Last night, once again the Northside neighborhood participated in the National Night Out, an event designed for neighborhood-building and community support for fighting crime. Paul and I were there. It always seems to be on the first Tuesday in August. I don't know why it's invariably on the hottest day of the year--a test of fortitude perhaps. Anyway, even in the heat, this year's event went well. We ended up at the Hargraves Center. I've been going for a number of years, at least since I was involved with the neighborhood in creating the Northside Neighborhood Conservation District. Back then, the gathering place was the vacant lot that formed a kind of peninsula at Sykes, Whitaker, and N. Graham Streets. But by now, Empowerment, Inc. has built two houses there, strategically filling a gap in the neighborhood, providing attractive affordable housing, not coincidentally enabling more "eyes on the street."
The folks in Northside have a lot to be proud of. They're actively "taking back" their neighborhood, and by being the first neighborhood conservation district in Chapel Hill--not an easy process by any means--they paved the way for four others.