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Kaet's Place
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South Ave @ Gregory St
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Kaetlin Perna
December 29, 2006

Its 11:45 p.m. in 2005, fifteen minutes before midnight. I had just raced my dad's car from University and Culver, down University, over to Goodman, swung toward South and parked. I rush into the bar and look around for my friend Meghann. I look around to the crowd, there has to be close to 200 people, at least. It's New Years Eve: this is standard. Everyone is friendly, everyone is normal - just like the two or three times I had been here before. However, the difference between most bars on this night and the one bar I was standing in now, Lux Lounge, is that it's just a small part of a larger community in the South Wedge and not just a lousy watering hole.

Fast forward nine months later; I'm walking down South Clinton, one early afternoon, looking for the car I was trying to buy. I pass Boulder Coffee Company and notice "Bruised But Not Broken" on a coffee cozy like banner over their wall that a truck plowed into a week prior. I remember thinking, "Wow, if that happened to Java's (a very well established coffee shop a mile and a half away in the East End), I think people would care less." It was the community in the South Wedge and in around Swillburg that contributed to the effort to quickly reopen Boulder Coffee in time for Boulder Fest later that month.

The South Wedge represents a part of Rochester that still has some sense of residential and social community. Yes, I live on Park and Oxford, but there is only so much soup I can eat and DVDs I can buy within normal business hours. It's a tiny suburbia - it's quaint and I love it, but it truly lacks in any nightlife experience. Not the night life you would find on South Ave. However, it would cease to be what makes my neighborhood charming in the first place: the quietness of the streets at 10 o'clock and the oodles of bottle collectors sifting through my trash.

I appreciate Rochester's new thriving rise in community as society as a whole is becoming much more holed up with noses pressed against Wii's, Playstation 3's, iPods, PDA's, laptops in coffee shops and the insanity of Tivo (what happened to the VCR people?). I know I'm guilty of plenty of those, but it doesn't stop me from buying a cd once a week at Lakeshore Records or buying Artichoke, Tomato and Cheese soup (highly recommended) from next door at Magnolia's. But I can assure you, except for the people at Lakeshore, the girls at Magnolia's don't even know my name.

In two days, I'll be throwing a New Years Eve Bash at my quaint little apartment down on Magnolia Row from 9-11:30, then proceeding to Lux Lounge's big bash to ring in the New Year. It's open until 4am and you better believe I'll be ringing in the New Year with people I've grown to love over the past year. God bless you, South Wedge and you're amazing community. Oh, by the way, come midnight, I don't think I have anyone lined up to make out with. Last year was some guy whose name I can't remember for the life of me. I would definitely like to repeat last year's excitement... but not knowing how many of you are hiding in the woodworks, I think I should find someone. Any takers?

Oh, by the way, Happy New Year. May 2007 be as kick ass as 2006.