Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What the community organizers in our neighborhood do with all their copious free time

I'd like to thank Sarah Palin for reminding us all of the frivolity of community organizing. Hooray for her astute observations! Otherwise I might be so foolish as to believe that the crime, litter, graffiti, unemployment, cracked sidewalks, under-resourced schools, crumbling playlots, nutritional deficiencies, vacant lots, and substandard housing in our cities were problems in need of solutions. I might forget that our government's done such a crackerjack job with these issues that community organizers are mere dabblers, regular Don Quixotes of the street.

Some of the fake responsibilities of community workers in our neighborhood can be found here at Christopher House, a community center for families in need.

This building is actually our former public library branch, part of a heated potential land grab back in the hot hot early aughts, when condo conversions were viral and every inch of buildable space was a developer's wet dream. Fortunately, the powers-that-be recognized that a building that had served the public good would be best re-used for public purpose, and the renovation targeted after-school programs instead of granite counter tops.

About a month ago, a drawing appeared on the front of the building, and since then an artist has been painstakingly placing ceramic tiles. I've loved watching this work in progress, seeing the vision take shape piece by piece, but also working backwards from the completed murals I've seen: understanding that a simple
line drawing lives beneath those splashes of color. I wish I could tell you more about the artist, but the fact is I've enjoyed this so far as an observer and not a researcher. I'd like to keep it that way for a little bit longer. If I find out more details, I'll report back.


tracy said...

I love this posting. That simple.

Johno said...

I am soooo with you, Tracy.

leslie said...

you said it, sister!