Thursday, January 24, 2008

Neighbors, how you hanging?

A couple years ago when I first moved back to the neighborhood, there were some pretty silly, sometimes nasty comments on this blog regarding owning vs. renting a house in Seminole Heights. Some of the newly transplanted residents were a bit uppity about their recently acquired bungalows and got carried away with their giddiness over the Starbucks and their eagerness to oust the more working class elements from the hood in their quest to become "The New Hyde Park". What I'm curious about now is whether those folks who bought houses here during the boom of 04-06 still feel good about their purchases now that the bubble is collapsing around us and Tampa is facing an impending recession. Is the neighborhood all you hoped it would be? Is it transforming quickly enough? Have the taxes and insurance been worth it? Is Tampa, and this neighborhood in particular, still a great place to live? How does it compare to other neighborhoods you've lived in? How does the quality of life compare to other historic neighborhoods in other towns?

38 comments:

that little monkety said...

Charming as always. Noce to know somethings never change.

that little monkety said...

Nice* My Apple seems to have changed the letters on me.

KombatRock! said...

I guess what I'm getting at is that some of the issues this neighborhood is facing are microcosms of what's happening around the country and there's something sadly profound about the state we're in now with the mortgage crisis. There's something deeper to be gleaned from "the Seminole Heights Experience". Maybe it's a sore subject if one is struggling or behind on the mortgage or the house you bought just dropped $50,000 in value, but that's exactly why it's important to examine some of what caused it.

There is a lot of irony here too. Especially when some folks I know of who gloated about how much their homes had risen in value and how great it was that it was bringing in a new class of people and pushing out the "undesirables" now can't sell their homes at all. To some, Seminole Heights became hip only when the realtors started hyping it, only became truly desirable when a respectable recognizable status symbol like Starbucks opened up. Now that the bubble has burst and some of the hype has worn off (new heights mag excluded) where does that leave us?

I grew up here and have always felt a connection to this place. It was kinda cool and interesting long before gentrification set in. That's why I was hoping to have a dialogue on it not just get a snide comment about how charming I am. I know that already.

(that's a joke-geez)

Becky said...

i bought a house in seminole heights in may 2006 and i'm still very happy with my decision.. i also relocated my business and so the economic downturn has definitely been felt by me.. i also believe it's been part of why my client rebuilding process has taken longer than i expected.. but no one ever said anything to me about wanting to push out so called undesirable elments.. and if they had i would have called them out on being ignorant and fearful.. i grew up in sw washington dc in the 80's so it's hard for me to even imagine anything around here that seems undesirable - and that's after having had my bike stolen! so, to answer your questions - yes, the 'hood is all i wanted it to be, it's transforming at a to be expected pace, are taxes and insurance ever worth it?, osh is definitely still a great place to live, and it's my favorite place i've ever lived!

rfifer said...

This neighborhood has been gentrifying for 20 years. It was only in the peak of the boom that it took on a "us vs them" feel. There have been people in this neighborhood for years that have had the resources to fix up their homes but were hesitant to invest the money. The boom certainly brought them foward. But gentrification prior to the boom was not a "us versus them" but rather a slow, steady improvement toward a more attractive and appealing neighborhood. Problem property owners and renters were often just as annoying to long time residents. Again, it wasn't a "new versus oldtimers". To those who are always looking for "the next Hyde Park", the only place they will ultimately be satisfied in is Hyde Park and maybe someday they will be able to afford it. Those are the folks hung-up on status, pretense and appearances.

Personally, I like the neighborhood because it has more of a small town feel than any place else in the city. Neighbors talk to each other. Most aren't concerned with who has what. Most are respectful of their neighbors. There is an actual sense community.

IFly said...

The factors that drew us to SH are still here and getting better every day. IMHO, it is still the most livable neighborhoods in the city and it's central location and access to I-275 makes it convenient as well.
I wholeheartedly agree with Rick about the small-town feel. With the city taking notice of the obstacles that small businesses face here and making efforts with it's form-based zoning test case, we will hopefully continue to grow local services to supplement and compliment those already established thanks to the earlier pioneering entrepreneurs.

Most that moved here expecting "the next Hyde Park" would have been and will always be disappointed. Seminole Heights, for the most part, has much more class, founded on activism and social conscience instead of bank balances and the kind of car you drive.

LiberalDem said...

Without getting sucked into the darkside of this argument . . . I find it ironic that the first negative sentiments I've encountered come from a long-time resident expressing concern about the negative impact, motivations and attitudes of the "new" folks. Let it go. As Rodney King would ask . . . "Can't we all just get along?"

tjp said...

I was also put off by the tone of the original post and put off commenting because of it. But I'll weigh in to support what some of my neighbors have said.

We bought in mid-2006, just off the peak I would say (we were able to negotiate the price down 5-10%). I knew the prices were inflated---just look around at the commercial corridor and the surrounding neighborhoods. But we bought it as a place to live, not a get-rich-quick-scheme. And we've been happy with our decision: as others have said, Seminole Heights still offers the most in terms of historic character, convenience, and sense of community.

Mal Carne said...

I moved back here for the Scratch and Dent Grocery and the roof dogs.
Both seem to be gone, but I think I'll stick around.

KombatRock! said...

The roof dogs are gone? bummer.

What's "the dark side" of the debate? That economics and the motivations behind them transform neighborhoods? The classist neighbor v. neighbor thing is just an outgrowth of that and the comments I referenced, though a bit far removed now, were mentioned to illustrate a point. I dont begrudge anyone who wants to live here, whether they discovered this neighborhood yesterday or 30 years ago. What's worth discussing (to me) are the motivations and the cultural effects.

Tampa has had a few recent examples of major neighborhood transformations. Most glaringly, Ybor Ciy and Channelside. Both were spearheaded with real estate hype and both went through a cycle of boom and bust. Seminole Heights is different, bigger, largely residential, but was neglected for quite some time until this crazy boom period where housing prices went insane. I would argue that gentrification was not taking place here 20 years ago. It takes an influx of capital to cause that and this neighborhood was fairly working class in the 80s and 90s. There weren't a lot of yuppies moving here and economic development was stagnant.

Then it got hyped and real estate became red hot. Then a year later the bubble deflated and now there are an awful lot of for sale signs around. With dreary forecasts ahead and everyone's budget tightening up, can the neighborhood sustain the upward trajectory? How many small businesses will risk opening up in the lean times to come? Could people afford to eat at the trendy restaurants if they did come? On the bright side, maybe the car lots will go bankrupt and we could jackhammer up the asphalt and plant gardens.

I guess a major factor that could help folks weather an economic downturn here is that, unlike Ybor and Channelside, the people who invested actually live here.

Off topic I know, but I wish there was a community garden around here. If I wanted to plant and maintain a small garden in a corner at the Seminole Heights Garden Center, would anyone mind? I mean it IS called The Garden Center...

daniel said...

All good points, k-rock! Seminole Heights has been hip since I rented here, near the Garden Club in the mid '70s. It was great because hardly anybody knew it was hip to live here. Then we moved into the house we live in now, near the HS, in 1980. Later, some Ybor expatriates moved in. Then the gentrification wave. Great neighborhood then, better neighborhood now. I couldn't live any where else in Tampa.

If you stick around, the present fluctuation in the value of your house, won't matter 20 years from now.

Starbuck's is fine for a quick cup of designer coffee. For great coffee, go to El Molino, a couple of blocks west of the Columbia in Ybor. The smell of roasting beans will help you find the door. Have a cup or a latte there and take their house blend home for $6/lb.

In the neighborhood, we have Cappy's perfect pizza and Bungalow Bistro's gourmet offerings adding some variety to the already great food at Nicko's Diner. And with them all a short walk away, the neighborhood is moving closer to perfection.

IFly said...

http://seminoleheights.blogspot.com/2007/04/oshna-home-tour.html#c2300279256955842920

Nabob, I'd love to see a community garden. It's a shame that the Garden Center has little to do with anything botanical. What a great place it would be to have a community garden and greenhouse. As for the car lots. I'll echo the wish for their demise. I noticed this weekend however that ABC Remarketing on Florida Ave between Hanna and Idlewild tore down what appeared to be an old home building. I hope it's not a prelude to more asphalt paving and pre-owned cars.

Tony said...

It is going on 10 years that my wife and I have lived in the neighborhood. I would say that after that amount of time, my feelings are mixed. Obviously, the overall location can't be beat. Why SH doesn't market itself more as the real heart of Tampa, I don't know. I read all of those real estate one-sheets posted under the for-sale signs, and no one ever points this out. Do people not look at a map once in a while? The neighborhood remains quiet and peaceful, save for commute times. I tend to work (writing) until the wee hours on my porch and there are times when a single car doesn't go by for hours (on W. Hanna, no less). Sadly, however, I have come to accept the fact that until gas prices rise to $5/gallon and all the scared white people wake up and realize that they can't afford to live in Pasc-ernando, Seminole Heights will remain exactly the same. A few beautiful houses, then a few complete dumps, then a few okay houses, then back to some dumps...etc. Haphazard sidewalks, if any, no curbs, weeds growing in the streets, and now, slowly, vacant houses becoming more common. It's very frustrating that many people don't even bother to turn on a porch light at night. Many people are also complete pigs, dumping their Kwik-Stop snack trash wherever they happen to be when they're finished. And, don't even get me started on the way people park! I passed only 6 houses the other day and 4 of them had cars parked on the lawn. ON THE LAWN!...with driveways empty in 3 cases! Trust me, I'm not really complaining. I have just finally accepted the reality that SH is what it is and it will be a long time, if ever, before there are enough fundamental changes to really take pride in the neighborhood as a whole.

Tony said...

I want to add this, though...the Tampa Parks & Recreation Dept. should be commended for their care of Henry & Ola and Epps Parks. The new soccer fields at H&O have really held up well, and both parks are always very well manicured. The parks are true gems, and they are 2 of my favorite things about the area. Bravo!

SSHeights said...

Sadly, however, I have come to accept the fact that until gas prices rise to $5/gallon and all the scared white people wake up and realize that they can't afford to live in Pasc-ernando, Seminole Heights will remain exactly the same.

What an ignorant and bigoted statement.

Rick Fifer said...

Naturally I hold a different opinion on the whole gentrification thing. I say 20 years ago because that is about the time that all 3 neighborhood groups formed. SESHCA was the last to form after seperating from Old Sem. Heights. The fact that you did not see the status cars and such doesn't mean the process had not begun. Most cycles of gentrification begin when gays & lesbians begin to move in, followed by straight couples with no kids, followed by your middle to upper income folks with kids.
The last group is a sign that the most cautious demographic (folks with young kids) feels "safe" raising children in the neighborhood. That last demographic moved into Hyde Park in the mid-80's. About that time larger numbers of the GLBT community started moving to Seminole Heights. Interestingly, we did did not really begin attracting college educated folks with kids in any number until the past 5 years. That was part gentrification and part the effect of the housing bubble. Seminole Heights still has a long way to go to complete the cycle. The improvements have been steady since the late 1980's though very much distorted between 2002 and 2006.

We have a great affordable neighborhood at the geographic heart of the city. Seminole Heights has charm, character, history, and convenience working in the neighborhood's favor. As with anything fads come and go but the qualities that make our neighborhood attractive remain.

Those are the things that drew me to this neighborhood and those are the things keep me here.

I guess I'm in it like so many others for the long haul. I've invested too much in my home (in both time and money) and I have great neighbors...

Ben said...

Blah, I can think of some particular neighbors who railed against 'renters' only to have the tough economic times, declining real esate market, and no hope of selling their house lead them to renting not one, but two homes to some sketchy personalities.

How quick the tables turn.

I personally don't mind renters though, just thought it was hilarious to see someone so passionate have to turn their home into a hostel.

Christian said...

My fiancee and I looked into renting a place near the Henry Ola playground. The rent was cheap enough, and the house was recently renovated and beautiful with a giant back yard. It was almost perfect.

We're both in our mid-20's. We currently live in Lutz, but I wanted to move somewhere that has a little more excitement, a little more action, somewhere where you could walk or bike to nearby places. After we fell in love with the house, we drove around the neighborhood, but we didn't see anything. I know about Cappy's and Bungalow Bistro, but those aren't really walking distance. There's no real neighborhood bar or cafe. I was told that Corner Club isn't really a neighborhood bar. The closest grocery store was the Sav-A-Lot, and the closest Publix is the worst one I've ever seen.

I've been hearing from the blog and from a lot of people around Tampa that Seminole Heights is an up and coming area, but if I'm looking to rent a place for a year, I don't want to wait and hope something will open.

Shawn-non-anonymous said...

If you will recall, part of the argument in favor of Starbucks was that it would spur some resident-oriented development in an area that has little.

If Sangria's moves into Leroy's 4x4, we may be seeing some of that come true.

As an aside, let me add that I'm a bit disappointed by the sentiments in your post. "Some of the newly transplanted residents were a bit uppity about their recently acquired bungalows and got carried away with their giddiness over the Starbucks and their eagerness to oust the more working class elements from the hood..." I believe you are incorrect about people's desires to "oust" anyone from the neighborhood. Can you quote someone that seriously wanted to oust working class people from the area? Or did you just say this to spur some controversy and beef up readership numbers for the blog, which has been struggling as of late? At any rate, it's a pretty nasty way to taint the start of what could have been an interesting "state of the neighborhood" discussion.

Tony said...

Christian, I think you're kind of missing the point. Get out a map and consider this: Seminole Heights is the heart of Tampa! If you rented a house at Henry and Ola you are only about 5 miles to Raymond James Stadium. 5 miles to Ybor and Channelside and Downtown. 6 miles from USF and Carrollwood (sp?). about 7 miles from Tampa Airport/International Plaza / West Shore. Sure, you can't walk to a Sam's Club or an Applebee's, but it sounded like you didn't want that anyway. Nowhere in Tampa can be considered a truly "walkable community" so as an alternative, you have to think of short car trips, rather than the 20 miles you are from everything up there in Lutz.

As for the poster who claimed my original comments were "ignorant and bigoted", I say you could not be more incorrect. Consider these lyrics by Ani DiFranco: http://www.lyricstime.com/ani-difranco-subdivision-lyrics.html
There is no denying that the "American Dream" of a white picket fence house in the suburbs was built on the subconscious racism that sadly persists among anglos. Until those feelings are finally abandoned for good, and the majority of people learn to accept all others, rather than running away from them and hiding in fear behind walls and gates, strong communities that we can all be proud of will continue to elude us.

Tony said...

PS: The little Publix really does grow on you. It's always an adventure navigating through those narrow aisles, and think of the money you'll save by not being tempted by twice as much crap you find in the larger stores. Also, unless you are disabled, the walk from the park to Cappy's is no more than 10 minutes, especially for a couple in their mid-20's. Do yourself a favor, move back into the city! You won't regret it!

Christian said...

Tony, you're saying that Seminole Heights is the heart of Tampa; I guess I'm looking for the soul of Tampa.

I know most people would say that it would be nearly impossible to live anywhere in Tampa without a car, but in looking for a place to live, I've found that there are some neighborhoods that are at least a little easier (Bayshore, Palma Ceia, some of Davis and Harbour Island).

I also don't agree with the logic that a neighborhood/city is a great place to live because it's fairly near somewhere else. I've seen guides that say Tampa is great because it's close to St. Peterburg and Clearwater -- if that's the case, why don't I just live in St. Petersburg or Clearwater?

It's an "adventure" to go to that Publix? That'll be a good one to sell to my fiancee. "I know the produce is bad and the workers are surly, but think of it as an adventure! Like a safari every time we need eggs!"

Shawn-non-anonymous said...

Christian, the workers are far less surly these days. New management--new attitude.

I can't argue with you on the produce, though. Shrink-wrapped and stacked is not my idea of "quality" but they are good enough.


However, there is an open market on Hillsborough near 30th that has a wide array of great vegetables. Most of the selection is geared towards latino and asian cooking, but all the basics are there too. They have some beautiful stuff.

IFly said...

Downtown St. Pete might be your best option locally. While SH is improving, it's unlikely that we will become the sort of urban epicenter you're seeking anytime soon.

Christian said...

Yeah, I love downtown St. Pete. Ideally, that's where I'd live, but my fiancee goes to USF for grad school and works way up by Van Dyke, so it wouldn't be feasible for her.

kombatrock said...

Rick, I can kinda see how you could view the formation of a neighborhood association as connected to gentrification but the connection with money (and gay people as you state) is much more direct. However, not necessarily gay people's money. Regardless, the gentrification issue is a tired one on this blog.
How the housing crisis is affecting the neighborhood's trajectory was where I was going. Sorry if the wording rubbed some the wrong way, but those smug *drive the renters outta here* comments that I mentioned were made here circa 1/06 during the peak and they struck me when I read them as I had just moved back here and was renting and was thinking "what the hell?". What's going on here? And then I noted the fascination with the Starbucks as a status symbol (which is, of course, their whole marketing ploy) and a picture started to emerge. Anyway, the whole Starbucks and what it represents thing really is like beating a dead horse but mentioning it never fails to spur debate.

Shawn-non-anonymous said...

Could you provide a link to a "smug *drive the renters outta here* comment", please?

In the thread you did link to, of which I was a participant, I notice a lot of people equating fixing up homes with increasing housing prices (the basic gentrification scenario) to which others attributed some sort of conspiracy to drive out working-class families. I think it's a long stretch from cleaning up a run-down house for one's own use all the way to cleaning up my home because the result will force the family next door to leave.

No where did I see or do I recall any serious discussion of driving renters out of the area. In fact, there have been discussions on quite the opposite--changing code to permit garage apartment rentals and *increase* rental opportunities in the area.


And yeah, not only does mentioning it spur debate, it also increases readership and profits on the blog.

KombatRock! said...

My apologies Shawnana. In my spare time, I'll work on finding those comments for you. I typed in the standard stuff like "section 8" and "messy yard" and "I hate renters" but nothing really turned up except something about someone wanting to ban section 8. What I was looking for was something like: "too bad you waited too long and now you can't afford it" and "the neighborhood is phasing you out." searching those archives is time consuming, so it may take awhile or you can take my word for it (or not)...it's not really important. Of course there was never any "serious discussion" of ousting renters (in public anyway-folks are too PC for that)...and it's absurd. Yet, there WAS a general vibe characterized by a few stray comments here and there that happened to stick in my head.

You are right though, in that it would make a stronger argument if I could actually link to the "pretty silly, sometimes nasty" things mentioned.

Regardless, there may be no reason to be reactionary about middle class guilt anymore!

Devils Advocate said...

"Does anyone know if a crusade can be launched to ban Section 8 renters from this home?"

From an email:

"I need some input from anyone that has knowledge of how the wonderful world of “Section 8” works. As in many times past, last night I was able to get about 3 hours of sleep due to my neighbors having a lover’s quarrel in their front yard. After hearing them from 1am to 2:45am, I decided to call the police. The police came out and told them to just “keep it down” (never asked them to go inside – as you know, you can hear every word through these old wood-frame homes). It’s ironic to me how I had to be up early for a job interview this morning in an effort to better my career that will, in turn, support these kind of people and obnoxious behaviors with my tax dollars. These are the same people who have woken me up while having sex in their front yard and also used the front yard as the bathroom when he felt like puking his guts up in the early morning hours. These are the people whose children chronically throw garbage/glass in my yard and have smashed a big terra-cotta pot against my A/C unit. The place looks like a dump and will never be a positive contribution to the neighborhood as long as they inhabit the place. Does anyone know if a crusade can be launched to ban Section 8 renters from this home? I’ve heard that it’s not possible but wanted to ask for some feedback. I’ve had worse renters in the house before these low-life’s, so by getting them thrown out, I just may be asking for more troubles to move in the place.

Tired and Taxed,"

Rick Fifer said...

Actually you need to go after the property owner. Property owners can be held legally responsible for destruction and damages caused by their tenants.

I had to do that a few years back with neighbors who wouldn't control their destructive little brat. They were not section 8. Not all nusiance tentants/renters are section 8.

Shawn-non-anonymous said...

My apologies for expecting a little responsibility in reporting from the feature bloggers on this site. It isn't okay to tar all the poor in the area as troublemakers and it isn't okay to tar all the middle-class professionals in the area as uppity, thoughtless snobs.

If you're looking to revitalize the traffic on this blog in the hope you can drive more eyes to the New Heights magazine, this isn't the way to do it. Worse, the sorts of people who can patronize the businesses that pay for advertising in the magazine are the same people you characterize with:

"Some of the newly transplanted residents were a bit uppity about their recently acquired bungalows and got carried away with their giddiness over the Starbucks and their eagerness to oust the more working class elements from the hood in their quest to become 'The New Hyde Park'."

Seminole Heights is possibly the most diverse neighborhood in Tampa on nearly any measurement you can name. There are countless subjects for discussion that can highlight the positive aspects of the area--the varied experiences we all bring and share. What value is there in sneering at the folks that may have lost equity in the real-estate bubble? Especially since poorer homeowners, who have more to lose, lost too? The bubble that is collapsing around us is going to make life a lot worse for the poor than the wealthy. It isn't humorous at all. Rubbing people's nose in it, regardless of income level, is just plain mean.

I am saddened to see how a blog like this one that celebrated the varied and positive aspects of Seminole Heights has fallen to the point where it sneers at it's own readers. Not cool.

Can I expect the same level of content inside New Heights magazine?

I'm done here. All the worthwhile information has moved to the TommyOSH blogspot site.

Becky said...

i've started and erased a response to this whole thread about 4 times now... it saddens me that so many people seem quick to judge others perpectives and motives from a few thoughtless comments.. the futility of trying to reach a group consensus overwhelms me... either way, seminole heights will continue to shift and change around us, as all neighborhoods do...

but i wrote mostly because in the last post before mine shawn suddenly threw the new heights magazine into the mix.. i'm not sure why, and honestly, i wanted to write him back alone but couldn't.. i wanted to write because, in what is entirely my own personal opinion and point of view, as one of the "columnists" for new heights, i want to share my own motivations and attitude about the community i live in... i am thrilled with the launch of this magazine for several reasons... my intentions are noble in the sense that i love sharing information with anyone about what i do, it's profound usefulness, and how it can help someone.. my intentions are also self serving in that i'm promoting my local home based business.. and my intentions are community oriented in that i want to help support what seems to be a desperately needed niche in the local business resource basket..

Mal Carne said...

I'm failing to see the connection between Kelly and New Heights.

As of the current issue, Kombat Rock is not listed as a contributor or on staff, so exactly how does his post here relate to denegrating an unrelated magazine?

IFly said...

I was a bit curious as to where that tangent came from as well Mal. Nabob and New Heights certainly seemed an illogical marriage in my mind and wondered if there was a connection of which I wasn't aware. Unfortunately, I suppose any further comments will go unread by the poster that took the discussion that direction.

KombatRock! said...

Shawnana, My posts are just my opinions dude. Not so much reporting. Consider it an op-ed piece intended to provoke discussion. There's something kinda cool about having a forum like this to voice neighborhood issues and have the occasional robust debate. It's healthy. Incessant boosterism about how great our neighborhood is doesn't really interest me.

Alas, as much as i would be honored, no has asked me to contribute to the New Heights Magazine. What's up with that?

Becky said...

ha! asked to contribute? when i saw it was coming out i instantly contacted him and begged to let me contribute! like any magazine based in a local area, i'm sure contributors are the last thing he lacks - instead bring on people wanting to buy ad space! but i digress... i just thought your comment was funny :)

Mal Carne said...

Sadly, the time for discourse on this blog seems to have gone the way of the dodo. The driving force behind this blog was Scott. The boosters have moved on to other blogs, the anti-cheerleaders have lost interest.

I love a good debate and would like to have something to add to this, but I'm pretty much on your side. It'd be fairly boring.

Urban Eater said...

I'll bite.
First, New Heights has nothing to do with this posting. Where the hell did that come from? I was wondering when Shawn stated "And yeah, not only does mentioning it spur debate, it also increases readership and profits on the blog." Profit? From a neighborhood blog? I thought he was referancing Google Ads, but no, only misunderstanding.
With that said, I bought in March 06.
My answers are as follows:
1. No, the neighborhood is not all I had hoped for. I was hoping we could get these damn Car Lots and 1000 Churches out of here faster, but I have faith. (he he)
2. It is not transforming fast enough for me, but I am an impatient Princess.
3. After my recent tax increase, I don't think taxes & insurnace are worth it anywhere in Florida. I compared what I got for my taxes in TX versus here. FL is not looking good. Insurance? HA!
4. I love SH and this is my favorite neighborhood I have ever lived in. I love my neighbors and all of their flaws. I love that most of all of my friends live here affording perfect Porch Parties. I love the Bistro and Henry & Ola Park. I love Steffano's and Ybor Pizza. I love sipping Decaf Mochas on the Starbuck's patio while watching Hillsborough Ave traffic at rush hour. I love the smell of Honeysuckle blowing through the allies and I love the big Centurians Okas that shade most streets throughout SH.
5. I would like to see SH quality of life come up. There are still Tranny Hookers working Nebraska (I don't care that they are working, but geesh, they are mean.) There are still Crack Zombies falling into the streets (and I'm the one who would be convicted of Manslaughter for running one over). Is that endemic to SH only? No. But this is what I would like. Compared to the Historic area Mid-Town in Atlanta, GA, SH looks like a crime-free neighborhood. The Car lots need to go bye-bye and we need to seriously limit the Churches. I'd like more Bungalow Bistros and a cool 'New World Brewery' like bar. Oh, and I would like a good butcher shop. A place I can go to and get Prime meat, cut by someone who knows about meat.