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Sunday, September 09, 2007

My Village

I know what you say. I hear you murmuring behind my back:

"Psychotoddler, you're always whining about your neighborhood. Why do you stay?"

Here's why.

27 comments:

Juggling Frogs said...

That was a great article. L'chaim. May the neighborhood and community continue to grow and continue to remain worthy of such articles!

fudge said...

ya ya milwaukee! hometown pride!

Anonymous said...

Alan understates the crime. I hate to break it to people, but when the first sexual abuse / rape happens to a young girl walking back from CBJ for her religious-experience known as Kabalas Shabbos - you can bet your bottom dollar that people will finally wake up and that RMT will be crying in his hands for not moving the community our of the West Side ~ 10 years ago. Sure, if you like Crown Heights it is fine, but do not kid yourself - it is not safe. And when the big incident does happen - and it will eventually - people are going to be wondering why we did not do anything, why we choose to live here. And I don't want to hear that it happened because we still have a TV or internet in our house.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I was so virilent. If you weant to censor the previous comment, I will udnerstand.

Doctor Bean said...

"I hear you murmuring behind my back."

Murmuring behind your back? I tell it to your face every chance I get.

I really liked the article. Kudos to the author. But that's not why you stay. Those are nice things that you can point out to people to justify why you stayed, but your reasons are your own and have nothing to do with that.

Ezzie said...

A very nice article by a man whose house I thoroughly enjoyed staying at a number of times...

But I always thought you really liked Milwaukee anyway - never got the impression you didn't. We all have gripes about where we live, because we care.

Neil Harris said...

I second Ezzie. I lived in a community with one shul for almost 8 years and now live in a neighborhood with 25+ different shuls to daven on Shabbos (some of which house multiple minyanim) and my wife still gets on my case that I can't find a minyan I truly like. :)

Jack's Shack said...

What I want to know is if you have any plans to change the name of the blog.

A couple more years and the PT will be in high school.

PsychoToddler said...

JF: AMEN!

fudge: Oh, ya, ehna?

Anonymous: "we still have a TV or internet in our house." Hmm...sounds like somebody was in shul for the drasha this shabbos (hint: not me). Crime will always be an issue. I was talking to my neighbor (who is Black) about it (as we watched a bunch of squads arrest someone on the corner). You can keep moving further and further from the city, I guess. Eventually you'll be out in the country somewhere. But that's where all the REAL nutcases are. I'll take petty theft to inbred axe murderers any day.

Anyway, these suburban communities just don't have the same feel. Maybe it has to do with all the houses being so close together here. It's much more shtetely. If that's a word.

Bean, right, we both know why I stay. BTW if anyone wants to drop a few million bucks on me, I'd be happy to uproot my home and practice and move it to Beverly Hills. Maybe I should put one of those paypal buttons up on the sidebar? Or just rely on my Webads revenue. At this rate, I should have enough to move in about 27,000 years.

Ezzie: It's true, I'd be a square peg anywhere. We were out of place in Modern Orthodox NY, and we're out of place here. But this place is cheaper. And the grass ain't necessarily greener somewhere else, though there may be fewer of those brown patches.

Neil: Well, it all boils down to economy. If you you're determined to be an outcast, you only need one shul to be outcast from. The other 24 are overkill.

Jack: Get a life! That's all you ever ask!

Halfnutcase said...

you wouldn't be an outcast here, although you might find you have to send the PT away for school and be horrified at what you get back!

(We just don't have enough people to have outcasts, although we get a minyan every single davening.)

PsychoToddler said...

I would never join a shul that would allow a person like me to become a member.

SaraK said...

Very nice article.

And everyone complains about where they live; no city or neighborhood is perfect. Just because one has gripes doesn't mean he/she doesn't like living there.

Neil Harris said...

PT: I'd like to home that I'm less of an outcast (I do, BTW, attend k'vuah a specific minyan on Shabbos), and like it or not more 'non-cookie cutter' :)

Anonymous said...

PT - kudos for not censoring when you could have. And I like you, I too was not there on Shabbos. The KMK minyan is more up more alley. But Alan drinks the koolaid, even if he does not wear the garb (although he did switch from kippah seruga to velvet a few years ago).

Halfnutcase said...

"I would never join a shul that would allow a person like me to become a member."

PsychoToddler said...

I too was not there on Shabbos

Lucky guess about the drasha content, huh.

PsychoToddler said...

And everyone complains about where they live

It's true. I'd love to be able to say, "oh..if only I lived THERE my life would be perfect." No it wouldn't.

I think I had a 6th grade science teacher who said, "wherever you go, there you are." That's why we always find something to complain about.

HNC, I'm thinking you wanted to say something there but had a senior moment.

I'd like to home that I'm less of an outcast Is it just me, or is nobody making sense in this thread.

Neil Harris said...

Sorry, "I'd like to THINK..."

I'm surprised you didn't write :STOP MAKING SENSE.
Man what a movie!

Doctor Bean said...

"And everyone complains about where they live"

Oh, yeah. The constantly gorgeous weather and the almost limitless variety of religious Jewish communities really get on my nerves. And I’m really tired of the bustling economy.

Anonymous said...

PT said:

"I'll take petty theft to inbred axe murderers any day."

How about armed robbery in front of your own house? Did you know someone's son was assaulted at gunpoint the same day this story ran? He doesn't even live here. He was visiting and mowing his father's lawn when 4 African Americans jumped him and stuck a gun in his face. He was brave (or dumb) enough to fight back and they ran off but the neighborhood is not the cozy village that is described in that article. If a strange group of people were walking through a village, everyone would have known and there would have been people watching to make sure nothing happened.

Halfnutcase said...

I ment to ask: "why?"

Sweettooth120 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sweettooth120 said...

also like the article. I guess it comes down to either the glass is half full or empty. But I don't think anyone is being blind. Eveyone seems to acknowledge the crime, but it does take a village to make it work for the best and become successful.

Take Shepard Park in DC - with a new Rabbi, he turned around a dying community into a very thriving, baby-booming congregation and community.

You may remember Mirty's old post about her childhood in Shepard Park and much it changed when the Jews moved out and the blacks moved in and the neighborhood soon became unsafe to remain there anymore. I bet if she was to return to Shepard Park, she would be delighted by it's turnaround.

However, saying all that, I do think common sense must play a role in where you live and raise your children. Putting them in harms way out of principle, nostalgia or because you see charm and potential in a neighborhood almost seems neglectful as a parent to me.

Ralphie said...

"Wherever you go, there you are."

Wasn't that Robin Williams?

And, hey, Bean, you know there's plenty of complaining around here, usually about the schools and cost of housing/living... There's always something.

For now, my gripe is that summer's over and the kosher Subway still hasn't opened. The outrage!

Jessica said...

That was a fabulous article...thanks for sharing it with us!

Forty_Two said...

When someone utters a bigoted comment, the media should be all over the family that produced the bigot.

Shit comes from assholes.

Sweettooth120 said...

Just read through the thread and realize I skipped a line in my comment above regarding Mirty. I meant to imply that as the demographics and socioeconomic infrastructure of the community changed in the 60's, it unfortunately began to lose any funding to help keep it thriving, which led to a downward spiral. The area of Shepard Park, is not only a thriving Jewish community today, but also of a thriving affluent african american community as well.