Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Welcome Wagon

Last Thursday Brother in Law Bear, Yosh, who has been attending medical school in Springfield was matched with a residency program. The plan was for them to move to the Quad Cities to be near my parents. I have been looking for a job up there and would join the party as soon as the economy allowed. Yosh was matched in Peoria. They will have to live here for 3 years.

Yosh is excited because he preferred the Peoria program. Bear is not excited because she is not a Peoria fan. She is not a Peoria fan because I am not a Peoria fan. I have tainted her views. I have lived in Peoria for 5 years. I am over Peoria. When I moved here, I was wowed by the absolutely lovely older housing stock. I don't think Peorians realize how unique a lot of their housing is, and I am not talking about just The Uplands and the historic districts. The number of brick bungalows and cottages is amazing. Older brick homes are rare in the Quad Cities. I believed in the Heart of Peoria plan. I wanted to be a part of the Heart of Peoria.

5 years later, I still have not purchased a home. The first reality check was the "shot fired map". That adorable home on W Arcadia I was lusting after had way too many markers for my living alone single woman comfort. So I shifted my search north. South of War Memorial, closer to Forrest Hill, west of Knoxville. The fringes of the Heart of Peoria, but just up the street from the proposed Sheridan Triangle upgrade. The houses were more expensive, but were in a much more stable neighborhood, not so many rentals, no shots fired.

Then for 5 years the Heart Plan has been ignored, or in the most egregious cases, plainly violated and with the exception of Council Member Gary Sandberg no one with any authority in this town cares. The Sheridan triangle has gone no where. The school district is spiraling down. More money, more problems. Oh sure there are citizens who care. They devote countless hours and dollars trying to make Peoria a better place. I don't know how they keep on keeping on. This city says one thing and does the complete opposite. I am not even that invested and it frustrates me to no end. To continually do the same thing and expect different results is the definition of insanity; Peoria is insane.

I can't take it anymore. This museum nonsense has been the last straw. 40-60million dollars to move a museum we already have down to prime urban real estate is obscene. Urban renewal does not involve zero density. What a waste on so many levels. The city's schools and infrastructure crumble but we keep financing multi million dollar projects designed to attract people to the area. You know what attracts people, jobs and good schools. Beginning, middle, and end of story. Now it is the beginning, middle, and end of Bear and Yosh's story for the next three years and I have ruined the beginning. I am sorry, but at least they won't spend three years watching every one step forward result in 2 steps back.

Welcome to the neighborhood Bear and Yosh, don't buy the into the hype. Just rent, across the river.

1 comment:

Rix said...

Feh. It's not much better on this side of the river. Less crime, sure, but the overt racism is disturbing.