K. Bird – Week One – Block Map

I chose the neighborhood a friend lives in off of Coolidge Road, north of Saginaw. Contrary to the always congested Saginaw Road, Coolidge is usually peaceful, especially for its large size, having two lanes going each way. After passing multiple apartment complexes along Coolidge Road, a large sign introduces you to the neighborhood where I observed, Coolidge Place.

Right off the mainroad is the small entry into this neighborhood. Throughout my time there, this road named Pebblecreek Boulevard rarely had more than one car at a time traveling on it. Immediately after driving in, a small sized office greets you. At this time, the office is closed and the lights are out, but beyond it you can hear the splashing of the community pool. Despite being so close to a university’s campus and having college residents,  this neighborhood somehow retains a small town feel. No stores in sight, nothing reminding you that Lansing is just down the street.

Town homes line all the small streets with the lawns well groomed and the bushes trimmed.  The homes themselves almost look pristine, although nothing stands out about it. All of the houses are cookie-cutters, blending in with each other. The occasional lawn ornament or stray bike is the only thing that differentiates one from another. Modest cars fill the spots in front of these homes, nothing fancy or eye-catching. Minivans seem to make up the majority and with good reason.

It is easy to tell it is summer even at 6 pm when I see kids of all ages and ethnicity hanging out together, running around, and playing games. The pool is filled and parents are supervising from their porch. The nostalgic scent of dinner on the grill wafts through the air, reminding me of a time before being a broke college student.

In another neighborhood further up the street, just past some trees, small fireworks can be heard. More college students live there and it shows from the condition of the apartments and the lawns. The trees mark an obvious boundary for both the college students in these apartments and the younger kids of Coolidge Place, with each group minding their own business.

On the other side of Coolidge Road lies a more traditional neighborhood, with winding roads and separate houses.  Although each house has its own personality given by the different styles of architecture and colors, compared to Coolidge Place, this neighborhood lacks the liveliness and inclusion. Not a single person was seen walking around this neighborhood.K. Bird - Week One - Block Map

2 thoughts on “K. Bird – Week One – Block Map

  1. This was a good description of the block you visited. You painted a very vivid image of a standard American suburban street that I was able to relate to. You provided a very detailed emic perspective. Doing a good job to provide intricate details about things that are not really all that eye catching. This shows good observation skills, that you take notice of the things that are normal instead of new or odd. I like that you provided your personal feelings and memories about the environment around you, it adds to your solid emic point of view to the area. It is too bad that were not a lot of people for you to make more comments on how the people interact with each other and the environment. Despite this you did a sufficient job of commenting on the amount of people available and how they were acting. I think your map was rather interesting as well because you walked around a large area looking at and describing a few different roads instead of just one in explicit detail.

  2. This was extremely well written. I feel that this piece was written perfectly to fit the assignment and there are minimal questions that rose about it. The first set of apartments were described very well. It took me back to East Lansing, where there are dozens of apartment complexes that all look the same. I could imagine it to the T. I also noticed how you described the kids, mentioning they were running around and playing games. Maybe an addition you could have made was describing what kind of games they were playing and how many kids were playing together at one time. Also, were parents playing with any of them? or were they just sitting and watching the whole time? This may have given a better idea of the neighborhood as a whole. Aside from that, this piece was very well written, perhaps the best one I’ve read on the blog. Good job and thank you for the read!

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