Acting under what I call the "Adopt Vacant Houses Mandate," I went out on patrol with my son Alex in the area around my home on Bryant Ave. N. In the photo above, Alex is recycling one of the approximately 15 phone books we picked up. What a waste of trees! I did manage to expand my...
...fridge magnet collection quite a bit, though. I'm obsessed with fridge magnets and probably have, like, a thousand of them. Whatever is displayed on my fridge reflects my current circumstances, sort of. I have magnets from driving jobs in Kentucky, for example. Some day I'd like to have steel panels in a "man cave" garage and display the whole glorious collection.
So, yeah, anyway...I got some fridge magnets from recycling all those phone books with Alex.
Walking by this house on my block, we found out new neighbors had moved in and were making fixes. They were Hmong and didn't speak much English, but they spoke enough for us to understand they were owners, not renters, and excited about fixing up their newly-purchased residence.
Here's an example of a duplex where the top floor is condemned, but not the bottom floor. Alex holds a phone book bag he picked up somewhere else.
Alex poses with a sign knocked down and laying on the boulevard, near the notorious Hawthorn (sic) Crossings strip mall.
Newly-acquired fridge magnets hold up a drawing showing plans for housing at the Hawthorne EcoVillage. I keep stuff like this on my fridge to remind me my neighborhood is progressing, getting better all the time. When my kid fetches a Dr. Pepper from the fridge, he also sees my dedication to the neighborhood. Incredibly, there are times when my son Alex would rather go on patrol than play video games.
Though I do patrols all the time--by myself, with my son, with neighbors--this was a patrol I happened to document. If North Minneapolis neighbors want to live in a better neighborhood, I strongly suggest going on patrol. It's amazing how many calls you can make to 311 and 911, what an impact you can have in only an hour.
Besides, you might meet some new neighbors!