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Showing posts from 2011

Exploring Monrovia

A neighborhood park in need of a neighborhood fix

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Julian Fisher Park.  A neighborhood park in need of a neighborhood fix. 

After playground equipment was removed in early 2011 due to years of wear and tear and vandalism, the community is taking notice as to the real shape of the park, whose namesake was a true community leader himself.  Times are tough, and it is no longer simply a quick fix- the revitalization of this park will require a complete community effort! 

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Good Fences & Good Neighbors

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We have all heard the expression, "good fences make good neighbors."  In fact, if you google the quote, you will find over 400,000 references to it online.  The line comes from Robert Frost's blank verse poem entitled, The Mending Wall. 
The poem is about two men, neighbors, who every year fix the stone fence between their properties.  We at The Neighborhood Fix wanted to know- what does it mean?  Do good fences make good neighbors?  For the sake of Mr. Frost, let's take a look at the poem:
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it And spills the upper boulders in the sun, And makes gaps even two can pass abreast. The work of hunters is another thing: I have come after them and made repair Where they have left not one stone on a stone, But they would have the rabbit out of hiding, To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean, No one has seen them made or heard them made, But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neigh…

New Orleans Neighbors Speak

There are many neighborhoods that have come together in times of crisis, but after Hurricane Katrina none was so striking as in New Orleans.  Many times I have heard people wonder, "Why do they stay?" but those questions were answered when I saw a video of a neighborhood conference in 2008 designed to highlight community efforts from New Orleans residents themselves:

This clip provides highlights from New Orleans Speaks, an event of the New Orleans Institute for Resilience and Innovation, to discuss ways in which local knowledge and experience had led the renewal of the city.
New Orleans remains troubled by deep race and class divides and high levels of crime, but the city, by all accounts, also had a lot more civic life than most of the United States --- not just cavorting in the streets during Mardi Gras season but a long tradition of gregariousness and neighborliness; people knew their neighbors, talked to strangers, called everyone by endearments, invited everyone on the b…

The World at Your Fingertips?

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If you are reading this, you are probably in front of a computer screen or a smart phone, ostensibly with the world at your fingertips.That’s pretty powerful: the world at your fingertips.You can “go” anywhere in the world through the power of the internet.You can wirelessly connect to anyone in any country with such ease that it is hard to remember a world without internet, which in fact wasn’t that long ago.
But look up and look outside… now come back to the screen so you can finish reading...What did you see?What was happening?What did you feel when you looked at it?We spend so much time looking at the world at our fingertips that we are tempted to forget the world just outside our front door.
In fact, the world at your fingertips is just a slogan used by technology companies.Many of us long to see the world, to travel, to see new things and for only the cost of a monthly cell phone or cable bill, these companies are telling us we can get there!The first thing I did when I started ma…

Straight from the pages of Parade

Perhaps taking cookies door-to-door isn’t quite your style.A stranger’s front doorstep is a vulnerable place to be.You don’t know if they’re home, do they have dogs, are they going to shut the door in my face, will I remember their name tomorrow, is this a bad time...I could go on.This post is for those of us (yes, me too) who have a hard time mustering up the nerve to overcome those fears but want to be...well, neighborly.Yeah, it does sound a bit old fashioned, but I’m an old fashioned kinda girl. I propose that there is another way!           Yes, there are indeed countless ways to welcome people into my life and allow them to welcome me to theirs.           The following article was passed to me last year and I have just been waiting for the right opportunity to share it!That time has come.           I know it’s cheating to use another person’s article in a blog, but here’s the thing...it’s a good story!Also, I’m not a writer. You will enjoy the time you spent reading this …

Neighborhood Conference Slideshow

Amish Friendship Bread

As promised, here is the recipe for my favorite recipe to share:  Amish Friendship Bread. 

I learned about this bread when a friend gave me a large Ziplock bag of goopy-looking dough and written instructions.  I started reading the instructions and saw that the process took 10 days.  I believe my response was "Not likely."  Upon more careful inspection I saw that almost each day, the instructions were "mush the bag,"  and I thought to myself "now that's my speed."  Ten days later, I had seriously delicious cinnimon bread (more like a coffee cake) and 4 Ziplock bags of my own with dough starters to pass on to other people.  Amazing! 

This is magic bread in my book. 

Amish Friendship Bread Cinnamon Loaf Recipe

Do not use any type of metal spoon or bowl for mixing - I don't know why, I just do what I'm told.
Do not refrigerate.
Batter will rise, bubble, and ferment ... release air from the bag as necessary.

Day 1 - receive the starter and do noth…

Food

Yes, the title of this article is simple, but telling.  I really love food.  Have you ever wondered why all MAP events involve food?  Food has the unique ability to draw people together and create opportunities for conversation, laughter and even friendship.  We may be different sizes, shapes, colors – we might be from different neighborhoods, attend different churches and vote in opposite ways …but we all have to eat; and most of us thoroughly enjoy it.  If you find this to be a common thread through many of my posts, you now know why.  If you are familiar with our MAP Neighborhood Newsletter, you may have read a short article in our April Issue in which a group of people reached out to homes on the 200 block of East Colorado.  Their mission was to build relationships and they did it through…yep, you guessed it – Food.  Cookies and baked goods to be exact.  Some people from the group were kind enough to share their experience with us.
“ ’Are you serious? Are you serious?! That is so …

Getting to Know Your Neighbors

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Today, I am inspired by Mother Teresa, who said, "I want you to get to know your next door neighbor.  Do you know your next door neighbor?"
As I step out the door to follow her direction, the immediate question next is: How do you get to know your neighbor?!  There are many different degrees of knowing someone.  Some neighbors will be great friends, some good acquaintances and some will be challenges.  The thing to remember is that you're all in it together!  So here are some examples for you: Food!  I live in an apartment complex, and my neighbor and her husband invited several of us neighbors over for cake one day, just because she had made extra.  Breaking bread is a great way to get to know someone and a BBQ will always bring people over. Sitting out on the front porch, you are sure to see your neighbors go by.  Make sure to wave and smile!  Just being friendly goes a long way. Take advantage of the little opportunities that are given to you!  If you get a piece of mail…

Welcome to the Neighborhood Fix!

We love to get our Neighborhood Fix!  So, we've created this blog to highlight all the cool, creative, exciting and rad things that are going on in our neighborhoods & yours.  We think there are some great things to be learned with every neighborhood project, activity and event on the way to building better, safer communities.  Our goal is to bring you the how-to's, what-not-do's and FYI's that will spur us all on to being better neighbors!

Let's start sharing ideas...