As I was biking back from our local Food For Less there was some excitement building up in Compton. A few houses were appropriately decored, however, none on our street, which by observational accounts appears to be a quiet neighborhood.
My fiance and I were anxiously anticipating trick-or-treaters like a community leader at a community organization anxiously anticipates community turnout. Only we actually want to give away candy, give free stuff away, and not somehow sell people on something.
By the end of the night, 9PM, we had about 13 trick or treaters for the whole night coming in 4 droves. One appeared to come in a van and rolled up with 5 kids. I guess it's quite telling that they came in a van. This is probably not a lot, but hey we got some!
Our 15 dollar bag of candy from Costco is half-empty and that's because we were giving candy away in generous amounts.
Our neighbor, the lifer, said that not many trick-or-treaters come here. They go to the "nicer areas."
Apparently the same happened to my cousin in Highland Park; not many were visiting her, according to her statii on Facebook. This had me thinking about where the kids actually were, and if trick-or-treating was somehow ruined by some combination of new generation of parents/kids, social media, technology, etc. etc.
It would be interesting to map the areas and kids trick-or-treat in. Seems like it would be a good indicator of perceived neighborhood safety amongst residents.
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My fiance and I in our efforts to re-establish/establish our lives in Compton have been running a bit.
One good thing that I do notice about Compton's sidewalks is that there does seem to be an effort to ensure safe crossing during school dismissal hours. During this time, I do see vested crossing guards on main thoroughfares.
Otherwise, there are plenty of open, lonely sidewalks that accompany the industrial warehouses that line the East-West corridors. Also unlike in any other neighborhood, people do look back at you as sort of a nervous tick when they hear you running behind them; that hasn't happened as much in any other neighborhood.
All the lonely sidewalks, along with scant lighting at night, probably make it difficult for women to run around, and that is probably a contributing factor as to why there is not much of a "running culture" as Olympic trial distance runner and fellow Loyolan David Torrence put it.
In one of my longer runs, along Compton Ave to the 110 freeway, I actually got a nail stuck at the sole of my (new) shoe. In my 12 plus years of running around Silver Lake, Eagle Rock, Van Nuys, Long Beach, Wilmington, this had never happened before, only in Compton (more accurately Gardena, but Compton has the "ring" to it)!
One of our local pocket parks, Tragniew Park, is not as scary as it sounds online. In our weekday twilight runs, we see kids playing soccer, people casually milling around, and not in the intimidating, get off our space kind of way. A band appears to practice there at night on the basketball courts.
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We have now discovered a few of our local stores. Food4Less is a short bike ride away from us as is a General Discount Store. Our more durable items are available at a local Home Depot, Staples, and, Target. What more do we need?
Probably just more money so we can get enough gas to make the trek to our local Trader Joe's.