Friday, July 31, 2009

Ahhh, Hillcrest

We really love our new neighborhood, called Hillcrest. The walk from our house to our office takes us through 5 blocks of leafy streets, stately old homes, and neighborly people.

The streets in Hillcrest are named for all of the U.S. presidents who served between 1817 and 1901. We have Monroe, Van Buren, Pierce, Tyler, Harrison, Polk, Fillmore, Arthur, McKinley, Garfield, Jackson, Taylor, Buchanan, Cleveland, and Grant - but no Lincoln. There is a street named for the great Confederate general, Robert E. Lee, and I'm sure that the folks who developed this area in the late 19th century forgot Lincoln on purpose. But Hillcrest today is a liberal neighborhood. In 2006, our neighbors were the first Arkansans to elect an openly gay person, Kathy Webb, to the Arkansas House of Representatives.

There are two coffee houses in the neighborhood, and the drinks are much cheaper than at Peets in Berkeley. But the cappucinos are often more like lattes and vice versa. Peets really spoiled us!

I got a library card this week. There isn't much room for bookshelves in our new house, so I’ve determined to become a library user instead of a book buyer (with apologies to my book publishing friends). I don’t know if I’ll actually be able to break the book buying habit - don't hold your breath. But there's a darn pretty public library just 11 blocks from home, see:

Everybody told us to buy a house in Hillcrest, and I can understand why, now that I live here. Within a half mile of home, we find a veterinary, car repair shop, two banks, a post office, a grocery store, two pharmacies, several dentists, two hair salons, liquor stores, coffee bars, and about 9 restaurants, not to mention a handful of antiques stores and consignment shops. It feels more like Berkeley than any other part of Little Rock. It also reminds me of my grandmother's neighborhood in Houston, with its mature trees and vintage houses.

Hillcrest is 42 miles from Perryville, where Katie lives. I drove out there last Sunday to watch Honey while Katie and her crew were harvesting chickens. They started working at 6 am and finished at about 2 pm. I got to spend the whole of that time with Honey, who likes my gadgets. Here she is aiming to take the camera out of my hands, and then playing with my laptop.

Tomorrow, we are going out to Perryville again, to watch Honey while Katie and Travis give medicine to the sheep...see, its been the wettest July since 1861, and the fields are so wet that the sheep are suffering foot problems. When their feet are sore, the sheep don't walk freely around the pasture and they graze the same spots over and over again. They can get worms and quickly lose weight if the foot sores persist. Katie needs to corral and medicate them before that happens.

Leo is out in Perryville, too, and I hope to take him out for dinner. We saw both of them on Thursday when we drove out to Perryville for lunch at Heifer ranch. It was taco day. I wanted to take Leo's picture in his ranch clothes with his volunteer name badge in the Heifer ranch cafeteria, but he wouldn't allow it. Maybe I can snag a photo tomorrow . . . stay tuned.

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