Monday, April 27, 2009

trust fund slum

I was laughing this morning when I saw the link to this article

I lived on that street for a year because I had friends looking for roommates and it was a short walk from campus and downtown.

It was more or less a slum for rich white kids who wanted to have their own "Animal House" with old homes that were literally falling apart and yards that were littered with old kegs and red plastic cups. There was broken glass everywhere and blackened pieces of old couches that had been burned in the middle of the street. I get really mad when I hear people in suburban Cleveland talking about any group of "other" people bringing down the neighborhood, because their own kids would do a damn good job of it.

The city council called it a "blighted neighborhood" for good reason. And Peter Frampton's daughter lived a couple houses down from me. I was living there when the first College Fest went down, and while there were no riots with tear gas and pepper spray, it looked almost exactly like this. Really, it looked like this pretty much all the time.

We didn't have keys to the front door, just deadbolts for our rooms and it wasn't uncommon to come home and find a drunk high school kid standing in your living room wondering where the party's at and trying to tell you that he's 23 or someone you've never seen before passed out on the couch. The girls upstairs used to throw water balloons off the roof at people walking home from the bars. One time three strippers showed up at my door looking for Jimmy and I sent them elsewhere.

The year after I moved to more quiet and less expensive environs, kids from Akron used to come up and rob and pistol-whip people walking home from the bars because the combination of stupidity, alcohol, and money was just too easy of a target.

I got to hang out with my old roommate this weekend, and it says a lot about dorm life that living here was better, but also that we wondered how we ended up there, and how we thought that life was actually normal.

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