What did 200+ people do in South Park tonight?

200+ people watched a bunch of neighbors get together and put on an amazing production of “A midsummers night dream.” But, that wasn’t all- Emerson Academy was also showing a movie in their parking lot just down the street. And, Saturday night, while the play is on night 2 (it’s free- you should go) there will be a progressive porch, patio and deck party.

It’s tough living in the National “Neighborhood of the year.” And what’s even tougher, is the rest of the city could be doing the same thing, if we had some leadership that understood that we don’t have to pay people to like our city- we just have to act like we like it.

When the idea first surfaced of doing Shakespeare in South Park, even I thought the idea a bit crazy. But, if that’s what people want to do, you support it. Next weekend we have a jazz festival, thanks to Ron Gable and his Jazz Advocate. Give people the ability to do great things and they come through.

People thought I was crazy when I bought my house, then my office (total purchase price for both, under $20K). The two cottages each cost almost that much. But, I believed in creating my own destiny. Now, we’re down to one problem house on the block and one empty. Not bad for a neighborhood that could have been flattened in the name of “urban renewal” or “land banking.”

The basic thing that government must begin to understand if it wants to change a city is that it isn’t about the bricks and mortar. Never was. It’s about the people. People live in, and fix up buildings. People clean up streets and alleys, people play in parks and people put on plays and have parties. Take care of the people- and the rest starts happening.

With that thought- good night. Come to South Park tomorrow night for night 2 of “A Midsummer’s night dream” and see what ordinary people can achieve.

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