I grew up in Perfectville USA, a quiet town with great schools and neighborhood after neighborhood of beautiful houses with manicured yards and pretty cars parked safely out of sight in their garages. Now drive past all those houses and you get to my street, one single ugly street just within the city limits where the immigrants, the single moms, and the poor people rented old dirty houses.
There were dandelions instead of lawns, broken down cars no one could afford to tow away, and sheets hung up for curtains. I love this street. This is where a small group of kids would come home from school where they were made fun of for wearing thrift store clothes, or for speaking with an accent, or for smelling bad because your family couldn't afford to take showers everyday. But there were no worries here, no embarrasment, because we were all the same.
This was the neighborhood where kids really knew how to play. We had to use our imagination, and the open space around us, because we didn't have many toys. Some had no tv's, so they would come over and watch cartoons on our tiny rabbit eared black and white tv. We ate in each other's homes, and had real home cooked meals from different parts of the world, meals that other kids would turn their nose up to and head to McDonald's.
That neighborhood is gone. Developement has taken over, taken away that one dirty spot, and now the town is perfect.