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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Walk

Most weekdays I walk on my lunch hour, with my coworker, S. For those of you who know the Vegas area, here's the walk: West on Sahara from Burnham to Maryland Parkway, then North on Maryland to St. Louis, then South on Burnham back to Sahara. It's not the best area of town, but I never worry when S and I go together, he's got an intimidating presence (I call him Hitman, because that's what he reminds me of). It usually takes us about 40-45 minutes for the walk, and we're always engrossed in a debate about something, which really is great blog material (mental note). Today he was on site somewhere so I took the walk alone; I was a lot more aware of my surroundings and the other people on the street today. There are several homeless men who seem to walk this area quite a bit. One of them stopped and bowed in front of me, and he reeked of cheap wine. Probably harmless and was trying to be sweet in his own way, but it threw me off. This made a Gorman High student walking his way home laugh hysterically. That made me remember why I never liked high school guys when I was in high school.

This area is certainly not bustling with new building, it's a very old area of town. I wonder how well the real estate is doing. Many of the homes are in a serious state of disrepair, but this was most likely once a very affluent neighborhood and there are still remnants of what it used to be. Many of the homes are quite large and some are still very beautiful; I'd guess this neighborhood was built somewhere between 1965 and 1978. I'll have to actually take note of an address on my walk tomorrow and look that up.

There's an area behind the Boulevard Mall here where the homes are all very art-deco. When I was a very young girl, the homes seemed larger than life to me and I really thought that was the neighborhood I wanted to live in. These were homes built by the men that ran large businesses and casinos here in town many decades ago (yes, some of them Mob too). Many of them are now in a commercialized zone, some are vacant, others are run-down rentals now - painted black or bright purple with weeds up to your knees. But the homes are still big and beautiful underneath the grime and ugly paint, with the strangest architecture and the largest of lawns.

The walk only took me 33 minutes today, with the company of my trusty I-Pod. :)


Davydgrey said...

Hey Lora as an almost lifer Vegasite I remember those houses well. I remember when that was a posh neighborhood and all the rich families lived there with there snobby kids who went to Gorman and Valley. Man I feel old now.

Fred said...

iPods make everything go quicker.

Matt said...

Big guys always make you feel safer.

Bar Bar A said...

I guess that proves the theory that we walk faster when alone and not talking to anyone. You've inspired me to start walking on my lunch breaks again. It's a great time to do it.

Yay for iPods!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel asleep with my on last night :)

RT said...

Wow. I love this post! It appeals to my sense of wonder :o)

I've done that before, walked or drove around an area and wondered what it must have been like and how it's changed over time. It's like taking a peek into someone's closet, all the stories are there (both beautiful and heartbreaking, but always human,) you just have to be willing to read them.

Ken said...

A friend of mine used to rent the second story of a house at Eastern and St. Louis with her daughter and son-in-law downstairs. It was gigantic. It was a relatively affluent area of town.

There are a lot of great neighborhoods in this town, if you know where to find them. Some of them have fallen into disrepair, but you can usually get them for a song, fix them up and have a beautiful home for a fraction of the price, even when you consider your investment in renovations.

An80sNut said...

It'd be great to go for walks like that during a work break. Usually, my lunch is my break from walking. Music makes everything go faster. It creates a cadence and your body tends to adjust steps to the rhythm. When I was training for appraisal we learned that there are 4 stages of a residential area: new, mature, disrepair and revitalized. Usually things can't become new again but the cycle does continue. I drive by the homes I've lived in as a child sometimes and they are definitely awaiting revitalization. It just takes a few houses to start the trend.

Do you think that guy was the Fisher King?

LoraLoo said...

DG: My parents really wanted me to go to Gorman, they thought it would teach me some discipline. HA! Glad it didn't work out.

Fred: Yup, it's definitely helping my work day right now. :)

Matt: Can't argue with that!

Barbara: I'm willing to bet your walk will be much prettier than mine there in CA.

rt: You know, I do that all the time. I'm fascinated with the history of a location (neighborhood, homes, buildings, cities). It really is like peeking into someone's closet.

ken: Too true, but I'm always concerned with the eyesore areas. If you have a beautiful house but none of your neighbors care for their own, you'll never get the price your house is worth (not to mention having to look at those homes every day).

Martin: You are on your feet all day, I'm often staring at several monitors while sitting on my arse. Hmmm... the Fisher King? Perhaps, but I wasn't going to ask!

Teri said...

Yeah, I know what you mean. If I go grab a bite to eat around UNLV, it is really uncomfortable because people are always coming up and asking for money. The neighborhood has really changed.

I use to go for walks at lunch all the time when I worked at Bellagio. I would eat in about 20 minutes and spend the other 40 walking around the lake. That is really one of the only things I miss about working there :)