This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Living in safe neighborhoods

I've always lived in safe neighborhoods, like I do now. Of course, a lot of the neighborhoods where I lived in would probably be described as *barrio*, or *ghetto*. But these are the neighborhoods that people call home, and they feel safe there.

I now live in suburban Glendale, Arizona. My neighborhood has a Homeowner's Association. I feel safe here, but I know a lot of people who wouldn't.

It wasn't until I lived in Santa Barbara that I came to realize how far people go to feel that they're in a safe neighborhood. If you've ever talked to people who live in Montecito (the wealthy community next to Santa Barbara), you can get an idea. To people living in Montecito, Beverly Hills is *ghetto*. In Montecito, the most expensive houses are not visible at all from the street. They are set well back, behind locked gates, and dense landscaping. To many of these people, having a home that could actually been seen from the street would be the equivalent of sleeping on the sidewalk, with your belongings in a shopping cart.

Then I visited Calabasas. If you're wondering what the houses of the really, really, rich people look like, I have no idea. The entire neighborhoods, not just the houses, are set way back in the hills, protected not only by gates, but by security. And those gates have real people there, you don't just follow someone in who knows the code. My friend lives in the *ghetto* part of Calabasas. But I feel safe there.

It's important to feel safe in your neighborhood. And, unfortunately, many people never do. Being safe in your neighborhood is a process, not a place.

Photo above: hanging out with my friend Jesus in Santa Barbara, California. The barrio of Santa Barbara.
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