Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mystery gathering...

A friend called me last night around 8:30 p.m. and he told me to grab my camera. He'd be by to pick me up in five minutes so that I could see what was happening in his neighborhood. He didn't tell me much more than that so I was full of questions when he picked me up. It turns out that a property at the southwest corner of 22nd Street (Worthmore) and Park Street has been host to a gathering of about 100 people for the past 6 weeks in a row. Cars and vans line 22nd Street and stretch from the area in front of the Scottish Rite Masonic Center, east on both sides of the road. They start around 6 p.m. and everyone leaves a little bit after 9 p.m. Other than this activity, it appears that no one is in the house any other day of the week. With the exception of Friday night when someone saw evidence of a television being on. My friend remembers an older lady living there for a long time, then some work being done on the house recently as if she no longer was around.

I did some research on the property appraiser's website. It is a non-homesteaded property and it looks like the same family has owned it for a while. The term "life estate" under the sales information might be evidence of the older relative having lived there.
Here is an aerial of the property from the Property Appraiser's website.
The hundred or so people assemble in the backyard around a fire pit. This video was taken as we headed east from in front of the Scottish Rite temple property. I slowed down the video by half so it doesn't go by too quickly. At about the 17 to 20 second mark, after passing the parked cars along the street of the people attending the event, you can see the large crowd and if you look carefully, the fire pit burning brightly in the backyard. The area is zoned single family.

Of course, we who live in single family neighborhoods should have the absolute right to have parties and entertain guests at our houses. I think I know what my neighbors would think if I started having 100 of my closest friends over every week complete with a fire pit, in the peak of the dry season. My instinct says that this is more than a gathering of friends, although they looked peaceful and the group was relatively quiet, it must be some sort of organized meeting. A church or sober house group perhaps?

Here is the video. I will be sharing this with code enforcement when they open again on Tuesday morning.