Letter: Happy to be home

To the editor:

I haven’t lived here all that long. Less than a year, in fact. But I think I’m starting to get a feel for what it means to live on the East Side. There’s a toughness and tenacity associated with every “East Side Pride” sign I see in my neighbors’ yards and in the windows of local businesses.

When the wife and I were looking to buy a house, I didn’t want the suburbs. She wasn’t interested in a project. I wanted something with some “character.” She wanted room for our little family -- currently consisting of her, me, two cats and a dog -- to grow.

We searched. And searched. And searched. We had house after house purchased right out from under us. Our bids were too low. We weren’t paying in cash. The banks wouldn’t entertain our offer.

The list of reasons seemed endless. Hunkering down in our tiny one-bedroom apartment, we started to feel a little hopeless about the whole idea.

She found the house we’d end up buying online. We decided to just swing by one afternoon to look at the outside. A month or two later, I was back in the neighborhood looking at the outside of MY house.

They say when you buy a house, you settle. It’s always about settling. As our Realtor put it. “Every home needs a little work.” It’s true. I’ve got some projects with this house. We’ll keep working on them though and continue to make our house our home.

I’ve heard enough of the comments about the East Side. “You’re living where?” “Are you sure it’s safe?” “How long do you plan to live there?”

And it’s true: A week or two after we moved in, a young woman was killed not ten blocks away. My next-door neighbor’s car was stolen multiple times. But we’re not scared and we’re not leaving.

This is home now and it will continue to be so. And every home needs a little work.

There’s the rub. I didn’t buy a house. We bought a place in a neighborhood. We bought into a life here. And we’re not leaving.

Daniel Callahan

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