruments. And a nearby school with a marching band that practices before classes in the morning(!!). Churches that blast their electronic carillons on Sunday mornings…and often at other times. High schools that shoot off fireworks every time the team scores a touchdown…auugghhh!

      And of course, here we have the drag races across Gangbanger’s Way and down Conduit of Blight. You have to be here at night to enjoy that chorus — they start around 8 or 9 p.m. and party until after midnight.

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