Cheap Sightseeing Tour: Your Neighborhood: Locations Part 1

A cheap and easy sightseeing tour idea, explore your own neighborhood like it were a new exotic location, locations described.

Sightseeing in Your Own Neighborhood

5. Echlin Company. This factory makes automobile parts. It is owned by outsiders, employs a few people from the surrounding neighborhood, and uses many inner-city blacks who commute by car from the nearby city because owning a house in the neighborhood is expensive and nearby apartments are small and lived in only by whites. But according to realtors of the area, no discrimination takes place here. Bob Gillings thinks differently. He's black, lives in the nearby city, and hasn't found a place to live in this neighborhood. "When the company moved from the city to this town, they promised the town fathers they'd bring good taxes but none of the workers. Too expensive for us to buy a house here. We can afford the rents here but we always get the 'no vacancy' sign when we ask. Heck, me and my wife are more comfortable in the city anyway."

6. Old Colonial Farmhouse. "For Sale." Although some of the town's famous families lived here, this home's place on the highway (2) makes its land more valuable for stores.

7. Vacant Lot. Owned by the owners of the shopping center next door (1), who want to build 152 apartments here. The neighborhood opposes them because apartments would bring in more traffic, especially to Shore Drive (4), alter streams through the land (8), and possibly bring in low-income residents, such as the blacks who work nearby.

8. Streams. These collect water from the sloping land and carry it to the nearby river. These streams are relatively unpolluted since this part of the neighborhood has been provided with sewer pipes beneath the streets to carry waste water to a plant which treats it before letting it flow out to the river. During rains, the streams here often flood the lot (7), which temporarily holds the water before it goes downstream. Buildings around these streams would make the water overflow faster and flood downstream houses. This kind of flooding already happens at the nearby apartments, where one building has been situated in the path of a stream.

9. Apartments. Seven buildings have 55 apartments. Developed and sold as condominiums, only about half are owner-occupied. Nonresidents own the rest as rental investments. They provide little in the way of maintenance or play facilities for those who rent from them. The renters tend to have lower incomes than the owners, are younger, and have young children. Because the owners tend not to have children living at home, they don't want to spend money on building a play lot. So the children play in the parking lots.

10. More Apartments. All 150 are rented to older couples or young families. The neighborhood used to be all single-family or lots. But a major developer bought the land, made a large contribution to the local political party in power, and got permission to build apartments here. Because the earth is too rocky to absorb so much sewage, the developer 1st had to put in a sewer line. The chairman of the Sewer Authority, who doesn't live in the neighborhood, is a land developer himself as well as the boss of the political party which received the contribution. So Mr. Chairman was happy to extend the sewer lines. This made the entire neighborhood suitable for apartments, and developers are madly rushing to buy up the open space.

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