Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I'm still a bit mad about this so if I sound angry, just know I am. Yesterday my neighbours complained about my daughter's chalk drawings on the ground. The agent from our condo's property management company said she'd had a number of calls about it. That was Monday morning. The chalking happened on the weekend. You mean to tell me no one would come and talk to me about it? And with everything happening in the world, I live around people who have nothing better to do than complain about art on the sidewalk? Who actually picked up the phone to call and complain about chalk on the sidewalk?
They told me to clean it off. I told them to "fine me." I said, "get the board to fine me. I'm on the board, so let's have a meeting about it and fine me." "It looks like shit," they said. "Children live here," I replied. "We have drug dealers and hookers on the street and you guys are complaining about a child's drawing that will wash away when it rains?" "We don't know when it's going to rain. It's defacing the property."
Don't even get me started. Then my neighbour wondered why I was so defensive about it.
If you want to squash people, give them a hard time about an expression they did that made them feel so joyous and self-expressed and hurt no one. Shut them down that way and you will. Fortunately, Remi took pictures of it, as she knew at the time that what she'd done was big and beautiful.
I want her to feel safe in a neighbourhood that is not known for its safety. I want her to feel safe to be on the street even though she's fighting for space with dealers and users and rowdy partiers. Let her light up the street and show that there's life here besides the litter and vomit that normally line our little yard.
I angrily poured snow on it and water, washing off the traces that a child lives here. A child who feels safe and strong. I told her next time do it straight on the sidewalk and the neighbours will just have to deal. I'd love to see a city bylaw officer come to my door to tell me hopscotch isn't allowed in Lowertown.