BEFORE I visited other neighborhoods, I thought mine was just seemed like any other one in Houston. Then my dad and I went on a drive through River Oaks. Do you know this place? I was amazed because that neighborhood seems so different from mine. The houses were big, white mansions, and the yards took up half a block. I wondered how much those houses cost and how long it would take to mow a lawn like that. One unusual thing I noticed was that there were no kids or dogs anywhere. It seemed silent, except for teams of workers cutting bushes and planting flowers. Even the stores were different than the ones in my neighborhood. We don’t have Starbucks on every block where I live, that’s for sure.
AFTER we got back home, I realized that neighborhoods really are different. I live on Nero Street in The Riverside Apartments. I have no idea why they are called Riverside because there’s really no water. There used to be a fountain in front but it never works. I’ve seen beer cans and paper bags from Burger King in the fountain but no water. I’ve lived here for about 2 years. It’s noisy because we live on a major street so there are always cars rushing by and kids yelling and men whistling. I know some of my neighbors like Elena who is always laughing and Mrs. G. who smokes so much that her clothes smell like fire. In one direction there is a corner store called Lucky where I buy bread sometimes for my mom. In the other direction there is a trailer where this guy named Tony sells the best snow cones in Houston. He is open all year around, so I eat cherry snow cones from January to December. There are no curbs or sidewalks around here so we have to walk through parking lots to get where we want to go. I don’t mind it, but I wish I had a bike. My neighborhood smells like tortillas, tamales, grease, and pollution. Some people hate that smell, but I like it. It represents my neighborhood and where I’m from.
By Maria, 6th grade
[photo by jscarlett6761 via flickr]