Sometimes I Feel Like I'm The Only One Trying To Gentrify This Neighborhood

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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.

Man Races Against Time To Take Out Trash Bag With Widening Puncture

RIO RANCHO, NM—His pace steadily quickening as he rounded the corner out of his kitchen and made a beeline for the front door, local man Henry Parnasse reportedly found himself locked in a race against time Wednesday morning to take out a trash bag with a widening hole in its side.

Man Pushed Off Plate Of Chicken Wings By Larger Male

WARMINSTER, PA—Looking on as the intense display of aggressive behavior played out over several minutes, sources at Flannigan’s Bar & Grill confirmed Thursday that local man Pete Samuelson was pushed off a plate of buffalo wings by a much larger alpha male.

Grandma Guts It Out Through Lunch On Sunny Patio

MALVERN, PA—Making the audacious decision to dine outdoors with her family despite a noticeable lack of umbrellas or awnings, grandmother Diane McGilvery, 83, reportedly gutted it out through lunch Friday on the sunny patio of a local restaurant.

Parents Formally Announce Transfer Of Expectations To Second Child

GRAND JUNCTION, CO—Explaining that the adjustment made the most practical sense for all parties involved, local parents Beth and Ryan Morgan held a press conference Friday morning to announce the official transfer of expectations from their oldest child, Jeremy, to his younger sibling, Angie.

Motorcyclist Salvaged For Parts

SIOUX FALLS, SD—Following a multiple-vehicle accident on Interstate 90 that temporarily halted traffic in both directions, sources reported Friday that a motorcyclist involved in the crash was hauled off and salvaged for parts.

Detective Not Sure He Was Close Enough To Partner To Endlessly Pursue Killer

DETROIT—After his partner of three years was gunned down last week while the pair were on duty, Detective David Killian of the Detroit Police Department’s Major Case Squad told reporters Wednesday he was unsure whether he had been close enough to his murdered colleague to single-mindedly pursue the killer for as long as it takes.

Man Pretty Cocky Since Beating Cancer

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL—Whether he’s bragging about his newfound appreciation for life or arrogantly refusing to take anything for granted, local man Daniel Oretsky, 38, has been acting insufferably cocky since winning his two-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, sources confirmed Tuesday.
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Sometimes I Feel Like I'm The Only One Trying To Gentrify This Neighborhood

When I moved into this neighborhood, I fell in love right away. Not with the actual neighborhood, but with its potential: It's affordable, there are nice row houses all around just waiting to be filled up by my friends, there's lot of open space to be exploited, and plenty of parking. Plus, this area has got a great authentic feel and, with a little work, it could be even more authentic. Perfect, right?

So why am I the only one doing anything about it?

I am always telling my other struggling artist, freelance graphic designer, and independent T-shirt-maker friends that this is the neighborhood to take it to. It's the next big thing. Sure, it's an hour from my day job and right next to a stinky canal and a power station, but that's the whole charm—it keeps the yuppies out.

It's frustrating, though. My friends insist they're happy where they are. But if they only saw the idealized neighborhood I see, where that rundown old health clinic is turned into a tattoo parlor, and that Last Supper mural is replaced with one featuring Radiohead or a stylized corporate octopus, they'd come around.

The problem is that the property owners here are clueless. They fill their yards with pavement and statues of the Virgin Mary, when all they have to do is clear that brush and we'd have a great beer garden or bocce court. They're spending all this money to renovate the old church, when it'd be put to better use split it up into condos. My landlord has no idea this apartment—hell, every apartment in this building—is undervalued. He could quadruple his profits by cutting my place in half. So I give him an extra 20 bucks a month hoping he gets the hint, but he just takes it out of the next month's rent.

Do any of these people appreciate what the neighborhood they're living in could be?

I'm trying to convince the owners of that taqueria on the corner to change their décor to incorporate some more of that funky Day Of The Dead motif I really like. But they insist on bland white walls. Ugh! I can barely pronounce the name, let alone enjoy its delicious, reasonably priced meals. Plus, you could take all the cool stuff from the five thrift stores and make one really great vintage shop. They'd make a fortune! And, you know, we would all have a fantastic view of downtown if only they'd tear down that dilapidated garage by the waterfront. Or, better yet, they could turn it into a restaurant with a roof deck. Can you say "brunch on the harbor"?

I can't be the only one who'd like to see a community garden and dog run around here, can I?

It sure would help attract people like me if there was a record store, too, and not the one with the giant Shakira cutout in the window. I mean a decent one. I went in to see if they had the new Fiery Furnaces, and they had never heard of it. They said they'd see if they could order it for me, but I declined. I mean, what's the point of supporting a local business if it's not cool?

It feels like I'm the only one trying to do any good around here.

When I first moved in, I loved the 50-cent coffees—it was like living in the '80s—but I wish they'd listen to me and start making lattes. I know I'd pay the extra three bucks, and I'm sure everyone else around here would, too.

I've tried being proactive. But none of the locals I've talked to about bringing in a co-op health-food grocery store have seemed excited at all. Nor have I gotten any of them to take part in my community open-house idea for hip young people to come see what this neighborhood is capable of. What did they do instead? They had a barbecue. With very loud music.

I mean, I don't want the people here to leave. I just want them to stay inside more. Especially if they're not going to do anything to bring this community to life. But they're always out on their stoops, just playing dominoes or talking. I like talking, but I do it inside, where it was meant to be done. It makes me uncomfortable to have people watching me all the time. Not that I think they'd do anything, but I just like to be a little more private.

Also, their dogs stay outside and bark all day. I like dogs just fine, but why can't their dogs be smaller and more nervous?

It's getting to the point where I feel like I'm tilting at windmills. But I can't give up—I know this neighborhood would benefit from the diversity of more people like me moving in. If you need a good place to live, come check out my 'hood. It's quirky, but it could use a few more creative types to get it jumping. But no developers—those guys just ruin it for the rest of us.