brynn makes a weird face
ed watkins is consumed by a stylish hat!
i'll try to condense this narrative into something succinct, you know, as succinct as a "i have a new job, a new place to live, and a new city to live in" as a post can possibly be.
i woke up at 5:45a.m. this morning with a pounding headache. i reflected it was at least better than how i'd felt the previous day when i was unable to keep down a mouth full of water without my stomach engaging in a full-scale revolt. really, i had a 24 hour stomach flu which led me to lay on the couch and reflect on christmas, buffalo and everything in between. but first, more pictures!
these are from christmas morning and christmas evening respectively.
around november 3rd, i moved to buffalo.
because i had no place to live, stephen and whitney graciously let me stay in their spare "dead-daughter" bedroom until i found a place of my room. christina's room. even though stephen loves to keep his downstairs @ 55 degrees, i had a great time while i was there. it was nice to spend so much time with friends i hadn't gotten to see very much in recent months, due to them being in buffalo and my stay in albany/cleveland. while there, i developed an unhealthy interest in battlestar galactica, started playing rock n' roll guitar again with stephen, biked to work everyday, listened to stephen's always interesting music and became friends with stephen and whitney's neighbors, micaela, kevin, and rachel.
i also started a new job
push has been for the most part a great experience. my bosses, aaron and eric are both incredibly dedicated, bright, and hopeful despite working in the second poorest city in the country. they have different styles of organizing, but they compliment each other nicely and they are truly the right people for the job. our members (even though they're all a little crazy) and construction team are also great. everyone really believes in the work that push is doing, fighting for housing and jobs of the west side as a means of combating the systematic oppression these folks face on a daily basis. to borrow from eric and others, poverty is not an option and people are the policy makers.
truth be told there is a little more sitting in front of a computer than i would like but, as alice walker via whitney's facebook profile says, "The real revolution is always concerned with the least glamorous stuff." i think that idea is so important. no one wants to make hundreds of phone calls, no one wants to stick hundreds of mailing labels but it needs to be done. things like updating our member list, sending out the newsletter, yeah it may not be exciting, but it's necessary, so i've found my peace with it.
one of my more interesting responsibilities is my position as the PUSH co-op liaison. the co-op is a large, nicely constructed boxy white building, designed to be a sort of revolving door to home ownership as the tenants pay a below market rent where $75 is taken out each month and put in a fund in escrow which, at the end of their time in the co-op, if they decide to use the funds towards a down-payment on a home, a partnership with M&T bank and the feds will triple the amount. pretty cool. so, in the meantime, i am more or less a landlord type-figure except that i am also charged with building community as well as addressing the tenants needs and concerns in a timely manner. in addition to creating homeowners, we're also hoping to strengthen community by encouraging the deepening of neighborhood bonds, especially with folks across racial and ethnic lines. in the co-op, there is a burmese family ( the father Zaw, a former political prisoner in Burma), a puertorican family, and augustine, a woman from the Caribbean. it's challenging having everyone sit down at the table and work together, but i think it can happen.
in the meantime, i've also moved into a new apartment with my brother Colin! 820 Elmwood. it's right across the street from the lexington co-op which is lame because they're not really a co-op and way too expensive for my americorps salary, but i do buy milk in glass bottles from them.
i drove home to albany with fiona which was super-nice.
more soon. i promise. including lots more pictures.