Note: This series posts in chronological order.
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The Dumpster Diary
The Dumpster. It's just a steel box on squeeky wheels, right? But if you've been rudely awakened by that hollow thud, screeching push into place, way too early delivery of a dumpster on your block, your first reaction is probably unprintable. Post caffeine on your way to wherever, you take a quick glance at which buildings' contents will be the beneficiary this oversized, uninvited alarm clock and depending upon your point of view, you'll probably have another reaction. It seems almost everyone who sees a dumpster does.
If you happen to be a homeowner, you probably view a dumpster or two in your neighborhood as a symbol of progress which in turn might lead to an increase in your property value. Life is Good and off to work you go. Of course everything changes when you get home and open your letter from James , in which case you most likelymade one of these and you probably attended one of these. Yup, when it rains it pours. Another?
Apartment renters might have a different view than the homeowner and see the dumpster as a symbol of unplanned development and a free market run amok in our neighborhood, gobbling up all the available rental apartments. Taggers view dumpsters as they do everything else: just another blank canvas. The architecture buffs and preservationists among us, would rather see a dumpster than a crane because a crane usually signals a tear down which virtually guarantees another one of these. Realtors and developers look at dumpsters as an indication of a healthy real estate market.
Some of us view the dumpster as a convenient place to hide things, while still others view it as an opportunity to meet, find stuff and have a snack. And in case you thought this was just some evolutionary adaptation of life in N.Y., Chicago recycles too.
So, as you can see, a lot of us have different perspectives and various corresponding reactions to The Dumpster. Is anyone right or are they all wrong? All I can say most definitively is that, although I greatly appreciate the philosophy, I have to draw the line on dining.
There is a purpose to all this silliness because I've come across more than a few dumpsters on my "Hit the Street" tour of Rogers Park and it's made me wonder just how many there are in our neighborhood?. Is one area cluttered with more dumpsters than others? Is there one on your street?
The point of it all is to find out what I don't know about our neighborhood. It's an excuse to get out of the house, talk to people and be curious about the small things that go unrecognized and unreported, the stuff you know only if you live on a particular block and report my findings in this ongoing series. Maybe we'll have some fun and learn a thing or two about little corners of Rogers Park we never seem to get to..