Whole Living in the Ghetto

Ten reasons the ghetto is not a bad place to be if you're aiming for a progressive lifestyle:

Public Transportation. Lack of money usually means lack of a personal automobile. So most predominately low-income neighboorhoods have great access to the public transit options of the city. Beyond that, there tends to be a bit less traffic and a lot more people on foot or bike.

Brown Spaces. These are lots abandoned by owners and the city. They are a beautiful opportunity to create community gardens or other community development projects.

Second Hand Stores are Easy to Find. And second hand is as green as it comes and often much hipper than new crap.

Mom and Pop Businesses are Everywhere. In the city I live in, the 'hood is the only place that chain stores haven't overrun. It makes it a really nice and refreshing place to be despite other negatives that might be there. And if you live in such an area, it is absolutely simple to keep your money within the community and boycott big faceless corportations for the most part.

Energy Efficient Habitat for Humanity Homes. Habitat has begun in the last few years to build with green features including passive-solar design, beefed up insulation, solar-heated hot water tanks, and energy star appliances. The ghetto isn't such a ghetto anymore.

Lively Churches. If you want a spiritual experience, this is the place to go. Great music, passionate preachers, and miraculous healings abound and may just save your soul.

Old School Architechure and Design. Every ghetto I've ever seen has been in older parts of cities, where streets are warmer and the buildings have more character because they came about in a less commercialized time.

Catholic Worker Houses of Hospitality. These are awesome places where people live in community and practice the works of mercy. They usually consist of activists with progressive views who work for environmental and leftist causes locally.

Cool and Interesting People. If you don't know what I'm talking about, take a walk (preferrably in the daylight) and see for yourself.

Cheap Rent. With the money you save, you can buy a share of community supported agriculture and eat fresh, local food all year long.

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