Saturday, October 29, 2011

What is the Buffer Zone?

When we moved into this neighborhood in 1988, my husband and I called this street the Buffer Zone.  The street just west of us was full of stately brick homes built at the beginning of the 20th century.  These houses were (and still are) surrounded by old growth trees and lush Southern shade plants.  The street just east of us was full of scrappy two bedroom frame houses built in the 1940's and 50's set mostly on dirt front yards with several cars parked right up near the front doors.  Behind this street was a woods and then an industrial road containing, among other things, a cheese factory.
We thought of our street as the Buffer Zone: not as nice as the streets with the old Southern homes to the west, but not as worn out as the houses on the street to the east.
In recent years, the boom years of the mid 90's to be exact, the cheese factory was demolished, as were the woods, and all the scrappy little houses east of us.  Luxury apartments and big modern houses filled the space.  This left our street being the down-at-the-heels area.  The worst houses on this street were torn down one by one and replaced with narrow modern houses whose facades are dominated by a double car garage.  However, many of the old houses survived.
It takes quirky characters to dwell in these little houses on this not-so-sophisticated street.  And so begins this blog, which proposes to be about these characters.  Having lived amongst them for over twenty years now, I hope to describe them with love and humor.

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