Ask around and you will hear plenty about Flint’s College Cultural neighborhood and its many amenities. You will hear about the Flint Cultural Center, with its art and music institute, cutting-edge planetarium, award-winning theaters, public library, and multiple auditoriums. You will hear about Mott Community College and Applewood, the gorgeous Mott estate open for events throughout the year. You will hear about convenient access to Downtown Flint, the Farmers Market, and the U of M – Flint Campus. And you will hear about curving boulevards, lush parks, safe tree-lined streets, and gorgeous, picturesque, comfortable housing. These are all praiseworthy assets, and completely true. But the third rail that makes this neighborhood crackle with electricity, above all these advantages and conveniences, is the close bonds formed between neighbors. I know of this firsthand: I grew up in the neighborhood, on a small street where I rode bikes with kids my own age, went trick-or-treating and Christmas caroling each year, and landed my first job as a paperboy. Those memories followed me first to the suburb of Flushing, and later, as an adult, to both Chicago and New York City. I had a wonderful time in all of these places, but when it was time to raise a family of my own, I knew that no place would be quite the same as Flint, Michigan. I am proud to be living in the College Cultural Neighborhood again today. Many things have changed over the last thirty years – in the world and in Flint. But today my daughter plays with our neighbors much as I played with mine. I see bikes on the street, help build snowmen each winter, and welcome trick-or-treaters each Halloween. I know all of my neighbors by name, and the many ways that this is “home” surpasses anything that can be listed in a real-estate listing. Many things make this neighborhood a special place, and this sense of connection is the most special thing of all.
I have lived in the CCNA neighborhood for almost 30 years. (I moved here from Rochester Hills.) Three parks, the public library, the art center, and Mott Community College are within easy walking distance. I can also walk to the Applewood Estate to enjoy the gardens and to the Farmer’s Market and Flint river with it’s walking/biking trail. It is lovely to be able to walk my dog under the lovely trees in my neighborhood, to go to the end of my block to watch tennis players in season, and to greet runners and other walkers as they enjoy our friendly neighborhood. It is a joy to see children biking, skating,and playing ball and enjoying the playground at Pierce Elementary School a few blocks away or the special playground at Woodside Church for young children. The fact that our neighborhood is so diverse culturally and linguistically makes it even more enjoyable. Our neighborhood association is particularly well run and well attended.I love living here.