Saturday, January 21, 2012

Empathy 101

I do a lot of research in the Social Enterprise field . Ashoka is an organization doing great work. This video struck me as relevant to the Evergreen sidewalk issue, so I thought I'd share.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Strolling On Evergreen, and Montford

OK - last week we discussed "walking" on Evergreen.
This week, we'll tackle women with strollers.
I've taken a random sampling : 6 different times of day, different sized strollers, mostly women.

2 weeks ago : Evergreen resident : Young mother of two, with a newborn :
Vicinity of sampling : near Hawthorne at Evergreen
Q:  Have you heard about the sidewalk proposed for Evergreen?
A : A little bit , I haven't heard that much about it. Mrs. Oldenburg mentioned there might be a sidewalk.

Q: Have you ever felt unsafe on Evergreen with a stroller? "No"
Q: Any general thoughts?
A : "I don't think we need a sidewalk."
Q : If they build the sidewalk, would you use it? "No"

2 weeks ago : lady, listening to her headphones, smiling, strolling along :  Saturday
Q: Do you have any problems using a stroller on Evergreen?
A: (she smiled and shook her head) "No." 

Friday - a banner day! Three or four strollers on the street today - it's like a stroller highway! Street seems quiet today. I'm grateful for this amazing weather - lots of people out.
My first encounter, an au pair with  one of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen in my life. We started chatting and I found out she was headed to the Community Center for a "Music Together" class.  Just LOVES the Community Center.
She started telling me how she loves walking on Evergreen - some of the words she used were "flat" "easy" "safe." We continued along and I took a photo (I asked first, or course! ) She was using a B.O.B. stroller - that seems to be the popular brand.  We then headed toward Montford. I'm adding those notes to my Montford notes.
I came back around and ran into another mama - with a double wide! We had a nice chat, and I asked her to make notes. 

So - there you have it. If you all think we need that 9,000 square feet of concrete to make Evergreen safer for strollers - you might want to re-think that one. But hey - what do I know - I just LIVE here!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Walking On Evergreen

As I walk along Evergreen with my dog, Lucy, I meet many new neighbors. A few weeks ago, I met a lovely woman who lives on Reed. During our conversation, I asked her what her thoughts were on the "sidewalk issue." Being that she was a senior, and since one of "selling points" of this project has been that "it will help seniors" - I was a bit surprised when she said she was not in favor of the sidewalk "at all." During our conversation, we introduced ourselves, and she recognized my name from some of Mr. Sands' emails. Also, during our conversation, we both agreed that we didn't want a raised sidewalk on Evergreen Avenue, but we didn't want to be overcome with anger about it.
So, I did some research and found an article on how to "honor" anger :
 "Anger is a very powerful emotion that can be used in many positive ways to motivate us toward change, to strengthen us against our adversaries and to protect us against pain. Anger warns us that there is a problem or a potential threat. At the same time, it energizes us to face the problem or meet the threat and provides us with the power to overcome the obstacle..." 

"Forgiveness is not a self-righteous or Polyanna-like turning of the other cheek or a condoning of abhorrent behavior. Neither is it forgetting..."