As you recall, I live in what is a gentrifying neighborhood wedged between the expensive West End area, the expensive Sylvan Park area, and an area sometimes called Sylvan Heights which is even sketchier and less certain of its ability to gentrify than we are.
I live on a dead end with train tracks behind us and the interstate in front of us. On the other side of the train tracks is some kind of machine shop or metal fabricating business and every couple of years someone will move into the neighborhood and become convinced that whatever’s going on in that three block long shed is probably killing us and we must all petition to close it down and it never works.
The shittiest place in the neighborhood to live would have to be in what is now an empty field which is flanked on one side by the train tracks, on another side by another set of train tracks, and on the third side by this business.
They plan to put quarter of a million dollar condos in that empty field. I don’t mean just plan. My neighbor who always gives me the hobo news says they’ve broken ground.
So, today, I’m walking by his house while he’s holding his silly dog so that it doesn’t run out in traffic to come tell us hello and he shouts, “Have you seen what they’re doing behind me?”
And I say, “Quarter of a million dollars to live next to that thing,” gesturing to the shed from which we can hear the noises of a shift just starting (did I mention that they seem to run three shifts over there?).
And he says, “B., don’t you know? That’s going to be the opera house!”
That made me laugh for the whole rest of the walk.
That tends to be how they market stuff in our neighborhood, like we’re an undiscovered pocket of Belle Meade, just in need of a little redevelopment.
Shoot, I don’t know. Maybe we are. I’m just saying that I would not pay a quarter of a million dollars to live next door to that and the trains. And I continue to be amazed that people would.