After two years my corner, my home, looks mostly the same ‘cept the bearded white man toting a messenger bag and stalling on his fixie. After two years my corner, my home, smells mostly the same: inundated with the sweet scent of Swisher cigars. After two years my corner, my home, sounds the same ‘cept the Bay Area rap doesn’t blast quite as loud. Instead people step (or bike) to the sound of money flowing into contractors’ hands and restaurant owners’ pockets, whilst transplants sip bottles of wine, the price of which would probably cover the uncovered PG&E bill of a nameless resident two doors down.
Twenty years ago my corner, my home, birthed a boisterous generation of sisters and brothers. It raised young men and women. My corner, my home, was the breakroom to the bustling institution, stocked with 20 ounces and chick-o-sticks. It was Ebony’s beauty salon, where on payday women shopped for packs of hair in lieu of the hair-do that was to ensue by that one cousin’s friend. My corner, my home was the cafe, third space, social sanctuary, and best friend’s living room. It was, and I can think back on it in a nostalgic haze, hopping off the 54 bus from school to fresh-baked pies accompanied by pamphlets displaying symbols of the Muslim brotherhood. This corner, my corner, our corner was vibrant in more ways than one. It sang, it danced, it laughed, it breathed and regularly died with us.
My corner on Third and Palou makes me feel at home. Even still, though I've been traversing windy city street corners for the past two and a half years in its place, it makes me feel at home. Even still, though the demographic has gotten both whiter and wealthier, it makes me feel at home. Even still, though the familiar faces have dwindled and the storefronts have changed and the liquor stores have shut down, it makes me feel at home. Even still, though this bubble has attempted to transform my hood into a coder’s paradise, it makes me feel at home. Even still, though the new claim placed on my home makes my heart cringe, eyes swell, and fists clench, it makes me feel at home. Even though in five years this corner will, by most definitions, no longer be my home, I tend to it, I reside on it, I care for it because even then, even still, it will make me feel at home.
D Gallaread currently calls 94108 home.
60202 was called home in the recent past.