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freeflowin’ ’bout the porchdwellers

by Tanya Cromartie-Twaddle warm weather brings people out of the house….folks take to the front porches and steps…some girls spend the morning primping, getting all cute just to sit outside half the day…talk about spring fever…fellas hanging on the stoop …kids chalk drawing in front of the house on the sidewalk…on my block folks will hang outside all day…visiting, gossiping, skipping from one screen door to another…yelling conversation back and forth across the street…if you ask me, it’s a beautiful thang! but I’ve been in circles where this behavior has been called “ghetto” whatever that means…some say it detracts from the quality of life in the neighborhood…it embarrasses some people who believe that we should hang out privately in our back yards… there is a time and place for everything, but hey, I look forward to sitting out front with my girlfriends…painting our toenails… laughing too loud…people watching…some of us flirting with the brothers riding by… it’s the best place for catching up on the latest block news… meeting and greeting neighbors…watching kids play, bicker, play, and bicker again… I feel like I see everything…we need to be nosey sometimes…and hanging out front is better than staying inside glued to a telly, right…now, some like to pull the t.v. outside and bump the stereo to the whole block, I admit that can be invasive…and yeah, you might catch a nasty argument or fight here and there or witness a drug deal go down, but at least you know what’s going on…you’ve also got your tender moments… like a momma braiding her child’s hair on the steps for the whole world to see…a baby digging into the earth…playing with dirt…a dirty face…enchanting smile…yeah…so you’ll be seeing me and mine chilling out front on Booth Street…who are the people in your neighborhood? Riverwest Currents – Volume 1 – Issue 4 – May 2002