REFLECTION Walk #15, Yr 2, Sunday, January 17, 2:30 pm. Many walkers attended this walk. A Humanics class from Fresno State attended the walk. They noticed houses that were built in a certain area that seemed like the first owners left, and only businesses remained. Walkers saw the mural district billboard, a tattoo parlor, beautiful places where the buildings adjacent had been knocked down, where they could see the layers of people’s dreams and stories… Walkers saw homeless people, a rock band on a front porch, boarded up houses, trash in the street, a funeral home, and the Lowell community center.
Walkers paid attention to the smells of tacos, Tide detergent, chicken, trash, marijuana from several boys hanging out in a car near the elementary school, and earthy smells.
Walkers heard the sounds of live rock music, Spanish language music, dogs barking, talking “dudes” around a car, laughter, a loud motorcycle, kids playing on a playground, homeless folks, greetings/taunting, and music.
Walkers experienced the feelings of revitalization all around; they noticed the attempts to make things look remodeled, with a “ticky tacky” nice finish, seeing things trying to be renovated–hopefully–with past feelings of sadness (ccompared to Chicago downtown, by one Walker). Walkers suggested that people don’t want to come downtown, it seems, but maybe that is changing. Walkers felt warmth of a dad playing with kids and families walking down the street, family interactions, and then a dad and his kids hopped the fence to play soccer.
Some walkers thought the area was more artistic than they had imagined, filled with murals, architectural beauty right outside of Warnors, and so much music. They were glad that’s what they saw–it feel much less negative.
Walkers reflected that what was invisible but now visible is opportunity for community involvement, real estate, and a lot of places abandoned and unkept – somebody could buy and rebuild to allow for more low income families to live.
One Walker talked about how the Lowell area has changed. It used to be a run down neighborhood, and it has not been improved. There used to be lots of criminal activity and gun fire. This Walker was an instructional aide in the 1980’s and brought up the idea of population growth. Another Walker suggested that poverty is still visible–but it is scattered among buildings that give you hope, but there are signs of people who struggle with mental illness still around.
These are our brothers and sisters in Fresno, and all of our lives and our futures are tied together.