Tell us something odd or interesting about your immediate neighborhood.

I’ll go first.

I live just over the fence from my old high school. On the grounds of the school are two artesian springs, one of which was landscaped into a beautiful pond in a garden. It still is, actually, though they’ve been letting the garden care slide a bit.

This being in dry L.A., there can be no doubt that Native Americans came to this site for thousands of years, since it was the only surface water available for many miles around. In fact, a 6000 year old grave was discovered elsewhere on the school grounds while I was a student there. The archaologists said it was a typical grave of the Native American culture that existed in the L.A. basin and on the channel islands.

A stone’s throw from my apartment. An honest-to-god running spring in drought-ridden SoCal.

So what are your local oddities?

The community (non-incorporated) I live in is named Pratts. Those that have lived here longer than I have
remember when the name was [color=indigo]Froglevel[/color. Every June

Hm, a lake that my parents and grandparents and assorted other cousins had property on was in Ripleys believe it or not for having the inlet and outlet at the same end. Also was springfed from somewhere underneath so it was freaking freezing at the height of summer once you got more than a foot or so deep=)

There was a fake water monster hoax there in the late 1800s [Silver Lake, next to Perry New York, if you must know]

My current neighborhood has a registered sexual offender living too close for my personal comfort=\ so I am very happy that my exroomie with kid emmigrated to the safety[?] of Perth to get married so her kid wasnt bothered!

In 1968 a damaging tornado came within a block of my house. I still find tons of glass in my garden every year.
Perhaps most interesting is that my neighbor is Jim McMahon. No, seriously! Okay, so he’s not that Jim McMahon, but it is his name, and we enjoy telling people that.

[sup]Sorry, I don’t know why that posted before I was finished.[/sup]

The community (non-incorporated) I live in is named Pratts. Those that have lived here longer than I have
remember when the name was Froglevel. Every June we have the Froglevel Festival. Besides a 6K run, it features a frog race (although you will see several toads in the mix.)

My neighborhood is called Mount Washington, though it is in LA and only a few miles east of dowtown. In the early 1900’s there used to be a railway here, and on top of the hill was a beautiful old hotel frequented by movies stars and such. Like all light rail in this city, it was short lived. And the hotel is now the headquarters for a kooky “spiritualist” cult…er…I mean group.

The house I grew up in is across town, and the backyard could double for a pet cemetary. We had oodles of pets, now all resting in their homemade coffins. I often wonder if the current residents ever dug any up by mistake.

My humble little subdivision sits on the California Trail. It literally crosses the main street into it by the mailboxes. The old wagon-wheel ruts have long since been beaten smooth by Jeeps and ATVs, but part of the trail is still there, meandering thru the sage brush and pucker bushes. Me and the kid drive on it with the Jeep and motorcycles weekly. Kinda old-timey pioneer vibe going on.

Parts of the trail have historical markers made out of old railroad steel. These just stick up randomly out of the desert. There is one that is visible from my house. (if you know where to look! They are hard to see when you are 20 feet from them!)I often wonder if some stupid person has ever tripped over it in the dark or ran there car/truck/bike/whatever into it. It would f^@% you up, I’ll tell ya!

My current neighborhood is near some remains of an old Native American settlement in some caves in the Sierra Nevada.

Better … I once lived in Fredericksburg VA on the actual ground of the battlefield. If you are familiar at all with the battle of Fredericksburg, you know of the Stone Wall. This was a fortified position the Rebels held. Union General Burnside ordered repeated assaults on the wall across an open field, uphill … which ended in wholesale slaughter of his soldiers. Today, the wall still stands, and there is a neighborhood built in that field. I lived on the nerest street to the wall (Willis St.). It runs parallel to the wall about 50 yards from it. Probably about as far as anyone advanced that day.

Bob across the street has a bit of a hooker habit. When I first moved here, the neighbor kids used to tell me that “Bob’s got a hooker over there”. I thought they were exaggerating, that probably Bob had picked up some skank in a bar. But over time I’ve learned that Bob really does like the hookers. I’ve seen a few, and they tend to have very nice bodies, but ravaged faces and bad teeth. A fairly reliable source told me that Bob cruises the streets of Memphis to find these women and that the going rate for overnight is $60. It’s not unusual for Bob to bring home two at a time. One time a couple of them stole his tool box.

The property my and several other houses stand on used to be a small farm. The former owner of this farm apparently commited suicide by hanging himself in his barn one day. I have heard this separately from different reliable sources so it appears to be true.

My neighborhood is a fairly quiet residential area near the center of a big city. It’s still mostly single family residences, but the townhomes are creeping in. Many of the streets are not big enough for two cars to pass if there are cars parked on both sides, but there are not cars lining both sides of every street, so it works. Most traffic regulation at intersections is by 2-way and 4-way stop signs.

And all through the neighborhood are signs at the intersections that say “No Turns 7 PM - 7 AM.” Traffic is slow at night, and I’m sure the newly arrived townhomers must wonder about these signs.

The reason they’re there is that the major traffic artery bounding my neighborhood to the north (lower Westheimer, for those who know Houston) was, at one time, the major cruising drag for every segment of society that cruises. The street hookers were out in force, not even bothering to defend a corner. It was where the cruising gays cruised, and where the street dealers of drugs hawked their wares. And the teeny-boppers latched on to it.

Sidewalks were crowded, and it could take you 90 minutes to drive from Mandell to Montrose (maybe 1/4 of a mile). Nightclubs of dubious distinction were everywhere, and every vice imaginable was available within a few feet. Whadya want? Desperate runaways who’ll do ya for a bit of food? Which gender? Transvestites on speed? Look to your left. No, you just want the speed? Look behind her. Oh, you need a gun. Come meet Joey up at the light.

So, heavy cruising activity delivered all sorts of discomfiture to the local residents, from beer bottles and front lawn pissers to drug related shootings and thefts. The signs were an early attempt to give to police reason to pull over cruisers making a block to get back to something that had piqued their interest.

Finally, ~20 years ago, the cops put an end to it. With a great strategy. They put hordes of cops out, in rather intimidating riot gear (helmets, shields, long batons) and they set up table-top computers in the Westheimer left turn lane (which was then blocked, so you couldn’t turn left off of Westheimer for quite a bit). And they installed collection points where the black marias awaited.

Traffic moved very slowly, and they had officers out downstream transmitting every license plate that went by to the computer stations. IIRC, approximately 20% of license plates yielded a bust at the beginning of the campaign, when checked for associated warrants. They knew you were coming down the pike and just waited for you.

It only took them a few months to kill it off, completely. Lower Westheimer today is a quiet street - there are the occasional batch of runaways working decades old skinny about where to find the action in Houston, but they’re sorely disappointed. The street’s quiet, and has been for some time.

But still, the signs remain.


Well… I do live on Gallows Hill in Salem, Massachusetts…

19 victims of religious hysteria were executed a stone’s throw from my house.

Creepy, eh?

A rather bleak place to put a park…


Let’s try that again…


A blue genie used to live atop a studio ten blocks from my house and wave at traffic.

But that’s not really in my neighborhood, so how about…

The fundraising events at my kids’ school usually include a concert by one or more rock stars (ok, they’re local heroes, but it’s still a generous thing that they do.)

This gentrified neighborhood used to be a cotton plantation. The biggest homes are near the old owner’s house and the houses tend to get smaller as you go through the neighborhhod. Yes, the section eight housing is at the very end, across the street from the old black Baptist church.

Development to the West and South of town is regulated to keep a handful of neighborhood amphibians healthy.

We’re in the middle of Texas and most of the people here are liberals and/or Democrats. A couple of people in the neighborhood have been good-naturedly teased about being the “token Republicans.”

I live in the oldest neighborhood in town. It was recently designated the “Historical District” although half the houses were built in the 40s and several were built in the 70s. My street includes 1 house that’s 100 yrs old, 3 built in the 20s, 2 from the 40s (including mine), 1 70s era singlewide trailer :rolleyes: , and the rest are crappy little shacks that are probably newer than they look. Oh, and an adobe type structure that’s currently being used as a storage shed by the guy across the street, but I think at one time it was somebody’s house.

Up until recently I lived a couple of blocks from Mountain View Cemetery, which is one of the oldest cemeteries in British Columbia.

When its first occupant was ready to move in in 1887, there were a few problems. The area was undeveloped, and the weather wasn’t cooperating. (Vancouver has always been Rain City.) And this fellow (whose name escapes me) was a big guy. The box that had been fashioned for him became hopelessly mired in Fraser Street, which was a crude dirt road at the time, and which still borders the cemetery. Many people struggled for days to shift the box, but the situation went from bad to worse.

Eventually, it was decided that he wasn’t going to move any further. So they dug down, and buried him where he had come to rest.

Subsequent occupants were buried in the cemetery proper, and the city grew up around him. Fraser Street is now heavily trafficked, as is 33rd Avenue, which intersects it, and defines the northern edge of the cemetery. Over time, the exact location of the man’s coffin became unclear, and attempts to disinter and relocate him were eventually abandoned. He’s somewhere in the close vicinity of the intersection of Fraser and 33rd, and his only monument is a plate that the City has affixed to a utility pole there.

You might not want to walk down the river’s edge behind my house after dark. There’s gators out there. :eek:

As far as I know, there isn’t anything special about my neighborhood that I live in now but there were two interesting things about the one I grew up in, from the time I was seven until I was seventeen.

The first is that Scott Stapp, the lead singer of Creed, went to and got kicked out of the college that was adjacent to our property while we lived there. That normally wouldn’t be that big of a deal but this was is a town of 35,000 people and as far as I know, it’s only brush with celebrity.

The second thing is that the athletes competing in the whitewater events in the 1996 Olympics in Altanta, Georgia literally lived in the dormitories across the street from my house for the days (weeks?) it took them to finish.

Again, big news for such a little town, especially considering Atlanta is a hundred miles away and the river the events took place at were a further thirty miles away.

We live in a combination commercial/residential complex. On the ground floor of our building, we have a luncheonette, a driving school, a karate studio, a plumbing supply showroom and a day spa. On the ground floor of the other building, a company that produces medical training films, the offices of the local newpaper and a consulting company. The 2nd floor (1st floor for all our UK Doper friends) is residential space. In between the two buildings is a large, beautifully landscaped courtyard, complete with fountains, a small ‘grotto’ (which we’ve commandeered for our own use, since no one else had been using it) and the grounds also include 2 ponds, both filled with large-mouthed bass and catfish. The resident fauna includes a pair of mallard ducks, a pair of geese (the white kind, not the ugly canadian ones), a couple of groundhog burrows and at least one fox covet. Birds of many kinds can be seen (I saw an eagle on Monday!)

We’re about 1/10th of a mile off the main road (HUGE parking lot and another building in the front). This isn’t your normal square, red brick commercial building. It’s a very modern design, with lots of angles, and huge ‘eyebrow’ windows in the condos. We can walk to the italian restaurant to the north of us (and usually, stagger back), to the chinese restaurant, Pepperage Farms outlet and liquor store to the east of us, and there’s a fresh fruit and veggie stand right across from the main entrance to the complex.

Right now, there are only 4 of the 12 condos occupied. Since most of the other residents are either early risers or old people, after 10pm, the place is deserted. This makes it great to go skinnydipping in the fountains on hot nights, especially since most of the occupied units don’t face the courtyard (right now, ours is the only occupied unit that does) :wink:


If you start to see Clear Coolers (Clear plastic food and beverage coolers) at Nascar and sporting events, they are my neighbors’ brainchild. Apparently they will make their debut soon. They are an innovation because they needn’t be opened and searched at large gatherings post 9/11.