Ann Monte: Neighbor of the Month for March 2009

An interview with Ann Monte, our NEIGHBOR OF THE MONTH for March 2009.

What neighborhood do you live in?
Longview Gardens.

How long have you lived here?
I bought my home in 1995 after living in North Raleigh for a year and a half.

Do you have special interests or hobbies? 
I have perfected the art of puttering around the house and to that end enjoy working with stained and etched glass, gardening, tending to my chickens, working with my bees as well as biking, flat water kayaking, walking and library volunteering.

What attracted you to this neighborhood and what do you think is the best thing about living here? 
I found this neighborhood to have the charm of older homes with the added benefit of being situated on  nice sized lots, close to downtown, (within easy walking distance of grocery stores, a good library and public transit – Yes!)  Several of the homes in my area have had only two owners so there is still a connection with the people who this area was developed to serve.

What kind of changes have you seen over the years? 
This area was pretty much built out before I moved in so the change hasn’t been as amazing as in some Raleigh neighborhoods.  In the past few years our homes have become better appreciated for their size and economy (two of my favorite qualities) and yet we (luckily) missed being targeted for redevelopment that has so drastically changed other “inside the beltline” neighborhoods.  We’ve also been very fortunate to have neighbors who have been active in protecting and maintaining and improving the quality of neighborhood life we all enjoy.

What changes would you like to see come to your neighborhood in the future? 
I’m looking forward to the City’s plans for the New Bern Ave. corridor improvement. I’m also looking forward to the stream enrichment work to begin near Enloe. Of course, I would really love to see the Longview Gardens Shopping Center at King Charles and New Bern Ave. be revitalized.

What do you think this neighborhood will look like 20 years from now? 
I hope that this area will stay pretty much the same.  Some houses may need to be renovated to be less “functionally obsolete” and to better serve new needs but otherwise I see no need for the ground shifting change that some proponents of tear-downs have brought about in some older residential areas.  The Raleigh Blvd. and New Bern Ave. travel corridors will bear more and more traffic but they skirt our homes while giving us quick access to the advantages of downtown, several college campuses and the Triangle beyond.

Name one thing you think is unique, in your opinion, about East Raleigh – something it has that other parts of Raleigh don’t have. 
I’m not familiar enough with other areas of Raleigh to compare us to.  We’re an economically, racially and age mixed neighborhood with a fairly stable occupancy but there’s really nothing that I can think of that sets us apart – and that’s fine with me.

Any other comments you’d like to make about “your part of Raleigh” & the quality of life here? 
I very much like my life in this neighborhood; I have great neighbors, safe sidewalks to walk and bike, a good library and all the excitement I could want is just a short drive downtown.  Hopefully everybody in Raleigh feels about their neighborhoods as I do about mine – except that I know I’m right!

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