Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Across the street from my house there are eight healthy, mature trees slated for the ax. The trees have big red X marks painted on them. (See Exhibit in previous post). Additionally, there are two ornamental trees also bearing X marks.

Today was a Sunday, which meant that I would immerse myself in the New York Times for a few hours like I always do when I'm home on the weekend. I took the newspaper and sat out on my front porch, which has always been kind of like the Shady Rest with such a leafscape across the street.

While I read the paper, I also watched my neighbors walk past the house that is slated for demolition by the middle of August. (In case you're late to this news feed, the house is in great shape, stem to stern, but the property was bought by a developer who wants to build two houses on the property, somehow necessitating the destruction of all those trees.)

It was interesting to see peoples' reactions to all those X marks and the real estate sign "lot for sale."

One man stood and stared, shook his head, and moved on.

The young jogging girl didn't notice.

A woman my age from the next block over stopped and talked to me about it for 30 minutes. She explained the importance of everything being brand new (and that master bath!). To whit, busy working millionaires don't want to spend their weekends on home improvement and maintenance. They want everything new and perfect. She estimated the yearly property taxes on each house would be $30 to $40,000. You read that right. Five figures. Yearly.

My neighbor whose house will be next to the destruction/construction came out, found the surveying marks that delineate his property, and put posts by them. He is rightly concerned about incursion. We wondered together if perhaps the largest of the trees might be on someone else's property.

A couple walked by with their dogs. They stopped, looked, said something to one another, moved on.

A neighbor who frequently walks his dog past my house looked at the sign, looked at me on the porch, and shook his head sadly. He was wearing earbuds.

A black Mercedes Benz with tinted windows pulled up in front of the sign and stopped. I could barely see two people in the car. I heard a phone ringing in the car. It rang seven times and then got picked up by an answering machine. The Benz drove on.

A man in a maroon SUV drove up. Stopped at the "lot for sale" sign. Reversed to the other edge of the property. Drove forward again very slowly. Stopped at the sign again. Then moved on.

A few other dog-walkers went past without noting or commenting.

My Beta cat slept on the back porch. Gamma tiptoed around. He's kind of spooky.

Snobville is very quiet in July and August. Most folks go to the Jersey Shore. There's a feeling in my heart of All Hell about to be broken loose.

Nor did reading the New York Times improve my sensation of Impending Doom.


Harry Hamid said...

We have a similar thing happening in my neighborhood. Older houses are being replaced by townhomes - 3 1/2 stories tall, no yards - at a breathtaking rate.

The way people reacted to the neighboring property reminds me a lot of what I see. It hasn't taken very long for me to see a lot of change.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I hate seeing big healthy trees cut down in their prime. It's very depressing.

Jono said...

I would try and do the crossword. It will distract from harsh realities.

Janie Junebug said...

I'm grateful I live in a neighborhood with a preservation society. Trees only come down if they are dead.


Unknown said...

Far Better Hiker, indeed! I'm impressed! Does your school routinely hire teachers for summer projects like this? It's a great idea.