A few weeks before Halloween, I headed south on Sherman Avenue and, just before I reached Main Street, I noticed a house on the west side of the block that seemed poised for trick-or-treaters quite a bit earlier than the rest of the neighborhood.
Upon closer inspection, I realized the house was not, in fact, trying to look scary.
It simply was.
Ivy crept across the particleboard-sealed entrance and along the porch ceiling, giving the building an eerie sense of foreboding.
I live in the Nichols Neighborhood, where an email listserve is often used among residents to share news – and the occasional frustrations – about things going on concerning our section of town. I’ve seen complaints about Sherman Avenue over the past year or two, mostly regarding properties that haven’t been kept up to respectable standards, but I hadn’t recalled hearing about an abandoned-looking brick two-flat with menacing shrubbery.
I don’t know the owners of this property, nor have I spoken with any neighbors. Perhaps this home is simply undergoing a major renovation project from the inside out, with the front entrance sealed until a beautiful, brand new door arrives from the factory.
Yet to me, this is the ubiquitous image of the U.S. economy, right here in our own little town, one block north of Main Street.