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3'-By-4' Plot Of Green Space Rejuvenates Neighborhood

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Grandmother Palms Grandson $10 Like She Fixing Boxing Match

NEW BEDFORD, MA—Waiting until her daughter and son-in-law were occupied getting drinks in the kitchen following a family dinner at her home Sunday, local grandmother Ellen Sullivan, 72, is said to have palmed her 11-year-old grandson Jason Tucci $10 like she was fixing a heavyweight boxing match.

5 Months Of College Research Outweighed By Weekend Visiting Friend At Penn State

HAGERSTOWN, MD—Noting that the large public university had suddenly emerged as the high school student’s top choice for the fall, sources confirmed Wednesday that a single weekend spent with a friend who attends Penn State completely superseded all of graduating senior Tyler Pince’s college research over the past five months.

Boss Wants Friendly, Relaxed Company Culture In Place By Friday

SAN MATEO, CA—Warning of severe consequences if he didn’t see results, Pantheon Digital Consulting COO Daniel Abelson, 59, told employees Monday he wants a relaxed, friendly company culture implemented by the end of the week, sources within the organization confirmed.

Everyone In Coffee Shop Can Tell Trainee A Goner

KIRKLAND, WA—Shaking their heads as they watched the man struggle to make correct change and overheard him botch back-to-back orders, every customer at local coffee shop The Daily Bean confided to reporters Friday they could tell the store’s newest trainee was a definite goner.

34-Year-Old Man May As Well Keep Pursuing Dream At This Point

OMAHA, NE—Admitting he wasn’t really qualified to do much of anything else after all this time, local 34-year-old Ryan Wells told reporters Wednesday that, at this point, he might as well just keep following his dream of someday becoming a successful musician.

You To Still Die One Day

Did You Forget About That For A Minute?

WASHINGTON—Saying that despite the possibility you may have briefly been able to distract yourself from the incontrovertible fact by browsing the internet, hanging out with friends, reading, working out, or via some other diversion, sources confirmed Friday that you are still going to die one day and there is nothing you can do to prevent it.

Teacher’s Lounge The Site Of 5 Separate Emotional Breakdowns Today

CONWAY, AR—Noting that the space hasn’t gone more than two consecutive periods without being filled by the sound of soft sobbing or a sharply uttered series of curse words, sources at Conway High School confirmed that the teacher’s lounge has been the site of five separate emotional breakdowns so far today.

Alignment Of 6,071 Completely Independent Variables Necessary For Man To Feel Okay

PHILADELPHIA—Listing off an extensive set of prerequisite conditions ranging from various aspects of his physical health to the volume of the ongoing construction project outside his apartment, local man Shane Lambert confirmed Thursday that 6,071 completely independent variables must be in perfect synchrony at any given moment for him to feel okay.

Area Dad Stares Longingly At Covered Grill In Backyard

‘I Haven’t Forgotten You,’ Father Softly Whispers

EUCLID, OH—Placing his right palm against the glass of the sliding back door as he softly whispered reassurances to the device, local father Paul Chesney, 48, spent nearly an hour Tuesday gazing longingly at the covered grill in his backyard, family sources reported.

Breaking: Adam Got A PS4 For Christmas

He Got ‘Battlefront’ Too

DANVILLE, CA—Saying that the 10-year-old was so freaking lucky, sources in Mrs. Burnett’s homeroom class confirmed Monday that local 5th-grader Adam Samuels got a PlayStation 4 for Christmas and Star Wars Battlefront, too.

Grandma In Nursing Home Starts Adorable Little Sexual Relationship

PHOENIX—Saying it was nice to know their grandmother had found a companion to spend time with, the family of Desert Spring Assisted Living Home resident Barbara McGann reported Wednesday that the 78-year-old had begun an adorable little sexual relationship with another of the facility’s residents.

Grin Slowly Spreads Across Mom’s Face As Meal Revealed To Contain Healthy Ingredients

‘The Mashed Potatoes Are Actually Made With Cauliflower,’ She Announces

VERONA, WI—Having waited until everyone at the table had finished their dinner Monday, a knowing grin reportedly spread across local mother Angela Hopkins’ face as she announced to her family that the mashed potatoes had in fact been made using cauliflower as a healthier alternative.

Sudden Death Of Aunt Creates Rupture In Family Gossip Pipeline

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA—Grieving family members of local aunt Laurie Shelton confirmed Monday that the 48-year-old woman’s unexpected death had caused a major breach in their gossip pipeline, suddenly disrupting access to the latest dirt on all their relatives.

Man Really Letting No One Have It During Exit Interview

SPRINGFIELD, MA—Keeping his voice at a measured volume and holding everything back, departing employee David Hughes was really letting no one have it during his exit interview Monday, sources at local accounting firm Grier and Associates confirmed.

Conceptual Genius Goes As Self For Halloween

‘He Himself Is The Costume,’ Say Amazed Onlookers

SHERMAN OAKS, CA—Brilliantly subverting the very idea of a costume, conceptual genius Mark Richards, 27, reportedly stunned his fellow partygoers Friday when he announced that he had dressed as himself for Halloween.

No One In Gym Class Volleyball Game Willing To Set Ball

LITTLE ELM, TX—With neither team having completed more than two hits during a rally before sending the ball back over the net, sources confirmed Wednesday that no one in Jefferson High School’s third-period gym class was willing to set during a volleyball game.

Impressive New Hire Figures Out Bare Minimum Of Work Job Requires On First Day

MILWAUKEE—Marveling at his extraordinary ability to learn the ropes at the technology firm and quickly fit right in with the rest of his colleagues, sources at Starpoint Solutions confirmed Thursday that impressive new hire Eric Myers has already figured out the bare minimum of work his job requires on the very first day.

45-Minute Phone Call To Credit Card Company Goes Great

FORT WAYNE, IN—Grinning with contentment as he reminisced about the call he placed earlier in the day, 31-year-old accountant Greg Schulhoff told reporters Thursday that his 45-minute phone call with MasterCard regarding late payment fees went “really great.”

Mom Keeping Tabs On Coyote Situation

WAYZATA, MN—Regularly updating her husband and children on the frequency and location of sightings around the neighborhood, local mother Dana Salisbury continued to keep close tabs on the coyote situation this week, sources confirmed.

Teen Coming Out Of Shell Giving Bully Lots Of New Material To Work With

SCOTTSDALE, AZ—Claiming he “hit the jackpot” when his victim began displaying an increased level of confidence and expressing his personal interests, local bully David Macomber told reporters Tuesday that he has had loads of new material to work with since 14-year-old Andrew Reid started coming out of his shell several weeks ago.

Boss Able To Seamlessly Blend Constructive Criticism With Personal Attacks

SAN JOSE, CA—Marveling at the ease and deftness with which he communicates the two messages simultaneously, employees at local advertising firm Wavelength Solutions told reporters Tuesday that their supervisor Eric Crowell has a unique ability to seamlessly blend constructive criticism with cutting personal attacks.

Neighborhood Starting To Get Too Safe For Family To Afford

CHICAGO—Explaining that the sense of unease she felt walking to and from her home had declined markedly over the years, Humboldt Park resident Kirsten Healy expressed her disappointment to reporters Thursday that her neighborhood was becoming too safe for her family to afford.

Area Dad Informs Busboy He’s Ready To Order

NASHUA, NH—Raising his arm into the air while leaning outward from the table in a bid to command attention from the other side of the restaurant, area father Walter Bierko called over a busboy at DiCapri’s Italian Eatery to inform him that he was ready to order, sources reported Wednesday.

Winning Argument With Aging Parents Less Satisfying Than It Once Was

CINCINNATI—After firmly telling them that she was okay paying city prices and that she would not move back to her hometown just because it was cheaper, local woman Ellen Wallace, 40, confirmed Thursday that winning an argument with her parents has become much less satisfying as they have gotten older.

Rescuers Heroically Help Beached Garbage Back Into Ocean

ATLANTIC BEACH, NC—In what many described as an inspiring display of selflessness and teamwork, a group of rescuers heroically saved a beached mound of garbage by helping the stranded trash back into the ocean, eyewitnesses reported Thursday.
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Ugh, This A Place Where Bartenders Wear Bow Tie

PITTSBURGH—Saying they should have known from the moment they walked in the unmarked speakeasy entrance and spotted the extensive wood paneling, customers confirmed Friday that, ugh, this is one of those places where the bartenders all wear bow ties.

Holidays

3'-By-4' Plot Of Green Space Rejuvenates Neighborhood

DETROIT—Notorious for its abandoned buildings, industrial warehouses, and gray, dilapidated roads, Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood was miraculously revitalized this week by the installation of a single, three-by-four-foot plot of green space.

The green space, a rectangular patch of crabgrass located on a busy median divider, has by all accounts turned what was once a rundown community into a thriving, picturesque oasis, filled with charming shops, luxury condominiums, and, for the first time ever, hope.

The Johansens, who just moved to Warrendale, enjoy some outdoor time.

"What we've seen here is amazing," Warrendale Beautification Committee chairman Michael Pulowski said of the $150 city-funded initiative. "Not only do residents feel better about themselves, but our streets are now totally safe, employment is up, and our children's test scores are through the roof. It's hard to believe this is even the same neighborhood anymore."

Warrendale's incredible transformation began early Monday morning when city officials laid down the yard-wide strip of sod. Two days later, dozens of boarded-up businesses were suddenly bustling with customers, and streets once littered with hypodermic needles were instead plastered with colorful murals.

"It all happened so quickly," said resident Jeffrey Huza, who watched the sliver of lawn single-handedly attract tourism, reduce air pollution, and bring a sense of peace and tranquility to the area. "I always knew a little green would do our neighborhood good, but I never thought we'd benefit this much."

"I used to sit all day in the old tire yard getting high with no prospects for any kind of future," Huza continued. "But now that tire yard is a library."

Besides giving children a safe place to play—provided they do so one at a time—the revitalizing green space has also transformed the lives of numerous Warrendale adults.

The green space's impact is evident in Warrendale's sudden, overnight transformation from complete shithole (above) to a charming and desirable place to live (below).

The ideal spot for short evening strolls, relaxing upright reading, and weekend picnics that don't exceed 12 square feet in total area, the new park has completely changed how many feel about their neighborhood.

In fact, dozens of residents who had given up on this once violent and moribund urban wasteland almost as completely as they'd given up on life itself, have recently chosen to put down roots and start families.

"Sitting in the middle of the park, it's like all of the troubles of city life just melt away," said homeowner Samantha Hodge, who every day gazes at the narrow green space between two lanes of traffic and is filled instantly with calm. "A week ago, I was ready to call it quits and never come back. Nowadays, I couldn't imagine living anywhere else."

Local events, including a Shakespeare in the Park production of Romeo And Juliet, a breast cancer–awareness march, an outdoor concert by the London Symphony Orchestra, and a Fourth of July fireworks display are reportedly also scheduled to take place in the new green space.

The towel-sized band of topsoil—to be dedicated as "Warrendale Park" as soon as enough room is found on its grounds to erect a sign—has brought back more than a sense of community. It has also brought back the sound of laughter.

"I didn't recognize it at first, it had been so long since I'd heard it," said Howard Cochrane, a lifelong resident. "But there it was, ringing out like sunshine from that Heller boy who lives down the way. To see him roll his ball back and forth over the same five inches of grass—it filled my tired heart with joy."

Despite the overwhelmingly positive influence of this simple patch of lawn, a number of Warrendale residents have come to regard its popularity as a double-edged sword.

"Everywhere I look now, well-dressed moms are pushing babies in designer strollers, high-end coffee shops are opening their doors, and fancy galleries are replacing old neighborhood bars," said mechanic Kevin Miles, who was evicted from his tenement apartment after his rent tripled almost overnight. "I used to know everyone who lived here, but now it seems like half the people are college kids or vacationing Europeans."

Added Miles: "I never thought I'd say this, but I miss the old decrepit Warrendale."

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