K. Beckham – Week One – Block Map

I’m sitting in the middle of the block on Touraine Avenue at 4:16 pm on a weekday. It is intersected by W Grand River Avenue and Cowley Avenue and resides just south of W Saginaw Street. I’m under one of many trees and ahead of me is an A-frame brick house with two shiny cars tucked deep in the driveway. Bordering the house is a neat garden with ornamental bushes and flowers with a blanket of wood chips under them. The mostly green lawn is an even and low height and has a sign for O’Keefe democrat Ingham County Prosecutor in the front and center, matching the sign in front of the house diagonal to it. On either side of this house is two more two-story houses with a similar brick façade and front gardens. They are split by a wooden fence on one side and tall bushes on the other. The one on the right has a toddler swing hanging from a tree near the sidewalk that separates the housed from the road. The presentation of the houses and yard, along with the cars make it seem like a middle or upper-middle class neighborhood. There were no people outside, but the toddler swing and the size and quality of the houses may indicate that families live there. The democrat signs lead us to believe it may be a liberal neighborhood and the fencing and shrubbery between houses show that money was put forth to maintain privacy in this suburb while staying close to busy roads and restaurants and shopping. The roads are curbed and have filled in potholes, indicating that it is central and wealthy enough to gain attention for road maintenance.

All around me are trees that provide shade for most of the block. Behind me is a few square feet of naturally grown plants like trees and groundcover, perhaps an empty lot or extra yard belonging to the neighboring house. Next to this lot is another brick house, slightly smaller, but still with a similar look, along with the house next to it. This house has the other O’Keefe sign, next to a “For Sale” sign. In front of the house is an older looking parked car.

The block is quiet and fairly secluded, given just north is a mini strip mall near Frandor Shopping Center. The absence of people outside may indicate that people were at work, doing errands, on vacation, or perhaps staying inside away from the humid heat of the outdoors or avoiding the pending storm.

Block Map

4 thoughts on “K. Beckham – Week One – Block Map

  1. It is interesting that you were able to find a secluded place in the area by the Franker Center. There must not be a lot of people looking for residential living in this area due to there being a “For Sale” sign. It is awesome that the potholes are filled in this area because that is not the case for most of Michigan. Maybe this area contains many activists who like to get things done. It is great that there is a lot of green space in the area because that is linked to an overall happiness in people. This might indicate wealth in the area because they are able to afford landscaping.

  2. Your description of this block is very well done as. Based on your description of the houses I also concluded that this neighborhood is middle class. The well-kept landscaping also shows some wealth, either they were able to take the time to care for the landscaping, or the residents are capable of paying a company to do it. The trees are a sign of shade and privacy, but the fence could also mean the home owners could have pets. Although there are democratic signs in front of two houses, I don’t think it’s safe to generalize the rest of the homes and call it a liberal neighborhood. When you talked about the garden you called it “neat” which is in a way judging the garden, even if for the better. Also what type of cars were you able to observe? Knowing that the cars are “shiny” can show wealth, but the model of the car can also hint more at a person’s life based on how they utilize it.

  3. I enjoyed your description of the area. You had very good observations on the houses and people who live there, leading us to believe they are middle class and in a fairly liberal area. I also like how you said the trees and fences were for privacy, sometimes in observations we forget the purpose of things and just say “well they have a fence because why not?” We forget the importance of things sometimes. I noticed that you mention the wealth of the area a lot, which helps us imagine the sort of neighborhood and people we would encounter there, everything from the cars to the houses to the signs on the lawns, and the quality of the road. What kind of cars were there though? Were they brand new or older cars? Overall I really liked your description!

  4. I really like reading your post. I think you did a good job on this assignment and paid attention on observing the block. Through your words, I can totally image what the block looks like. It is interesting to see that there is such a quite neighbor near the Frandor shopping center. I have been to Frandor shopping center several times. In my own mind, I think Frandor shopping center always have many customers and all people are busy. According to your post, I can see there are not many people live in that neighbor due to the quiet environment and the “For Sale” sign. However, the quiet environment may also due to people were on their work. From the second part of your post, I can see there were many plants around the block. This is good to hear because plants can increase people’s living quality. Through your post, I can see you paid a good attention on observing these houses. However, I think you can observe more on the small store near Frandor shopping center. I think the small store can give us a totally different experience compared to the households.

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