I have been thinking a lot about neighborhoods lately. We had a prayer meeting in the neighborhood garden that is kept up my church on Friday. After the events that happened to Jim and I, I felt even more of a need to connect with my neighbors. One block west of us, where a lot of the church folks live – there have been several shootings in the last couple of weeks spurring one mom to put together this prayer meeting. I am grateful that she did. She helped me realize how much I appreciate this neighborhood, how we at least try to take care of each other, and how much we have been welcomed as neighbors. We aren’t going to solve any problems by praying in the garden on a Friday afternoon – but building relationships with our neighbors and trying to prevent problems may indeed start us on a better path.
All while that is going on, I found out today that Dominick’s, the major chain of grocery stores that had opened about 8 years ago about a mile from here, closed. In the same shopping center, a movie theatre closed last year around this time. In the parking lot of the shopping center is a Starbucks and that is closing in the cutbacks from that company. With gentrification a huge issue all around us – it seems that a movie theatre, a grocery store, and the hallmark of gentrification- Starbucks, could thrive. And yet, my neighborhood now has to travel more than 2 miles to the nearest full service grocery store. I sort of thought that piece (a grocery store) of gentrifying was a good thing.