Wow, I'm shocked. Our Officer Friendly's chat with the landlords of the house on the next block has shown some quick results. There's now a "No Loitering" sign up right on the corner.
Apparently Officer Friendly himself spent his lunch hour yesterday circling the block and telling those guys to move. He even wrote one of them a ticket. They were mad, but they left. I haven't seen a big pack of them there today.
I might even go up and clean up the traffic circle and the corner there tonight if it stays quiet. Just adding one more signal to say "we won't put up with your mess around here."
This business with people hanging on the block has got to be over with by August 2. Jay-Z's auntie and I went to see the alderman's aide tonight. Good thing, too--she couldn't find our application for a block party permit. So I filled it out again and she faxed it downtown to DOT right in front of us. When the alderman came to sign it she introduced herself to us and we invited her to come. I suggested she come to the party between 2 and 4 p.m. when we're having basketball with some college coaches in charge. She said yes.
I heard from Auntie that plans are in the works for food and a DJ and I didn't have to do anything. Thank God!
I think I'll suggest to Officer Friendly that he invite the landlords to stop by our block party. If there's any trouble, they'll see it for themselves. More likely, and better, they'll see that this block is not what it was 15 years ago, and they need to step up their game screening tenants, because people here won't put up with out-of-control neighbors. (Yeah, we have our problems, but the problems of recent vintage cross a line.)
We're also planning to get registered as a block club. I think we have enough people willing to sign up as officers. I just hope everybody who wants a title can have a title they like and can do at least some of the work. "We never had a block club the whole time I've been here," Jay-Z's aunt told me. I think that is almost 20 years. No wonder it's taken four years to even get close to it.