Apartment life, Capitol Square, Chiropractor, City Life, City of Trees, Crime, Homeless, Homeless Shelter, Isthmus Daily Page, Madison WI, Metropolitan Place, Panhandling, Personal Health Issues, Police, Poverty, Real Estate Development, State Street, The Isthmus

Gentrification Redux

However mean your life is, meet it and live it: do not shun it and call it hard names. Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.

Henry David Thoreau

Some time ago I asked whether or not gentrification was a good thing. Frankly, I think it’s a mixed bag. Our neighborhood is becoming more “foot-friendly” and there are more and more daily services moving into downtown Madison. Gentrification does have its pluses if it is done judiciously.

I recently visited Dr Aaron Abplanalp who has opened up shop at Life City in one of the Metropolitan Place retail spaces. He’s a fine addition to the neighborhood and since I need the services of a chiropractor frequently due to some serious injuries to my back, the convenience of having a good doctor within walking distance is a treasure.

At the same time this kind of rhetoric on the part of developers in the downtown area reported on in “The Isthmus Daily Page in late September just smacks classicism and possibly racism since many of these people are people of color:

Teen center eyed as homeless shelter

Developer calls for moving homeless men off the Square
Vikki Kratz on Wednesday 09/26/2007

Madison developer Cliff Fisher is bothered to see homeless men on the Capitol Square. He wishes they were somewhere else.

“People come here and all they see is people standing around, begging for money,” says Fisher, who owns more than a dozen downtown properties. “We have the most beautiful Capitol, and you see people panhandling.”

Granted it isn’t pleasant to be harassed by homeless people for money but I live in Mr Fisher’s neighborhood. I walk the streets past his developments and I interact with these homeless people. For the most part I don’t see them harassing anyone when they’re turned down politely.

What I HAVE seen are people who are publicly intoxicated or strung out on drugs harassing people. That is a different matter entirely. That is a law enforcement problem.

That they also happen to be homeless is incidental. Those people could be removed from the scene if the police were properly enforcing the law.  If people called and reported the fact that someone who was publicly intoxicated was being a public nuisance the police would have to go out there and do their jobs.  I doubt the Madison Police would have a problem doing that.

For the most part, the Police do take care of the public nuisances as they walk their beat in the downtown area but they can’t be everywhere at once and like naughty children the bad apples in the barrel will wait until the Police have their back turned to act out. When you are being harassed, call the police. Hang around in the vicinity until the cops arrive and point out the bad apple. Take the risk.

Moving the homeless shelters off the square and away from the ritzy condos isn’t going to solve the problem. Do you think these people are stupid? State Street and the Square are their bread and butter. They’ll just walk eight blocks or however far you push them out to get back up here where the cash and the foot traffic is.

Don’t be absurd and think you can get rid of a social problem by trying to hide it, Mr Fisher. Don’t be part of the problem; be part of the solution and help create jobs for these people so they have no need of shelters or begging on the streets of this beautiful city of ours. And don’t be so presumptuous that you forget it is their city too!

Chiropractor, City Events, City Life, College Town Life, Life, Madison WI, State Street, The Isthmus, The Isthmus Block Party, Things to do/Places to go, University of Wisconsin--Madison, University Students

Strike Up the Band!

Form a line, oh, oh
Come on, let’s go
Hey, Mr. Leader,
Hey, Mr. Leader,
Please strike up the band!

George and Ira Gershwin sung by Tony Bennett
I went to the chiropractor yesterday, Dr Ted Week over on Winnebago Street in the Atwood Neighborhood, just for a tune-up treatment not for any particular aches and pains and goodness I came home and slept for 2 hours. Then went to bed early and slept another 9 hours without having to take a sleeping pill. I woke up feeling really refreshed and actually did my dishes. That’s the best sleep I’ve had in ages.

It’s a dull cloudy day today, a threat of rain in the air. Suddenly after a heat wave with temperatures in the high 80s and 90s with stuffy humidity for a couple of weeks it’s 59* and there’s a hint of fall in the air to welcome the students back to town. Classes don’t officially start until after Labor Day which is still better than two weeks away so the weather is jumping the gun a bit.

Last night I heard a marching band playing and thought for a moment that the students were already back but I suspect it was probably a Band Camp for High School kids hosted by the University of Wisconsin although I can’t find anything on the ‘Net about Band Camps this late in the summer. There were two in June. Nor can I find anything about the UW band being back on campus this early. But I swear I heard a band just after night fall. It was a good one too.

One of my daughter’s foster daughters spent three weeks at the University in various dorms attending these kinds of camps. It was a wonderful experience for her. When my daughter was in HS she attended an Engineering Camp for kids but because we lived in town she didn’t get to have the experience of living in the dorms. More’s the pity.

I miss the University of Wisconsin students during the summer. They take some of the vitality of the city home with them when they leave in the spring and everything quiets down. State Street seems empty even though there are still people on the street, just not so many and not the students. There is a palpable difference when there is a lack of those thinking young minds concentrating on abstract ideas and concrete problems.

I’ll be glad to have them back in spite of the bartime nonsense that begins on Thursday and ends in the wee hours of Sunday morning. What tickles me when it doesn’t irritate the hell out of me is that the Firemen at Station #1 seem to make it a point to make as much noise with their PA system and tools as early in the morning as possible on weekends. Pay back for being disturbed all night long by the merrymaking drunks?

The Isthmus Block Party is tonight. I got my official Email invitation as did probably half the city. :^) I think I’ll try to grab Big Al and drag him along if it isn’t raining. I think he’d enjoy it.  Sounds like they have some good music and fun times planned.


Chiropractor, Fabric, Farmer's Markets, Houseplants, Sewing, Taxis

Good Day Sunshine!

I need to laugh, and when the sun is out
I’ve got something I can laugh about
I feel good, in a special way
I’m in love and it’s a sunny day

Good day Sunshine!

John Lennon & Paul McCartney recorded by The Beatles 1966

One of the most sublime experiences we can ever have is to wake up feeling healthy after we have been sick.

Rabbi Harold Kushner

I had the Badger Cab Company come and haul me off to see Dr Ted Week again this morning. It was such a beautiful day in the neighborhood and I was feeling so much better after my adjustment that coming home I had them drop me off on the Capitol Square so I could stop by the Wednesday Farmer’s Market on Martin Luther King Drive since I had a $10 bill burning a hole in my pocket.

I wanted to see if I could find a nice spiky plant for the pot I have to transplant my fern out of. At Indian Trail Greenhouses I found just what I was looking for. But alas I forgot to ask the little fella’s name. He’s got a purple cast to him and what a bargain he was at $2.00! I’ll just call him Spike. He’s a healthy little guy!

So I felt more than justified to spend $4.25 on a gorgeous little Wandering Jew AKA the more politically correct Zebrina over at The Salad Garden. She’s just adorable.  My Grandmother grew this plant on her north porch and taught me how to pinch the new leaves back to keep it from getting “leggy.” Someone has certainly been pinching this little lady’s cheeks because she is as chubby as she can be!  I was just enchanted with her the moment I saw her.

Does anyone else think their plants have male and female characteristics?  Do you give them names?  I have four different Philodendrons in the apartement and they are all started from cuttings from the same plant. I had five but I sent one down to live in the office downstairs because it was stuffy in there and Erica swore she couldn’t keep a plant alive.  If she can kill a Philodendron in water she’s a miracle worker.

Anyway, back to the point, of the four Phillys left  3 of mine are girls and one is a gay guy.  His name is Oscar.  He’s ailing too. I keep moving him around trying to find the right spot for him but he just won’t thrive.  I think he’s lonely and I should get him a new friend.  I think Spike might be a little too aggressive for him. Any suggestions?

My Spider plant Matilda is finally beginning to thrive since I took her out of any  direct sunlight at all and and got her higher than Patches could reach to eat her babies. But I have to divy her up and/or repot her because she’s so root bound she can’t possibly be able to breathe in that corset she’s wearing.

I got back home in time for a nice lunch at the Senior Center. It was this month’s Birthday dinner and Tim the Balloon Man was there to make creations for us. I got a Tahitian hat. But I have to be careful how I wear it because if I put the flowers over the wrong ear it indicates I’m available and all the fellas will be chasing me down. Tim said so. The race is on!

I felt so much better after my adjustment that I came home and did some chores around the house, spent quite a bit of time writing and cut out an outfit from that butterfly tie dye fabric at Hancock’s Farbric out at Westgate Mall I just had to have a few weeks ago. It takes awhile for me to get any one of those things done as I can’t sit or stand in any one position for any length of time so I’m constantly switching from project to project. I really took a bad header this time.

Ted and his sister Laura have kept me on my feet and moving forward for nine years but especially since I took a terrible fall at the Memorial Union at the University three years ago. I owe them my mobility and probably my independence.


Chiropractor, Taxis, WISCONSIN

Drop Me Off At the Three Threes, Please!

I went to the Week Chiropractor Clinic today and took a Badger Cab. The Three Threes is cabby dispatch lingo for the building I live in. I feel so rich when I ride around Madison in a cab but to tell the truth Medical Assistance pays for it, thank the powers that be. I could never afford to do it on my own.
They pay for cab rides to all my Doctors appointments if I have to get there by cab. I try not to abuse that privilege and had I been going anywhere else, I would have taken a bus on such a beautiful day but taking one of those bone jolters after getting your spine adjusted seems like an exercise in futility to me.

My favorite cabby was dispatching today. He recognized my voice and definitely knew the last name. He’s such a nice kid (same age as my son). Badger is a shared ride cab service. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper that way but it can make for some interesting encounters during the journey. You never know how your fellow travelers are going to be dressed, behave or smell. They may be talkative or you might be able to cut the silence with a knife. It can get interesting when the cab gets filled to the hilt with four (or more if one or two are kids who can sit on Mama’s lap) passengers.My favorite driver works with the developmentally challenged kids a lot. Probably because he’s very good with them and they love him. Somehow, I get to ride with him and the kids a lot. Maybe because I don’t mind their quirks and I’m good with them too. Maybe just because I’m in their path.

We had one really interesting experience with a young lady who didn’t want to go to school and refused to get out of the cab. Mike said she had pulled this trick before and they had almost broken her legs getting her out. So he went to get her teacher and while he was gone I asked her how much it would cost me to get her out of the cab nicely.

She said she wasn’t going to school. I told her I didn’t care if she went to school, I just wanted her to get out of the cab so I wasn’t late to my Drs appointment. I pulled a nickle out of my pocket and asked her if she’d get out of the cab for that much. She broke into a big grin and took it and ran out and wrapped herself around a metal fence pole just as the teacher and Mike came out the door.

Mike and I were free to go and it was up to the teacher to get her off the fence. It was the dead of winter so I doubt it took all that long. What a hoot!

I’ve had a bad back since I was eighteen and was with my husband when he rolled half a load of raw sewage down an embankment in Jackson, Michigan. Don’t ask, it wasn’t pleasant. <heh>  We walked away from it seemingly unscathed except for a scrape on my elbow and a bump on his head. But I woke up the next day with a backache that didn’t end 6 1/2 months later when my nine pound 3 ounce son was born.

Drs. Ted and Laura Week keep me on my feet and moving forward. Especially after a nasty fall that reaggravated and added insult to that old injury more than two years ago. Their family has been in the Chiropractic business for 85 years and their father was a good friend of Dr Gonstead of Mt. Horeb

Week’s Chiropract Clinic is on Winnebago Street a short walk from St Vincent DePaul’s Thrift Store on Williamson Street (AKA Willy St) which I will sometimes walk too and then back again to the clinic before I go home because a walk is the best thing to do to let your spine get used to being “in place” after an adjustment. You can really get some good bargains at St Vinny’s. I picked up some brand new dress shirts for my son for a dollar apiece and a brand new brand name jean jacket for myself for a dollar as well as jeans for less than $10.00 for myself just the other day.

I love this city!