Block party provides a pleasant sight for residents

By Tyler Vincent

It almost seemed like a painting.

Neighborhood children were playing football in the street, residents were grilling steaks and hot dogs and talking with each other. Saturday was the first annual block party of the Pleasant Street Neighborhood Association program.

It is a sight Bob Hadley, of 1230 Pleasant Street, likes.

“It’s good to see people getting together and mixing,” he said. “There aren’t as many adults here as there are kids, but it’s good for them to see the neighborhood getting together.”

The block party was held on State Street between 10th and 11th avenues, and featured relay races and a fire truck from the DeKalb Fire Department for neighborhood kids to inspect.

“Anytime you have good weather, good food and kids, you’re bound to have a good time,” city manager Jim Connors, who also attended the block party, said. “It’s an opportunity for people to come together in a social setting. Children can come out and utilize the street that they normally don’t have a chance to.”

The block party was in connection with the Pleasant Street Revitalization program, a city program that allotted $90,000 for repairs along Pleasant and State streets, and 10th and 14th avenues. The money has been used for repairs to sidewalks, erasing graffiti and restoring old homes.

Third Ward Ald. Steve Kapitan said future action regarding the project will consist of brick sidewalks being replaced and more street lights being added. Police also have added an increased presence to the area via bike patrols.

The plan was approved by city council in March and work began on the neighborhood in June.

Residents at the block party have noticed some changes since the revitalization plan began.

“I definitely see them doing things,” said Hadley. “In the past year I’ve notice more homes being fixed, which is good because some of the homes are getting old.”

Carrie Anderson, of 823 State St., also has noticed a difference.

“There’s a lot more involvement, more talking to each other,” she said. “People are working with the city officials and the police. It’s about working together.”