Saturday, April 30, 2005

Our Vital Neighborhood Community Centers

Today's Tennessean contained an update on the reconstruction of the Community Center at Hadley Park.
Hadley Park Community Center.

The new center is a testament to the Mayor's commitments to neighborhoods and greenways and to the input of Hadley Park's residents and to the continuing influence of the Hadley Park Neighborhood Association. It will no doubt boost their partnership to promote health among the residents of northwest Nashville (including Preston Taylor and Tomorrow's Hope neighborhoods).

The modest community center in Morgan Park (MPCC) is not nearly as state-of-the-art as is Hadley Park's but it is also vital to the well-being of the Germantown, East Germantown, and Salemtown neighborhoods.
Morgan Park Community Center. Photograph by S-townMike. Posted by Hello
MPCC is aging, but stately. Its Manager, Michael Smith, and his able staff provide neighbors with various important programs and service opportunities. I am frequently, if not daily, in Morgan Park and around MPCC because I live a stone's throw away. It seems to me that, despite its central location between Germantown and Salemtown, it is exclusively used by Salemtown residents. It is the central meeting place for Salemtown Neighbors, the Salemtown Neighborhood Association, which meets there at least twice a month.
As far as I know, very few folk from Germantown or East Germantown utilize this neighborhood resource. I spoke with a person a couple of weeks ago who goes to the center everyday. He seems to know the people who come and go pretty well. He told me that he has seen very few residents outside of Salemtown use the center.

If that is indeed the case, it seems a waste to have such a great resource and community partner--in the center of the northern end of downtown--go unused by a large part of our enclave. When Germantown expanded its northern border from Van Buren St. to Hume St. a while back, it encompassed the MPCC within its border, and yet MPCC seems more of a Salemtown institution, given those who use it.

Perhaps the Germantown folks are waiting for the proposed Botanical Garden to be brought back to Morgan Park before using the MPCC. And perhaps a botanical garden would not be such a bad thing. But I hope that we do not get so preoccupied with romantic views of a restored past that we overlook what we have in the present. The MPCC is rooted in good things now. It does its work now, somewhere between Hadley Park's state-of-the-art future, and its own storied past. And now is the time for all of our north end enclave--from downtown to the north loop; from 8th to the river--to appreciate and to applaud it for what it is.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Did The Metro Planning Commission Rubber-Stamp Belmont's Ill-Gotten Gains?

A couple of months ago, I blogged my concerns about Belmont's plans to swallow up residential properties around it, allow them to fall into blight, and then swallow up more land as real estate prices dropped. I was particularly irked that Belmont officials seem to think that, because they send some students out to rake some leaves, those folks who live around the university owe Belmont acquiescence in return as it tries to drive down their real estate prices and then appropriate their land.

Yesterday the Planning Commission gave approval that would ease Belmont's attempts to continue to acquire residential properties beyond those it already owns. Neighbors from the area continue to express their protests about Belmont's already blighted holdings in the neighborhood. Nonetheless, the Planning Commission gave Belmont the green light to target properties for acquistion without having to come back to the Commission everytime they do so.

If I have understood the Commission's action, it seems effectively to guarantee that the owners of each residential property targeted by Belmont will not have his or her day before the Metro Planning Commission to express opposition to the university if he or she so chooses. The Commission seems to have given Belmont a leg-up ahead of each of its other neighbors.

The question remains: will Belmont treat surrounding neighborhoods as Vanderbilt University once treated neighborhoods like West End-Hillsboro, as pawns rather than partners?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Surviving Today

Everybody wave goodbye to Katie Couric and Al Roker. I have to give them this: they got in and got out without attracting a very big crowd, and that crowd seemed to get smaller the more the rain made big hair fall. Thank heavens there were no mobile homes choking 5th and Madison this morning.

I was going to ignore this event, but I had no choice as the Today helicopter-camera-aloft hovered in place over the back southwest corner of my backyard for a couple of hours early this morning, in order to get shots of Bicentennial Mall along the axis that runs up through Capitol Hill (one of the best views of downtown in the city, I'll wager). So, I decided to make a run over to the East End to pick up some coffee at Bongo and some baked goods at Sweet 16th for the missus.

But I slowed down along the way to gauge the gathering throng on the Mall. To tell you the truth, I saw bigger crowds at the State Employees parking lots a couple of blocks away streaming to and fro and waiting for buses to get to work. Jeff St. was navigable. So, no harm done by the Chesney-bots.

When I got home to enjoy breakfast, I turned on Today to see how it all looked on TV. I had to suffer through a fairly undelectable softball pitching performance by Matt Lauer to conservative pundit Bill Kristol. Ole liberal-media-Matt referred to as Dems "obstructionist" for opposing a mere 10 of President Bush's 215 judicial nominees, while Kristol hit homeruns off Matt's lobs by referring to Republicans as anti-establishment reformers. (See the lopsided math? Republicans, who have been the establishment for years, are--ironically--anti-establishment reformers when they oppose something, but Dems are obstructionist if they dare question a single move that conservatives long to make). But I digress.

I have to say that the crowd on the Mall looked even smaller on the tube than in real life. It looked like only about three-quarters of the already small space that was cordoned off for the crowd was ocupado. Channel 4 kept spinning it like the rain wasn't stopping people from streaming and crowding in for the concert. More PR than news.

However, aside from the typically bad news format, Today wasn't all that bad. I'm glad they left us without doing too much damage to the neighborhood, aside from the helicopter noise pollution.

One casualty of the event was my 1982 Doobie Brothers Farewell Tour t-shirt. Once I saw Kenny Chesney wearing one on-stage, I designated mine for the old rags bin. I'm old enough to say that I saw that tour. Was Kenny even born before 1982?

04/28/2005 5:30 p.m. Update: According to the Tennessean, 2,500 people stood in the rain this morning for Today. I am not convinced that they could get 2,500 people into the small corral at the narrow north end of Bicentennial Mall. I strolled around the corral yesterday during a walk with my toddler, and it looked small to me. But you know, I've never claimed to be a crowd head counter, either. So, if somebody official said 2,500 people stood in the rain, then I guess 2,500 stood in the rain.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Werthan "Industrial" Lofts Update

Today's City Paper has an article on the beginning of the final "Phase III" construction at Werthan Lofts.

Mark Deutschmann and Village Real Estate Services are doing their usual bang-up job on Werthan. If there is a more commendable and trustworthy business in Nashville than Village, I simply do not know them.

One of the reasons why Village is so high on my list is that it is a business with a community conscience. Financing for Werthan is an example. One of the funding sources for construction is the Nashville Housing Fund (NHF). NHF leverages a variety of public and private investments and grants "to build a local pool of funds that is flexible and self-sustaining in order to provide the financial resources necessary to help low and moderate income families and individuals become successful homeowners and to assist nonprofit and for-profit developers in increasing the supply of decent and affordable housing in Nashville."

That kind of financing fits with the economically diverse nature of our neighborhoods in North Nashville, and it makes the Werthan Lofts more deeply and profoundly valuable to us than the simple financial boon it might bring.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Danger, Will Robinson! Danger, Will Robinson! Chesney-Bots Set To Mass And To Overrun North Nashville!

Katie Couric has decided to bring her traveling Today road show--with Al Roker in tow--down here this week to our little corner of North Nashville. She's hosting Kenny Chesney and other country stars for an early morning concert at Bicentennial Mall on Thursday. Let's hope that all of the amplified bands won't be to Germantown what the Rolling Stones were to Hillsboro-West End a few years back (come to think of it, Pink Floyd at Vandy was pretty loud, too).

And what a mess traffic is going to be around 8th and Jeff Street. Channel 4 (WSMV) is asking people "to not camp, to not park and sleep in their cars, not to bring their mobile homes, and not to set up as if you are inhabiting the area." Mobile homes?! Inhabiting the area?! Looks like some of us in Germantown and Salemtown might wake up to find mobile homes double parked in front of our houses, since the state will not allow every fan of Katie and Al and Big and Rich coming from Buck Snort or Bell Buckle to "inhabit" the Mall grounds.

Oh, and the folks at Channel 4 are encouraging concert goers to go ahead and take all those Farmers Market parking spaces. So, if you plan on driving over for a morning produce run, forget about it, unless you are a Martina McBride groupie, then you're set.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Belmont-Hillsboro Neighborhood Association Being Sued By Residents

After working for about 30 years to get a conservation overlay passed into law this month for their historic neighborhood, Belmont-Hillsboro Neighbors has been sued by four Belmont-Hillsboro neighbors, who likely advocate tort reform in any other case.

And Yet Spurned By News2: One Among The Unaggregated Majority

There was a time, friends, when yours truly would get phone calls from Neil Orne asking for an interview about Enclave with wooing words like, "Yours is the kind of blog that epitomizes the local citizen journalism that we want to cover at WKRN." Oh, yes, friends, not too long ago, Enclave was too hot to trot for the real journalists at Channel 2 who lately cannot seem to get enough of "citizen journalists."

Their thirst for bloggers is unslakeable. So, they recently retained a local blogger to run their slick new "Nashville Is Talking" site (I've dubbed it "NIT" for short; I like the Monty Python sound of that dub), which aggregates and blogrolls local and state blogs so that WKRN viewers can check out what important things those of us tied to a keyboard have to say about current events.

Alas, friends, Enclave seems to have fallen out of favor over at Channel 2. Neil stopped calling. And the station's professional blogger, while putting us on the NIT blogroll, has left us among the unaggregated horde.

Oh, well, always a bridesmaid and never a bride. We'll just have to be forever wallflowers here. Just one among the many, taking comfort in flying low, off-radar.

04/26/2005 Update: Brittney, the newly hired charge of WKRN's blog, left a link to NIT in the comments field that explains Enclave's omission from the aggregator. Wasn't trying to lobby, else I would have sent e-mails hourly to Brittney's box. But I will have to cancel my plans to arrange to have the old water tower at the Werthan Lofts painted with the words, "Aggregate Enclave!" (à la "Save Ferris!"). Thanks, Brittney.

I'd Like To Thank All Of The Little People Out There ...

Thanks to Lynnette and Jim over at for recognizing Enclave as "one of Tennessee's Award-Winning" blogs.
It was an honor just to be nominated. There are so many people I want to mention ... [Cue music; cut mike]

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me

It's official. Today I am old enough to have become my father. I am also old enough so that the very idea of becoming my father does not scare the ever-loving crap out of me. My dad's a pretty good guy and I realize now what he put up with to continue to call me his son. Welcome to mid-life. Funny how it looks more like Fathers Day than my birthday.

The family has some sort of designs for me today, which include a Sounds game. (We tried to go last night, but the injury of a cold rain was made worse by the insult of a major stadium power outtage when a telephone pole outside got knocked down).

Saturday, April 23, 2005

What Happens When Federal Revenues Hit Home

I highly recommend this article at the American Prospect on the domestic costs of a free society. Paul Starr's argument is consistent with what I maintained earlier today: that the federal government's expensive foreign policy blunders in Iraq are draining resources that could be invested in important domestic programs.

Starr points out that federal expenditures on education, science and technology, health, and programs for children are not a drain on wealth, but instead are forms of investment. And those programs have a demonstrable history of long-term payoffs.

The same might be said of the block grant program, which benefits local neighborhoods. Federal investment in urban areas spurs economic growth that accumulates and expands. Take a look at the BellSouth Building and its cumulative affects on the south downtown area over the years. The economic redevelopment of downtown stretches from its beginnings at the BellSouth Plaza in either direction on Broadway, to the GEC and to the Shelby St. Bridge; south to the SoBro district and north perhaps to the Court House currently under renovation.

I remember a meeting in the early 1990s that some of us organizers had with then MDHA Director Gerald Nicely. He told us that the BellSouth project received federal grant revenues in the form of a community block grant, which MDHA administered. Just look at the constructive ripple affect that well-placed federal funds can have on a neighborhood in one short decade.

BellSouth ("Bat Man") Building in background from the Shelby St. Bridge at dusk. Photograph by S-townMike. Permission required for copy or reprint. Posted by Hello

$300 Billion Tax Dollars (And Counting) Flowing Away From American Neighborhoods To Iraq

Why are we seeing (and going to see) less and less federal seed money to stimulate urban economic development, less federal revenues for tougher local crime fighting, less federal grant funds to supplement the upkeep of public parks and the repair of sidewalks and roads? Because hundreds of billions are being sent down the black hole that is the war in Iraq, and no revenues are being generated to replace those lost dollars.

To be precise, the total cost of combat and reconstruction has now pushed over $300 billion with this week's Senate approval of $81 billion, which the Pentagon requested for the beginning of May. It would be one thing if taking money from neighborhoods to pay for Iraq had made a difference in security from terrorism, but CIA advisers have already concluded that Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the breeding ground of terrorists, despite two years of US control of Iraq. Even our own State Department reported that there were more terrorist attacks in 2004 than in any year since 1985.

Yet, we continue to bang our head against that wall, believing that if we just throw more money at the problem, we can solve Iraq by ourselves and still have enough money left over to address our problems at home. That's just plain fuzzy-headed. At some point, if you want to fight a war (even if it is not working) and to continue to address problems at home, you are going to have to raise new revenues.

I agree with those who argue that now that the Iraq War is going, we cannot simply and totally pull out without support, thus leaving Iraq to the faith-based terrorists who, thanks to the war, flooded into Iraq. That would be more disastrous and irresponsible than staying. We should leave gradually and with the help of the UN and other countries. However, if President Bush and Congress choose to keep the tax-dollar spigot to Iraq fully open as they have, then they are going to have to install some other proverbial faucets for our neighborhoods in the form of federal taxes to pay for the services that neighbors across the country demand.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Horse Play

To my delight, I recently caught sight of two police officers on horseback patrolling the alley in back of my house. I see the riders all the time downtown, but it was a great novelty to see them as far north as Salemtown.

When I asked an officer lately if we were going to get more horseback patrols, she told me that the Germantown association has requested them, so maybe so. I hope so. Equestrian cops seem more community-oriented than cops in cruisers, and so to see more horse play in my neighborhood to supplement the regular patrols would be outstanding.

My selfish wish is that Salemtown Neighbors will make a concerted effort to request horseback patrols on a regular basis.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Curby Is Still In My Dog House

One of these days when I have more time on my hands and less spring cleaning demands, I'm going to pen a long post on how counterproductive Metro's recycling program has been in my neighborhood.

Don't get me wrong. I believe that environmental concerns and commitments to recycling are important, but Curby just plain sucks. It gives recycling a black eye. You can line up BURNT devotees from the old thermal site downtown to my front door and not one of them could present a single cogent argument to convince me otherwise.

So, am I impressed in the least that Curby is going to start taking plastic bottles? You better believe I am not. My recycling cart continues to sit in the alley, unused by me. Dust is collecting on top of the trash that was thrown in it by whoever owned it before it got rudely dumped off a Curby truck last fall with no communication or warning.

More details on issues with Curby later ...

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Getting Reappraised: Malls As Analogical Referents

I may spend a lot of time in malls, but I hate them. They constitute a necessary evil, but that's the best thing I have to say about them. In spite of my mall-aversion there is one way that I find them useful: for appreciating the recent reappraisal of our property.

Granted, comparing rises and falls in the value of commercial property to that of residential property is largely a study of apples to oranges. But sometimes my analogical imagination runs a little wild when I try to get my mind around what assessors do and how they draw their conclusions.

The property value of our house is assessed at about +7-8% from 2004-2005. I guess that's good, even though it may mean more taxes for us next year. But I really need a neutral economist to tell me exactly how good (or bad) it might be.

I do not have a neutral economist at my beck and call, but I do have a Tennessean article from April 11, which reports a big drop in property value at Hickory Hollow Mall. So, that will have to do; and it is more than enough for my analogical imagination to draw its own unruly conclusions.

Keeping in mind that our residential thousands are not a commercial real estate's millions, I have to say that I am glad that our reassessment does not look like Hickory Hollow's. We have only owned our home for 7 months, but its assessed value has increased at least one percentage point for each month we owned it. That's good, right?

On the contrary, Hickory Hollow's decrease in value represents the largest decline of any commercial property in the assessor's latest mass reappraisal effort. I would hate to have suffered the largest decline of any residential property ever, so I am blowing out a big "Whew!" and I am counting us fortunate.

But I'm dealing with malls, so my analysis is not nearly superficial enough. I may not always have a deep grasp of economics, but I can paddle around the shallow end of the pool. So, let's just take this discussion of value to the shallowest level of cosmetic vanity possible.

In contrast to Hickory Hollow, the value of The Mall at Green Hills has grown 7%, the value of Rivergate Mall has grown 8%, and the value of 2525 West End has grown 9%. I am glad that my appraisal numbers look like those of the latter three malls. Why? Because the times I have been in Hickory Hollow, it seemed pretty "old school" as malls go. It seemed somewhat dark, cavernous, and boxy with lots of empty space where shops used to be. Both Rivergate and Green Hills are light, airy, and seem to be at capacity. 2525 seems to be the World of Tomorrow of malls with its gleaming brushed metal and faux marble structure.

So, I am relieved that my reappraisal is more like that of Rivergate, Green Hills, and 2525 than that of "Hick-low." I am pleased that my residential property is in the same stylish, à la mode company with the former and that it is in no way comparable to "old school" malls, which must deserve their depreciation for not staying trendy and hip.

Oh, and I suppose I am glad that our house increased in value, even if it is not a mall.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Salemtown Hits The "Hot Places To Live" List

Okay, so Salemtown got back-slashed with Germantown in the City Paper's list of hotties. It's still nice to see our neighborhood mentioned. Maybe the day when we no longer have to field the question, "Where's Salemtown?" is on the way.

This is a pretty good article on infills in older neighborhoods. But is it true that Germantown Partners LLC is going to sell the new Monroe townhouses for almost $450,000? Holy moley.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Property Owner Disguised As Used Tire Man (Or Might That Be, "Illegal Dumper Posing As Property Owner"?)

A neighbor asked that I post a piece on some dumped tires to Enclave. Happy to oblige.

On Thursday someone claiming to be the owner of the property at 1618 6th Ave., North dumped loads of tires twice on the vacant lot. When confronted by two residents, he claimed that the tires would be cleared out by today. As of this morning, when I drove by, they were still there.

Old, used tires dumped at the back (alleyside) of 1618 6th Ave., North. Photograph by S-townMike. Posted by Hello

The Tire Man told at least one resident that one local tire shop paid the Tire Man to get rid of their used tires rather than having to pay landfill fees. Why does a property owner need to unload used tires for extra money? Does this smell like a racket to anybody else but me?

Oh, and incidently, according to the Metro Planning Dept.'s online map room, if this Tire Man is the property owner, his name is Dorothy and she drives her beat-up old pick-up truck and tottering tire-filled trailer from the 37212 zip code in order to earn a few bucks making used tires disappear.

04/21/2005 Update: A clarification to the property owner info is necessary after I took a second look at the Planning Department's site. The land that lies between 1616 Ave. and 1620 6th Ave. is actually subdivided into 1618 6th Ave. and 1618 1 6th Ave. Dorothy from 37212 owns 1618. The owner of 1618 1 is actually listed as a male, so the truckdriver could have been the person I refer to as the "Tire Man" (although I cannot currently verify that).

This is a new one on me. The odd thing about these properties is that subdividing the property only makes each sliver of land 25 ft. wide, pretty much guaranteeing that each will stay vacant. The tires remain exactly where the Tire Man dumped them. Neighbors filing complaints with Metro Codes seem to be getting the bureaucratic runaround.

Friday, April 15, 2005

The Burden of Vandal Spotting

Yesterday morning I had the petty-crime equivalent of spotting the Loch Ness monster. I actually saw vandalism in progress. I happened to catch sight of a teenager--unbeknownst to him--cutting across an unfenced backyard at Hume Street. Spying an adolescent making a short cut is not unusual for this neighborhood, except that it was 10:30 in the morning and this teenager was not in school and he could not have been at the nearby Community Center, which does not open until noon.

But I watched him walk right up to a house, pull out a can of spray paint, and spray a bit of the gang-related graffiti that we've seen on other buildings in the neighborhood. He quickly walked away from the house, which was smart given that a busy intersection was no less than a half a block away. Here's what he was able to paint in the few seconds he was there:

Gang-related graffiti on a house on Hume St. near the Werthan Lofts. Photograph by S-townMike. Posted by Hello

Readers will remember a previous post where I reported that some on the Metro Council have opposed bans on the sale of spray paint to minors because the tykes might instead be budding artists simply expressing themselves or honest kids in art classes who just need a can of paint for their "projects." First, this kid was not in school, a fact that crucifies the school project argument. Second, he was painting a symbol seen in gang-related graffiti elsewhere and he was dressed in the ostentatious red and black colors of a well-known gang, which is what some of the neighborhood teens aspire to. I espied no portrait whatsoever of the artist as a young man or of a sometime student from a fine art class.

Why is this the equivalent of a glimpse of "Nessy"? Police say that actually witnessing graffiti going up is difficult, which is what makes catching these vandals so hard. But I witnessed it and I can identify the perpetrator. I have seen him walking the neighborhood a couple of times since the crime. (In fact, I saw him again today walking down a sidewalk on my street, spying a police car coming down the road, ducking behind a big, old-school [a.k.a., "Good Times"] van out of sight of the cruiser, and leaving only when the police were well out-of-sight; that's not exactly how a true artist might behave; it's more like how a guy who thinks he has been fingered by the police might behave).

So, with all the fluster of a lumberjack who just spotted bigfoot, I called the police to report the sighting. The response: an apology that there was nothing that they could do about the vandalism unless the property owner reported it, since the teenager might actually live on the property and have the right to paint symbols on his house. The officer politely told me that my options included leaving a note for the owner at the property and contacting my precinct police officers and requesting increased patrols. The former seemed a tad suicidal since I did not know the owner and the note could fall into the wrong hands; so, I dutifully contacted my precinct and asked for more patrols.

All of this leads me back to the question I posed to the Council before: if you oppose banning spray paint to prevent graffiti, then how else are you going to lead those of us who are victimized by it? Even though I witnessed a gangsta wannabe committing a crime in broad daylight, the police can do nothing unless the property owner, who probably did not witness the crime, files a report. That leads to another problem: if my property is vandalized when I'm not around, filing a report with the police is useless, since such a report would only lead to the apprehension of a person whom I was not around to see commit the crime; in other words, no one would be arrested.

It's no wonder graffiti is such a problem. It seems like an intractable problem for vandal spotters. The police can't arrest without a report from the property owner who eye-witnesses the crime and who can identify the perpetrator. So, basically all of the stars have to align in order to arrest. The Metro Council seems to refuse to lead on this issue by providing a proactive alternative to a ban bill about which it seems ambivalent (the bill has been deferred until May). So, there's no skin off their collective nose; they do not even have to break a sweat over this issue, unless vandals strike their individual properties. Meanwhile, neighbors who honestly care about the neighborhood and deterring crime are discouraged from reporting perpetrators because reporting is moot without the property owner, who may or may not be concerned to protect the anonymity of witnesses. So, the rest of us face a practically impossible situation.

But, it does sound like a sweet deal for the vandals. Do they realize how good they've got it?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Fragile and Resilient Life

Our one-year-old spent the past three days in the Centennial ER and the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. Late last Friday night, she came down with a stomach virus, which--by Monday night--drained her of her fluids, her vitality, and her happy nature.

She was in bad, listless shape for most of the weekend, but in the span of about fifteen minutes on Monday night, her face seemed to shroud with a sunken-eyed, pallid, death-like mask. She was expelling much more fluid than she was taking in. We were alarmed and rushed her to the ER.

I had many sleepless hours at the hospital to reflect on the prospect of losing her. That prospect was underscored by so many other proximate losses. Her sickness momentarily stole her inquisitiveness, her wonder, her energy, her resistance, her verve. It rendered her the opposite of everything we knew her to be.

It was a hard thing to watch her struggle to hold herself up. It was unbearable to watch her being stuck with needles in vain attempts to find veins big enough to take blood or hold I.V.s. It was an arduous, awful wait for her to come back.

But come back she did. It was a relief to pick up our mended daughter yesterday and feel the full load of her return, the weight of her re-hydrated, rejuvenated body. It was good to once again have to strain to carry her.

Life is amazing in all its fragility and resilience. We didn't leave the difficult hours and days on the hospital floor when we left; we left pieces of ourselves as we departed with gratitude and haste for home.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Speaking of Downtown ...

The Downtown Home Tour is coming up on May 1. To read more about it, buy advance tickets on-line, and see a map of the participating homes, click here.

From Downtown Parking Hell To Downtown Parking Purgatory

The Nashville Downtown Partnership provides a swell map of downtown parking lots that offer special rates, including $2 for 1 [hour] and $5 After 5 [o'clock].

For other downtown parking info, like other parking options, maps, and transport, click here.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Gated Communities May Not Even Be Secure Any More

While we we in Orlando last week, we heard tell of a local gated community in Heathrow called "The Reserve" that was suffering break-ins and robberies similar to the recent crime spree in affluent West End neighborhoods here in Nashville.

The glaring difference was that while the West End robberies involved petty theft of purses and what-not, Heathrow residents had suffered losses of watches and jewels to the tune of $120,000.

Nonetheless, it appears that nobody is safe from break-ins nowadays. Not even well-paid security and private gates can keep the bad guys out. Maybe it's time to start spending more money on local crimefighters in our police departments.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Crude Behavior

Oily vandalism. Posted by Hello

Oil on the driveway. Posted by Hello
A neighbor who lives on my block got hit by oil-bearing vandals earlier this week. They threw the Texas Tea all over the front of her garage and in the driveway. She took pictures and asked me to post them.
As much as I detest graffiti vandalism, I can understand the turf-related logic behind it. For the life of me, I fail to understand the reasons behind dowsing a garage with oil.
I hope my neighbor reports this to the police. If they did it once, they could do it again and maybe next time to someone else.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Back From Vacation

We just got back yesterday from a week-long vacation in Florida. More specifically, we stayed in Orlando at a Disney-affiliated resort, a.k.a., "the happiest place on earth." I had the privilege of taking my youngest for her first trip to the beach and of watching her make her first attempt at assisted dog paddling through the water.

I only went on-line a couple of times during vacation just to check my e-mail, so I have not published to Enclave in some time. Sorry to those who came by to visit and found nothing but items they've already read. Whenever I visit other blogs, I am less likely to return regularly if the author does not regularly post. So, I am sensitive to losing my audience by failing to post each day. However, when I checked the stats on page loads and hits over the past week, I was pleased to see that my absence did not seem to adversely affect the number of folks reading the blog, at least not yet. Thanks to those who continue to check out and to return to Enclave.

It's great to be back and be back writing.