I did my green duty for today...cut my grass with an old push mower. Nice and quiet, no gas fumes and it qualifies as exercise, too...very satisfying. It helps that my yard is a small city lot.
So, here's another of my passions-urban renewal. I am thoroughly committed to revitalizing this old neighborhood. It may be worn and shabby right now-not to mention crime-ridden, but the architecture, the front porches, the rich dirt, (the cheap housing), the close proximity to downtown all make it a desirable location and isn't that one of the 3 top selling features of a home-location-right after location and location? And, did i mention cheap housing?
The prices are enticing if you want to invest...homes that were $80,000+ value 10 years ago can't be given away today. Some are asking only $5000-7500, and the corner house has a sign out front stating $500 down, $300 per month!!!
We even led the nation in foreclosures for a few months...fortunately for us (not for them) someone else has since taken that honor. Had i the money to invest, i'd like to get an entire block of houses and renovate them, then resell or rent them out for artists.
Artists............I truly believe that artists are the answer...I mean the old style starving type artists, not the fine art or married-to-a-spousal-income type artist (no offense, but do count your blessings!). We are like bridges between the worlds of poverty and affluence. Not afraid to live among the lower elements of society, we focus inward, creating and hopefully selling our art to the upper stratas. Not because we are any different inside, or any more creative than others, it's just because we put our art before other concerns...and our lifestyle is the price we pay for our indulgence.
Artists need cheap rent and generally don't have cars or belongings worth stealing, although, as i found out, anything is at risk in this neighborhood. Yet still, we tend to create our own environment; our yards are often an oasis of flowers, sculptures, of color.
We would never be accepted in a gated community where you have to paint your house certain colors, never hang your clothes out to dry, and heaven forbid fix your car in the driveway!
My house is going to be painted creamy butter yellow with Marigold trim and with purple doors and porch rails! Once i fix my garage roof, i am covering the side of the cement block with broken tile and bottle mosaic designs...i have an old fake brass headboard that i will freshen up with paint and sink into the ground to use as a flowerbed border...i've been saving round metal patio tables of various sizes to repaint and mosaic the tops...and just recently I saw brightly painted wooden chairs hung outside on the walls of a funky restaurant to hold flowers-so colorful!
Then I want to create a patio by my mosaic wall for a place to sit around my firepit, and i'm designing water fountains to create the sound of falling water for a peaceful effect. It'll be so much more lush than if i were still living in the suburbs.
I do love the look of some of these planned communities; they show a style of living that seems so relaxed and pleasant...sometimes i think i would love to live there, but in reality, i think i'm better where i am.