This blog is intended to be an international conversation about our neighborhoods. What makes a neighborhood? How are we defined by the places where we once lived, where we live now? What would others see if they had a glimpse of our neighborhoods? At the State University of New York at Fredonia, we started to ask ourselves these questions, and we wanted to post our descriptions and invite others to do the same. We are hoping for an album of neighborhood images and descriptions--and plenty of opportunities for questions, dialogues, and musing.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Langfield Homes

The Langfield Homes are located in Buffalo, New York in the United States. I have been living in these homes my whole life. I live with my mother Renee, my father Eddie, my older brother Quincy and my younger sister Britney. Personally just by looking at the place it doesn't seem as if it's a place for people in the poverty income level. But, in order to live in these homes you have to have to be in a lower social class. The demographic in this area is mostly African-American. People in the neighborhood call the government run houses "projects"; which is consider a negative term to use. Because of the concentrated impoverished people the crime rate is higher than other areas that are more diverse. The houses are all identical on the inside and outside. We all have two floors with one or two bathroom and from one to four bedrooms. Your monthly rent depends on your income, if you have no income you pay a base rate of something like $50 with utilities included. Despite high crime rates, I see very little of it with my own eyes. On my row of houses (which is seen the picture) there are more little kids than anything so I see more positive than other rows might see. We see little boys playing football and little girls drawing pictures with sidewalk chalk. On Friday nights most of the youth go to youth night at the neighborhood church. They offer religion, food, and fun which is a good bargain for kids who might not have food in their homes. Living in this type of environment has made me look for the better things in life. So, I don't regret being brought up in these homes I call home.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Talos Way, Rochester, NY

I grew up on Talos Way in Rochester, NY. Rochester is a very suburban area. It's both calming and relaxing. My nieghborhood is located right next to an elementary school. Paul Road Elementary is where I attended. Talos Way is a wide circle of twp-story houses with beautiful green lawns. When the winter comes, the houses are bright and snow covered. It looks pretty amazing with all of the colorful Christmas lights. Nearly every family, if not all, decorate their house. My neighborhood is very family-friendly. I have known my neighbors Bob and Rita for years. They are both deaf and a little mute, so communication is hard, but sign language is definately useful when talking to them. Even with the language barrier, they're still very nice people and from a young age, they always let us play with the black lab, Candy. There are frequently families walking around our block. Whether they're just taking a leisurely walk, pushing a stroller, or with their kids on their bikes, everyone always has a good time. Kids have always been playing in outside throughout the neighborhood. I used to play with my neighbors, Ryan and Chris Quinn, Shawna Smith, Anthony Larocca and others. We would play in the Quinn's treehouse, on my sister's and my playset, in my pool, or just play tag throughout the whole neighborhood. There's no fencing in any yard and it's very open to play in. At the same time, my neighborhood is safe and comforting because it's not that big and it's just one circle. My neighborhood is beautiful and fun and I wouldn't have lived anywhere else. I really do love it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fairport, New York

I grew up in the inner city of Rochester and moved to Fairport when I was 14. Fairport is a suburb of Rochester, located southeast of the city. My neighborhood is so different from the city I grew up in! The city street I lived on was very loud and interesting, and my neighbors were like family to me. The street I live on now in Fairport (pictured) is very quiet, which was difficult for me to grow used to. The houses are spaced farther apart, and I don't know my neighbors very well. Since my street has so little car traffic and is connected to other neighborhoods just like it via side streets, most of my neighbors walk their dogs or go jogging every day, and my parents met most of their friends on our street by taking walks every night at the same time. I'm not sure I'm ready to commit to a jogging schedule like that yet! I like my neighborhood, but I find it boring most of the time; all the houses have the same architecture, the same cars, the same types of families, and nothing exciting ever happens. I know when I'm older I'll want to live in the city again!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Livonia, New York

I live in Livonia which is a very small town. I graduated with about 160 students, so that just shows how little my school is compared to a lot of high schools I hear about here in Fredonia. There isn't much to my town or much to do, but it is a nice place to live because most everyone is very friendly and a lot of the people know eachother. We have a couple little parks, a grocery story, school, some little restaurants, farms, and not much else. I don't mind at all because we only have to drive about 15 or 20 minutes to get to bigger stores or a mall. My Neighborhood has about 10 houses and kids from all ages. When i was younger, all the kids would stay up late on summer nights playing games outside with everyone, and sometimes we would have campfires or neighborhood parties together. I liked growing up in a small town because I felt close to everyone around me, and that is always nice to have growing up.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

West Henrietta, New York

If you continue down this street you will find three different horse farms, four corn fields and miles of trails for walking or four wheeling. With the closest store around the corner, it is about 15 minutes to any point of interest. Many people who live around me dont go out much and usually find there own form of entertainment by four wheeling, farming, snow mobiling and many other things. The people in my neighborhood are not what you would call a close knit community but we do socialize. Even though not all of us talk to one another we all know who the other is. Its a small part of a town outside of large city so it is hidden within the cities shadow. Many people around my town know about the town of Henrietta and main parts of it but not many drive through West Henrietta. We have 2 main intersections on the same street and once you drive passed those it is almost all farmland. While i am guilty of complaining that i have nothing to do when i am home i would not want to live any where else.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Memorable Experiences of Leon Place

Each and every family residing on Leon Place interacts with their neighbors, which is what really makes this neighborhood a neighborhood. Everyone on my street knows each other and treats each other with respect and is always very welcoming. Mr. Dempsey, a tall, elder man that lives in the last house on the street, makes his own Christmas cards and sends them to everyone on the street. The cards look very creative and festive, and are just enough to boost the holiday spirit. There has never been a time when someone would walk by and not give a pleasant hello, or even a friendly wave. This friendliness also provides a sense of security, which is what makes this neighborhood a great place to grow up. With this sense of security, parents feel as though it is safe to allow their children to play outside without having to worry about any harmful incidents. My childhood memories wouldn’t have been as unforgettable if it wasn’t for the time I spent playing in the yards with the other children who lived on my street. By the time summer rolled around, kids could be seen playing outside at all hours of the day. A quiet neighborhood was rare to come by on a summer night if you were passing by my street. We played the same games almost every night, yet they never got old. In fact, the classic games, such as ghost in the grave yard and kick the can, were the favorites. The friendships that were created during our childhoods still exist today. One day my brother and I received the news that our close friend who lived just a few houses down from us would be moving to Connecticut because his dad got a new job. It was one of the most disheartening things I had heard since living in this neighborhood. But this just goes to show the relationships that are possible when a neighborhood takes you in.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hazard Street, Solvay New York

Hazard Street is the place I call home. On the corner next to the stop sign, you will find the green house that always has at least one car in the driveway. My neighbors are so friendly and are very warm and welcoming. Every0ne's door is always open and you are always greeted when you get out of the car with a "Hey, how's it going!" or a "Hello!" Directly down the street there is one of the Solvay Fire Houses, a park and one of the most historic places in Solvay, Hazard Street School. This was the place that my entire family attended, and sadly it was just torn down to make athletic fields for our school district. Regardless, the memories of that building still remain with me and many of my neighbors. Not only does the friendliness exist on Hazard Street, but the neighbors on the neighboring streets are so forthcoming and again, greet everyone with a smile. Not only is the house I live in the one I have lived in my entire life, but it is the home that my great-grandparents lived as well, so my home is even more meaningful to me and my family. I could not imagine living on any other street in Solvay, it's a place that I'm comfortable and I know and love every single one of my neighbors-even the old man across the street who believes that our American and Italian flags make to much noise when the wind blows!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Neighbor--Written by Letitia Li

My neighbor is an old lady .We all call her Grandma Wang. I think she likes listening Peking Opera because she always listens Peking Opera in the morning after she wakes up.She is serious.She is always strict to the child in the neighborhood.No child is allowed to enter her flat.We all think she is so weird.
But I must agree that she is good at gardening.She plants a lot of flowers,such as Chinese Rose,Morning glory.All of the flowers, which she plants,are very beautiful.Some little girls in our neighborhood receives the pretty flowers from her.However,I never get the chance to receive the flowers. I once heard she had told others that she thought I was not serious .
I only know a little about her. Perhaps, she isn' t so weird as we think.