A. Bortle- Week One- Map of Block

For my block view I chose to observe a portion of South Cedar Street. I sat in the Lowes parking lot close to the road 5pm on a weekday. The traffic is constant. Down the street are entrance and exit ramps so many people are getting home from work. There are quite a few rusted out cars that pass by me.

The Lowes property is the largest building and lot in the vicinity. It is also the most crowded lot by far with at least fifty cars. There are little islands of trees in the parking lot and the front is landscaped with mulch and bushes. To the left of me is a speedway with a constant barrage of people waiting to fill up their gas tank. Some of them are wearing suits or business casual, most likely just getting out of work, while others wear shorts and short sleeved shorts.  Passed the Speedway is a Flapjack. In the hour I sat there, I only saw three cars enter the lot and park. Some of the lights on the sign are burnt out and the paint is started to chip off in places. To my right is a foreclosed Pancheros. The windows and door are boarded up with a for sale sign in front. Across from the Pancheros is a tiny but brightly decorated Aldacos serving cheap and greasy tacos. There is another Speedway beside the Aldaco, almost across from me. It is just as busy as the Speedway to my left. It looks as if people pick which gas station is more convenient to them, going to the one they can turn right into versus waiting to dart across traffic.

A strip mall is directly opposite to me. Two of the businesses there are empty and currently for lease. On shop is a Farmer’s Insurance and another is a Cash Depot. By the strip mall is a Clauseway Hotel. There are cars parked around the hotel and multiple cars pulled up to the overhang to unload their baggage. There is a bus stop by the Flapjack. The Cata bus station is a popular means of transportation around here. An old lady in an ankle length dress and scarf was carrying her groceries as she waited. A man standing there had a garbage bag full of bottles and cans. His clothing was very worn with holes and tears in it. Two Lowes employees or customers walk out to the bus stop as well.

A man stands in front of the Pancheros panhandling. He has an iphone and a dog with him. There is a bridge to the right of him and near the top of the underside of the bridge are what appear to be blankets. The foreclosure, lease signs, and panhandling lead me to believe that the area is not well off and has been hit hard by the economy. The Cash Depot could be a means of money for any theft going on in the area.

2 thoughts on “A. Bortle- Week One- Map of Block

  1. Hello A., Your description of the area was very good. I like how you described each of the buildings in the area. I found this particularly useful to create an image of the area. The one thing I would have enjoyed more of is the physical description of the buildings and parking lot. You touch on it when describing the paint chipping off, as well as the median of trees. What are the color of the buildings? Is the closed Pancheros boarded up? Things like that. I enjoyed your description of the people waiting for the bus. Also I was interested in what the man in front of Pancheros was doing specifically. His gestures, the way he was dressed would have helped build a more complete picture of the scene. I would have liked more evidence to suggest that the place you where in was lower income/ hit hard by the economy. Are the streets in bad condition? Thing like this would imply that the citizens in the area do not have enough to pay their taxes, etc. You did an excellent job overall and I enjoyed reading your blog post. Have a nice day!

  2. Hello A. Bortle, you did a good job at describing a portion of South Cedar Street. By describing the businesses and the condition they are in, as well as the people was very useful in determining how well off the area is. Since the Cata bus is a popular means of transportation, this also concludes that maybe the people can’t afford to use up gasoline, or they don’t have a far distance to travel. It would be more helpful if the cars were better described, such as what models, were their more sedans, SUV’s or vans? This could provide further insight on the demographic of this area. For the people that you saw, were they talking to anyone, or did they mainly keep to themselves and did any really interact with their environment? Overall great post as you were able to describe the block without judging language and without personal bias.

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