“Look! That house looks like our house!” As my husband and I were driving home on Sunday, I was ecstatic to notice a house that was constructed similarly to ours. I thought our neighborhood in the old Ostronic Heights was one of a kind, but I was proven wrong. I have only lived in the area for about three months, but I am ashamed to say that the only parts of our neighborhood that I have really seen are between our house and Bag N Save.
I was raised on a farm about an hour from Omaha and went to a grade school where I could count the number of kids in my class on one hand (with a few fingers left over). Moving to West Omaha last year was a big step for me: I moved to the “big city,” but I still had that safety blanket of being in a safe neighborhood and closer to home. I had about 7 grocery stores in a 2 mile radius and was minutes from the mall. I had 4 different family members that lived within 10 minutes that I could easily call on if I need anything.
When I got engaged in February, it was evident that I would be moving to Near-South Omaha. He moved to the neighborhood because of his passion for diversity and he saw all the great advances that were approaching the area. My husband would be the first to tell you that I wasn’t too pleased with the decision. I was accustomed to the familiarity of my neighborhood and to be honest, I was under the impression near south Omaha wasn’t the safest area.
I learned that you aren’t completely safe anywhere when there was an armed robbery just across the street from my apartment. I had been to my boyfriend (now husband’s) house countless times in a year and always felt safe.
After living in our house for nearly four months, I can honestly say I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I love how many of the restaurants and businesses in the area are not franchises and you see the owners working all the time. They put their heart and soul into the businesses. I love the history of the buildings. My husband has a book about Vinton Street and it’s amazing to see how many theaters and dance halls used to stretch along the street. We are only the second owners to our house and it was built over 70 years ago.
My goal is to take a more complete tour of our neighborhood in the next month. I am anxious to meet neighbors and walk to El Aguila’s in the summer. If you see a group of moped riders, it’s probably me, my husband and our friends. We hope you wave and we get to meet you!
Katie Duran: Deer Park Secratery / Newsletter Editor