Moments of Thought (during a 4 KM walk)
Entry 12/03/2014 06:40:38 AM – Mentat 811
Nothing like completely screwing up my sleep patterns in one day. I laid down early last night listening to Psychobabble and then the Relic Radio Podcasts that I collected yesterday. Ended up listening to the first one (from the Science-Fiction collection) from beginning to end (20 minutes), then when I moved onto the others (Thriller, Suspense and the straight on podcast), I fell completely asleep during each and every other podcast afterwards. Oh sure, I woke up at the end of each and every one, start the next, get comfortable and then **BANG** out like a light once again. So all in all I drifted in and out of sleep during each of the podcasts. I remember listening to the last of the podcasts at 11:30’ish last night. I stayed up for a couple of hours then went back to bed only to wake up again at 10 to 6 of which I’ve been up since. Sure, I got something like 9+ hours of sleep, but thanks to the program I’m using, it doesn’t count. Bloody annoying that… But that’s what happens when one is working with a program and all the various quirks that it comes with.
Now that my mother’s home from the doctor’s office and about to start her morning chores on ironing what little clothes that need it, I’m sitting here having a rather interesting time trying to come up with the energy for some of the thoughts that I’ve had watching and listening to some of the various podcasts, YouTube videos and stray thoughts that usually assail my mind during the early evenings and especially when I’m taking my 2.5 mile (4.02 km) walk through the neighbourhood.
I’ve continued to mull over the lack of “neighbourhood” in the urban sprawl of Providence and in its place is what retail companies think “neighbourhood” should be. Especially now that my walk routine’s changed a little bit and surfaces along Atwells Avenue near to De Pasquale Square. I mean Broadway has never truly felt like a neighbourhood. It’s almost always been completely renovated from Residential to the sort of Commercial zoning synonymous with Doctor’s/Dentist’s Offices and… ick… Lawyers. What little retail stores while being a Ma & Pop of some sort or another, don’t really give the feeling of a neighbourhood store (that I remember from my childhood). About the only exception to this is the Sutton & De Pasquale Street block on Broadway (where DASH Bicycles is). Between the bike shop, the gaming store and the “corner” pizzeria there, it definitely has the right sort of “neighbourhood” feel I used to get when on the Hill 20+ years ago.
But Atwells? No sir… Taking the walk through the neighbourhood here and what I remember of the neighbourhood when living here is near completely gone. Sure, there’s the old tattoo parlour and Sicilia’s Pizzeria at Dean Street.. Sure there’s the corner mart diagonal from it… Sure there’s even Caserta’s on Spruce (a block off of Atwells)… But the rest? Ugh! Restaurants and Boutique stores up the ass and especially in De Pasquale Square itself. There’s some stores that I remember from 20 years ago — but they don’t seem to be open much anymore. Like the old Federal Hill Liquors (which the security shutters are closed on all the time), or the Jamaican Dive Restaurant (where the laundry I used when I was living with Darin used to be).
What’s worse about it is the fact that with the invention of the leaf blower — a lot of these trendy boutique store have the nasty habit of blowing everything away from their store fronts, instead of putting it in one pile to pick it up (and throw it out). This of course leads to a metric shit-ton of various flotsam — leaves, paper trash and bags) to end up in the neighbourhood immediately behind and around the storefronts to look polluted… And more importantly changing the various old-age and character flaws of the neighbourhood to look… Well, more depressed than it should. It’s sad really… Having moved up from the Valley (just a few blocks difference) and what I end up in is hipster and trendy hell.
As the saying goes, “the more things change… the more they remain the same…” At least when it comes to the conformity of retail…
Then there’s the other thoughts I had yesterday during my walk on how much has changed with being a queer in the new millennium. I remember back in the mid 80s, the generation before me had been blaming my generation for dropping the torch that was handed to us. I remember vividly at the time my generation had been accused of “resting on our laurels” by not continuing fighting for the rights of LGBT folk in the USA.
Sure, when it came to getting states to pass laws for domestic and partner benefits (and turned it into a hell of a fight with the hydra forcing groups & activists to approach companies instead of states), DADT has come and gone… DOMA is being stigmatized and given of feeling of being a blue law as Domestic Partnerships has been passed in many more states. Or my personal favorite, watching how coming out episodes went from “After School Specials” to Coming out become statements of the every day on YouTube. Of seeing queerfolk being queerfolk without the mockery, the spectacle and even the mockery from 30 years ago… Love & Hate and annoyances…. Or my personal favorite the bickering that happens in love. You know what I’m talking about when it comes to every couple: the really intense sort of comments (snide or otherwise) made at the other that makes anyone watching extremely uncomfortable. I don’t mind them of course, they remind me of the times when I was in a relationship and know it’s not as bad as it looks.
I know there’s still a really long way to go… A hell of a long way to go still… But perhaps what was always needed was viewing it all from the every day instead of when I came out 35 years ago and only being a taste of it given to middle of nowhere America in the form of news snippets on Gay Pride. Make them see it’s not all about deviations and parades… But instead the everyday and the ordinary… Even if folks like me see the color that might be missed by everyone else.
There were a couple of other thoughts, mainly the sort of thing that I find myself reminiscing about things in my personal past. Like how Battey Street off of Broadway seems to have gotten longer than when I was living in the neighbourhood. Or how the houses in my neighbourhood are certainly weird and wild and of course pre- and Post-Victorian odd… With sections of the building jutting out or the wild window work (like some of the houses I’ve taken pictures of during my 2012 picture of the day and might again for 2015…). Or how many of the houses have preservation plaques on them (especially on and just off of Broadway). Or finally the quirkiness I seem to stumble across while I’m walking…. like the church off of Tobey that has French Services (this is a predominantly Italian & Spanish neighbourhood now).
That about it for the time being. Off to simmer a thought or two. Until the next time.
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Some of My Mad Scientist Work